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Welcome to Aired, a collection of work from the BSc (Hons) Digital Journalism students at Leeds Beckett University, class of 2021.

Due to the on-going pandemic, our showcase is taking place virtually this year. But wherever you are in the world, please enjoy the variety of high quality digital journalism exhibited in our virtual gallery and magazine, which is available both for print and digital. 

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"Hello, I’m Professor Lisa Stansbie and I am the Dean of Leeds School of Arts at Leeds Beckett UniversityI am delighted to be able to introduce you to Aired, which presents a selection of work from our final year Digital Journalism students. There’s probably never been a time when digital journalism was more important than it is today, as we live in exceptional circumstances. The power of storytelling, whether through imagery, video, or words, is vital – especially in difficult times. It can be used to transform and enact change, educate, or entertain, and our students go into the world with the ability to do this, utilising the skills they have learned and developed on this course. 

No-one can say that these students aren’t working in interesting and challenging times. I’ve been astounded by how, against all the odds, they have been able to produce such inspiring, challenging and experimental work. I believe that their innate ability to think innovatively, and in the interests of their audience, is evident in the work you see included in this magazine and accompanying virtual exhibition. It also more than shows that the students from this Digital Journalism course have what it takes to thrive. 

The annual showcase is a key moment of our academic year as it acts as the culmination of three years of learning, as well as being a really good point of celebration for students and staff. In my role as Dean, I don’t fully get to see what all our students do on a day-to-day basis, but this showcase allows me to see the progress they have made during their time with us. It also gives our students the opportunity to build a portfolio for their future careers – this is something that is more important now than ever before. 

During the pandemic we have had to switch our physical shows and exhibitions to virtual because of the restrictions to live events. This can cause major problems for creative practitioners, particularly in disciplines such as photography, fine art and performing arts which requires a physical audience. There are certain practices that are difficult to replicate online, but the advantage of a digital showcase means the creative work of our students can now be accessed and enjoyed globally and the audience we can reach is far greater. We have had a hugely positive response externally to this. Our showcase not only allows potential students and those who may be interested in our courses to see the work they could be doing, but it also makes connections with creative industries and external partners. This is essential for a university and its students, not least because potential employers can use it to seek out new talent. So, for the students, staff, school and wider university there are numerous benefits. I really hope you all enjoy the showcase."

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