Liverpool graduate Lewis Downes receives inaugural prize
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has honoured a much-loved Lancashire journalist by presenting a recent graduate with the first ever Steve Becker Award for Radio.
The award was set up after the death of Steve Becker, a renowned and creative radio journalist from the county who worked at BBC Radio Lancashire for many years until he passed away in March. UCLan journalism graduate Lewis Downes is the award’s first recipient and was presented with the award by Steve’s wife Kath and colleagues from BBC Radio Lancashire.
The 21-year-old Liverpool student was chosen as the winner for his news package about pub closures around the North West. He was awarded a three week-long placement at BBC Radio Lancashire followed by a week working for the BBC at Media City.
It is a privilege and honour to win this award. I wanted to make sure I did my absolute best during my placement to not only show what I was capable of, but to show how proud I am to have been chosen as the winner.
Lewis graduated from UCLan in July with a first-class degree and has since completed his placement at the county’s radio station. He said: “It is a privilege and honour to win this award. Steve was an integral member of the Radio Lancashire team with a highly regarded reputation. I wanted to make sure I did my absolute best during my placement to not only show what I was capable of, but to show how proud I am to have been chosen as the winner.”
Steve’s wife Kath said: “Steve would have been thrilled by this award and the quality of the entries. The family are pleased to have his passion for the job recognised and remembered in this way.”
John Clayton, BBC Radio Lancashire’s editor, added: “Steve lived and breathed radio and I know he would be delighted that so many students here feel the same way. I’m sure Steve would have patted Lewis on the back and said ‘well done’ to him and the other finalists.”
The late radio journalist Steve Becker
The judges particularly liked the creativity of his entry. We are delighted to be able to remember Steve by celebrating student radio work in this way.
Liverpool FC fan Lewis is now getting ready for his Media City placement and hoping to spend it with BBC Sport. UCLan broadcast journalism lecturer Fiona Steggles congratulated him.
She said: “Lewis is a worthy recipient of the first Steve Becker Award. The judges particularly liked the creativity of his entry. We are delighted to be able to remember Steve by celebrating student radio work in this way.”
Current BA (Hons) Journalism student Georgia Macey was the runner up of this inaugural award.