The Regional Press Awards were held on Friday last week to honour the best in journalism around Britain.
4Media were at London’s Institute of Engineering and Technology to help celebrate the country’s finest newspapers, journalists, photographers, designers and digital projects.
Co-ordinated by the Society of Editors and with a panel of 70 judges, the awards are the benchmark of excellence for Britain’s regional news outlets.
We were guests of Japan Tobacco International which sponsored two awards – Website of the Year, won by the Manchester Evening News (MEN) and the Overall Digital Award won by the Eastern Daily Press.
The MEN was the big winner of the day, walking off with no less than seven awards.
It followed a traumatic year for the city in the wake of the horror of the Manchester Arena bombing.
The MEN led the way for the entire nation in its reporting of the outrage, underlining the importance of regional journalism that knows and understands its readership.
In addition to website of the year, the paper won best feature writer (Chris Osuh), best specialist writer, front page of the year, social media team of the year, campaign of the year for #WeStandTogether and Daily newspaper of the year for the above 20,000 circulation section.
The Liverpool Echo’s Josh Parry won young journalist of the year and the paper’s Alistair Houghton also won business and financial journalist of the year.
The Echo also landed scoop of the year, with Joe Thomas’ splash on the five-year grooming campaign waged by two brothers from The Wirral.
North London’s proudly independent Camden New Journal was another big winner on the day, with William McLennan winning weekly reporter of the year
Carolyn Hitt of The Western Mail won columnist of the year and Jon Colman of the Cumberland News won the weekly sports journalist award.
The Irish News won two awards, with Cahair O’Kane scooping the daily / Sunday sports journalist prize and Brendan Hughes winning social journalist of the year.
The Reporting Communities award went to the Star in Sheffield.
Jeanette Oldham of the Birmingham Mail won the daily / Sunday reporter of the year.
Top regional photographers were Mark Williamson of the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald who won the weekly title and James Hardisty of the Yorkshire Post who won the daily / Sunday award.
Tracey Renowden of the Western Morning News was Designer of the Year and the Western Mail won Supplement of the Year.
The Cambs Times won the Making A Difference Award and Archant’s Databank won the Digital initiative Award for its data journalism project while Trinity Mirror’s Data Unit won the innovation and initiative prize.
Legendary journalism mentor Peter Sands won the Journalists’ Charity Award.
Top weekly paper below 15,000 was the Bucks Free Press and the best Daily / Sunday above 20,000 was The Mail.