Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Regional Press Awards are alive and kicking

Previous winners of Newspaper of the Year:
The Hull Daily Mail journalists enjoy the party

I am delighted to report that the Regional Press Awards are alive and kicking again, especially as they will be organised by the industry with profits going to the  Journalists’ Charity. The Society of Editors Regional Press Awards, which are announced today, will fill the void left when the previous awards were 'rested' last year. This time around Newspaper Society members have pledged their support, as have Holdthefrontpage and The Press Association. Entries open on February 14,  shortlists will be published in early April and an awards lunch will be held in London on May 11, to coincide with Local Newspaper Week. I will be chairing the judges again, making sure it is all meticulously fair. I know there are other awards around and all credit to those who organise them. But I have long held the view that the industry itself should celebrate the excellence that runs through its newspapers, applaud the journalists who go that extra yard every day, recognise the editors who invest in off-diary work and innovation - particularly in such testing circumstances. Well done to Bob Satchwell, the SoE's executive director, for working tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure this has happened. He will oversee the awards in consultation with Lynne Anderson, communications director of the NS. The details, including the categories which will recognise journalists from all fields from regional dailies, weeklies and websites, will be announced soon. In the meantime start digging out your best work and keep May 11 clear in the diary. I will post regular updates here.
Comment from John Meehan, editor at the Hull Daily Mail"This is really good news for the regional media industry at a time when good news is in short supply. Congratulations to all at the Society of Editors and the Newspaper Society who have made this happen. The event deserves strong support from the industry. Now more than ever we need to celebrate editorial excellence."

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