NEWS 

Lyra McKee honoured at Regional Press Awards

Murdered journalist Lyra McKee was honoured posthumously at Friday’s Regional Press Awards where the industry came together to recognise excellence in journalism.

Lyra McKee honoured at Regional Press Awards
Lyra McKee

The Belfast Telegraph and Glasgow’s Sunday Herald were among publications named as papers of the year for their work during 2018.

In other categories, says the Society of Editors, awards recognised the innovation and vitality shown in the regional and local news sector, in particular in the digital field where the Manchester Evening News was awarded Best Website of the Year.

Lyra McKee’s mother Joan McKee and sister Nichola Corner attended the awards lunch in the heart of London to accept the Journalists’ Charity Award on her behalf. The award, is in the gift of the charity, recognises a journalist or organisation who has made a significant contribution to the industry. Lyra was shot and killed while reporting on rioting in Derry/Londonderry a month ago aged just 29.

Society of Editors executive director Ian Murray said the award for Lyra recognised her achievements during her short career, but also highlighted the risks that journalists even at local level take in bringing news to their communities.

“The awards this year were never more needed to recognise the vital and on-going role of the regional and local press,” commented Murray.

“They coincide with the launch of the Journalism Matters Campaign, launched by the News Media Association, and underscore the message there that communities would be immeasurably poorer but for the work carried out by their local newspapers and associated websites.

“From covering local democracy to ensuring open justice the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, the local media is alive and playing a vital role, and these awards prove what good shape the industry is in.”

The Society of Editors organises the awards on behalf of the industry.

The winners:

JOURNALISTS’ CHARITY AWARD

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Recipient: Lyra McKee

YOUNG JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR

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Aamir Mohammed, WalesOnline

“With coverage of some big contemporary issues, from life in the underbelly of Cardiff’s drug scene, to the dark web. Judges were particularly impressed by the extraordinary story of a Welsh girl abducted as a baby to war-torn Yemen. The winner of Young Journalist of the Year is Aamir Mohammed of WalesOnline.”

BUSINESS AND FINANCE JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR

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Alistair Houghton, Liverpool Echo

“The judges said that the winner’s analysis of Merseyside business issues was told with unerring focus on the effects of key issues on the lives of readers. The Business and Finance Journalist for 2018 is Alistair Houghton of the Liverpool Echo.”

SPECIALIST WRITER/ IMPACT JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR

Marion Scott, Sunday Post

“The judges said that the winner produced immensely powerful journalism, the story of donated organs that gave transplant patients cancer instead of saving their lives, grabbed headlines at home and around the world. The winner of Specialist Writer – Impact Journalist of the Year goes to Marion Scott of the Sunday Post.”

SUPPLEMENT OF THE YEAR

Chalktalk, Evening Telegraph

“The judges said that few newspapers who try to involve school children pull it off as well as this entry did, praising the combination of high production values of the daily title with the words of the young people themselves. The top Supplement of the Year in 2018 is the Evening Telegraph’s Chalktalk.”

COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR DAILY PAPERS

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Carolyn Hitt, The Western Mail

“The judges said her columns gave Wales a voice. Often personal and amusing this columnist knows her readers well. Columnist of the Year Daily Papers is Carolyn Hitt of the Western Mail.”

COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR WEEKLY PAPERS

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Mike Lockley, Sunday Mercury

With an easy and entertaining style this columnist uses well-crafted comedy and anecdote to make telling points. Columnist of the Year Weekly Papers is Mike Lockley of the Sunday Mercury.

SPORTS JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR DAILY PAPERS

Paul Abbandonato, WalesOnline

“A clutch of classic articles, from in-depth analysis and brilliant interviews to genuine exclusives. The judges were impressed by the Ryan Giggs managerial appointment exclusive that even some Welsh FA officials were unaware of. Sports Journalist of the Year Daily Papers goes to Paul Abbandonato of the WalesOnline.”

SPORTS JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR WEEKLY PAPERS

Jon Colman, The Cumberland News

“A consistently strong spread of stories, highlights included an exclusive on the Syrian billionaire trying to buy Carlisle football club. Sports Journalist of the Year Weekly Papers goes to Jon Colman of The Cumberland News.”

SOCIAL MEDIA JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR

Mal McCann, The Irish News

“The judges said that 2018 saw the winner expertly use image and video to tell stories and engage with audiences. Social Media Journalist of the Year is Mal McCann of The Irish News.”

DATA JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR

Martin Williams, The Herald

“The winner mixed strong journalism with reader interaction to create engaging reads on topics such as ScotRail’s timetable shambles and the decline of Scottish salmon. The winner of Data Journalist of the Year 2018 is Martin Williams, The Herald.”

DIGITAL LIVE NEWS REPORTER OF THE YEAR

Kristian Johnson, Leeds Live

“The winner’s portfolio showcased impressive short documentary skills along with interesting and untold stories. The winner of Digital Live News Reporter of the Year is Kristian Johnson, Leeds Live.”

DIGITAL LIVE SPORTS REPORTER OF THE YEAR

Michael Bailey, The Pink Un

“The winner is a polished and professional presenter, following Norwich City with personality and humour, the winner of Digital Live Sports Reporter goes to Michael Bailey at The Pink Un.”

REPORTING COMMUNITIES AWARD

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BirminghamLive, Birmingham Live

“The judges praised the well-crafted coverage that focused on major festivals in the Muslim calendar, informing the wider readership of events and their background. The winner of the Reporting Communities Award for 2018 goes to Birmingham Live”

WEEKLY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

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Keith Heppell, Cambridge Independent

“The winner had a portfolio of superbly timed photography, that expertly captured the magnitude of big local moments. The winner of Weekly Photographer for 2018 is Keith Heppell of the Cambridge Independent.”

DAILY/SUNDAY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR

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Simon Hulme, The Yorkshire Post

“The winner produced stunning images, capturing moments that others have overlooked, judges praised the canny use of lighting and lenses throughout the portfolio. Winner of Daily / Sunday Photographer of the Year goes to Simon Hulme, The Yorkshire Post.”

FEATURE WRITER /LONG FORM JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR

Jennifer William, Manchester Evening News

“The winner showed that painstaking and solid research underpins quality journalism, judges were impressed by the thorough investigation into Manchester homelessness. The Feature Writer – Long Form Journalist of the Year for 2018 goes to Jennifer Williams of the Manchester Evening News.”

WEEKLY REPORTER OF THE YEAR

Charles Thomson, Yellow Advertiser

“The winner impressed judges with the depth of investigative journalism displayed in the entries with stories that amply demonstrate the tremendous value of local reporting. Weekly Reporter of the Year for 2018 goes to Charles Thomson of the Yellow Advertiser.”

DAILY/SUNDAY REPORTER OF THE YEAR

Martyn McLaughlin, The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday

“The winner’s painstaking research and dogged determination led to a marvellous investigation into Donald Trump’s golfing activities in Scotland, a story of local, national and international interest. The Daily/Sunday Reporter of the Year 2018 is Martyn McLaughlin of The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday.”

DESIGNER OF THE YEAR: NEWSPAPER

Kelly Leung, The Journal

“The judges said that the winner’s portfolio showcased a superb use of graphics as well as excellent design techniques for easy on the eye visual work. Designer of the Year: Newspapers is Kelly Leung of Reach Data Unit.”

DESIGNER OF THE YEAR: MAGAZINE

Gus Proctor, The Courier and Advertiser

“The winner submitted a portfolio demonstrating clean and expressive work which made features leap out of the page. Judges said the entries were brilliantly conceived as well as executed. The winner of Designer of the Year: Magazines goes to Gus Procter, The Courier and Advertiser.”

MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR

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Cumbria Life magazine, Cumbria Life

“Judges described the winning magazine as confident, authoritative and full of engaging content. With great writers, strong production values and a clear passion for their patch the winner of Magazine of the Year 2018 is Cumbria Life magazine.”

FRONT PAGE OF THE YEAR DAILY PAPER

Armistice 100, The Yorkshire Post

“The judges said that the winning front page perfectly captured the importance of the Armistice centenary with a dignified and elegant touch. The winner of Front page of the Year Daily Paper goes to The Yorkshire Post with Armistice 100.”

FRONT PAGE OF THE YEAR WEEKLY PAPER

Here’s one chimney Santa didn’t climb down, Cambridge Independent

“The judges said that the winning front page held a fantastic image capturing a truly impressive demolition of a historic brickwork chimney, supplied with a nice touch of seasonal humour. Front Page of the Year Weekly Papers 2018 goes to the Cambridge Independent with Here’s One Chimney Santa Didn’t Climb Down.”

SCOOP OF THE YEAR

Bogus doctor’s life of lies, News & Star

“The winner was a story of significant public interest with major ramifications. The judges called this a classic: a local reporter has a hunch, follows it up and scoops the world. The winner of Scoop of the Year 2018 goes to the News & Star for Bogus doctor’s life of lies.”

WEBSITE OF THE YEAR

Manchester Evening News

“The winner combined elegant headlines and compelling storytelling with smart use of audience engagement to stand out in the digital crowd. Website of the Year for 2018 goes to the Manchester Evening News.”

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR DAILY PAPER

One North, The Yorkshire Post

“The winner was chosen by judges for leading more than 20 regional titles in uniting against the poor northern train services. This entry demonstrated the collective power of Britain’s regional press. The winner of Campaign of the Year Daily Paper is One North by The Yorkshire Post.”

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR WEEKLY PAPER

Newry Clean-Up, Newry Reporter

“The winner goes to an environmental campaign that showed the power of hands-on collaboration between the public and environmental groups to engage in a transformative and lasting clear-up. The winner of Campaign of the Year Weekly Paper is Newry Clean-Up by the Newry Reporter.”

MAKE A DIFFERENCE ~ PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD - #JOURNALISMMATTERS

Yellow Advertiser, Shoebury Sex Ring Exposed

“The winner of the Making a Difference People’s Choice Award goes to an investigatory campaign into child sex abuse that required tenacity, intelligence and courage. Hours of work has led to the police investigation being reopened and the victims’ stories being told at last. The winner of the Making a Difference People’s Choice Award is the Yellow Advertiser with Shoebury Sex Ring Exposed.”

SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM OF THE YEAR

WalesOnline

“The winner demonstrated powerful storytelling using innovative and original ideas to publish breaking news. Judges liked the overall tone of the content and experimental nature of much of the work. Social Media Team of the Year for 2018 goes to Wales Online.”

DIGITAL INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR

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Geraint the Robot Reporter, WalesOnline

“The winner is an innovative piece of technology that dramatically saves reporters’ time. Using Amazon’s text-to-speech service to make software that transforms a written report into an mp3 file for audio news reports, the Winner of Digital Initiative of the Year 2018 is Geraint the Robot Reporter from Wales Online.”

THE OVERALL DIGITAL AWARD

Liverpool Echo

“The winner is an excellent example of quality journalism thriving online. A comprehensive digital offering with impressive co-ordination across various online tools to engage audiences. Winner of The Overall Digital Award 2018 is the Liverpool Echo.”

INNOVATION AND INITIATIVE AWARD

Norfolk Day, Eastern Daily Press

“The winner was a well-executed initiative that produced some excellent content culminating in the creation of a day celebrating the community spirit in the county of Norfolk. Innovation and Initiative Award 2018 goes to the Eastern Daily Press for Norfolk Day.”

THE CATHRYN NICOLL INTERVIEWER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Molly Williams, Sheffield Star

“The winner showed a classic example of public interest journalism, an extensive interview that gave readers a unique glimpse into the world of Sheffield City Council’s leader. Winner of The Cathryn Nicoll Interviewer of the Year Award is Molly Williams of the Sheffield Star.”

FREE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR

Slough & Windsor Express

“The judges said that the winner’s coverage of two royal weddings and a visit by President Trump put them in the international spotlight. Owned by a charitable trust that puts 80 percent of its profits back into the community it serves, the winner of Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year is the Slough and Windsor Express.”

PAID FOR WEEKLY NEWSPAPER (BELOW 10,000)

Sponsored by Facebook

Henley Standard

“The winner is a paper that has maintained its tradition of solid, in depth reporting with a variety of news, features, diary items, investigations and campaigns. Its small team covers it all. The winner of Paid for Weekly Newspaper Below 10,000 circulation is the Henley Standard.”

PAID FOR WEEKLY NEWSPAPER (ABOVE 10,000)

Sponsored by Facebook

Newbury Weekly News

“The winning paper features a comprehensive package of strong stories, in-depth community news pages, a vibrant entertainment section and lively letters pages. This year’s winner of Paid for Weekly Newspaper Above 10,000 circulation is the Newbury Weekly News.”

DAILY/SUNDAY NEWSPAPER (BELOW 15,000)

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Herald on Sunday

“The winner was a paper that emerged in the summer of 2018, creating a new, fresh, and modern approach that packed a punch but didn’t follow the crowd. Offering excellent journalism with fresh and powerful designs, the winner of Daily/Sunday Newspaper below 15,000 circulation is the Herald on Sunday.”

DAILY/SUNDAY NEWSPAPER (ABOVE 15,000)

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Belfast Telegraph

“The winner, however, had a truly exceptional year. The paper prides itself as Northern Ireland’s leading daily in print and online, with an outstanding 148-year reputation for impartial, in depth coverage. Selling across the sectarian and political divides to unionists and nationalists, Catholics and Protestants, this paper demands to be read. Winner of Daily/Sunday Newspaper of the Year above 15,000 circulation is the Belfast Telegraph.”