The Argus has scooped five top awards at the EDF Energy London and the South of England Media Awards 2007, run in association with holdthefrontpage.
Its haul included Daily Newspaper of the Year, Website of the Year, Sports Journalist of the Year, News Photographer of the Year and Environmental Journalist of the Year.
Other big winners were the Gravesend Messenger, which won Community Campaign of the Year and Front Page of the Year.
BBC South East came out best of the broadcasters, with an award for Television Journalist of the Year and Television News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year.
More than 160 journalists were at the event at Sandown Park Racecourse in Surrey, to find out what the judges had decided after a record 250 entries were submitted.
The Brighton Argus ranked very highly with every judge for its Daily Newspaper of the Year entry, “grabbing the news agenda and willing to take risks for great stories”.
The judges said: “Its entry included its coverage of the fireworks factory blast in which two firefighters died; its 28-page wrap-around souvenir supplement on the Queen’s visit to Brighton; and its coverage of Brighton and Hove Albion’s battle – and eventual victory – to get a new football stadium.
“The judges thought the whole paper was very readable, with a great mix of hard and light news.”
Argus editor Michael Beard said: “It is a reflection of a year’s hard work where we have all pulled together to produce a great newspaper and website. I am extremely proud of my team.”
The Paid-For Weekly Newspaper of the Year was the Hampshire Chronicle, “a ‘proper’ weekly with fantastic content”, according to the judges.
They said: “It had a string of exclusives, along with strong features, sport, a leisure guide, columnists, nostalgia and reader input, all backed by a good website. It’s all helped achieve two back-to-back six monthly ABC-audited sales increases. The judges said they would definitely buy it.”
Free Weekly of the Year was the Bexley Times, re-launched last year as a lively title in Archant’s stable of well-established Times editions.
The judges said: “Its strong news, sport and lifestyle content have made it a hit with its 70,000 readership.
“Hard-hitting campaigns at the paper have included one to save Queen Mary’s Hospital accident and emergency unit. From the start the campaign involved local people, with many stepping forward to give their stories on the much-loved hospital.
“The paper’s bold, new design has given it the nickname of ‘Sexley Bexley’ with its staff.”
Full roll call of winners and runners-up:
Daily Newspaper of the Year
WINNER: The Argus
The News, Portsmouth
Daily Echo, Bournemouth
Southern Daily Echo
Weekly Newspaper of the Year (Paid-for)
WINNER: Hampshire Chronicle
Weekly Newspaper of the Year (Free)
WINNER: Bexley Times
Front Page of the Year
WINNER: Gravesend Messenger – BNP
The Argus – Teenage Kicks
Kentish Express – Shaken but not stirred
Daily Echo, Bournemouth – Scarred for life
Gravesend Messenger – SNAP!
Print Journalist of the Year (Daily)
WINNER: Emily Pykett The News, Portsmouth
Lawrence Marzouk, The Argus
Louise Acford, The Argus
Print Journalist of the Year (Weekly)
WINNER: Dhruti Shah, Harrow Observer
Graham Russell, Gravesend Messenger
Michael Adkins, Kentish Times
Vicky O’Hare, Gazette Newspapers
Television Journalist of the Year
WINNER: Richard Smith, BBC South East Today
Radio Journalist of the Year
WINNER: Ed Cook BBC Radio Kent
Paul Jenner, BBC Southern Counties Radio
Kathryn Langley, Southern FM
Ben Taylor, LBC Radio
Thomas Cheal, LBC Radio
Newcomer of the Year
WINNER: Rob Gillett, Southern FM
Ellie Dyer, Kensington and Chelsea News
Mark McQuillan, LBC Radio
Chloe Mayer, Barking and Dagenham Recorder
Jocelyn Cook, Crawley News
TV News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year
WINNER: BBC South East Today
Radio News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year
WINNER: David Drozdiak, LBC Nightly News
Claire Mewse, Eagle Radio 96.4
BBC Radio Kent, John Warnett Breakfast
Website of the Year
WINNER: The Argus
Daily Echo, Bournemouth
Feature Writer of the Year
WINNER: Tim Harrison, London Informer
Robert Leslie, BBC Kent
Sarah Nicholls, Western Gazette
Natalie Bruckner, Daily Echo, Bournemouth
Columnist of the Year
WINNER: Neal Butterworth, Daily Echo, Bournemouth
Melody Ryall, Kentish Times
Ed Perkins, Daily Echo, Bournemouth
News photographer of the Year
WINNER: Simon Dack, The Argus
Terry Applin, The Argus
Stuart Emmerson, Harrow & Wembley Observer
Richard Crease, Daily Echo, Bournemouth
Sports Journalist of the Year
WINNER: Andy Naylor, The Argus
Sam Munnery, East Surrey & Sussex News and Media
Daniel Jones, Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser
Neil Allen, Portsmouth News
Business Journalist of the Year
WINNER: Gareth Lewis, Southern Daily Echo
Trevor Sturgess, Kent Messenger
Environmental Journalist of the Year
WINNER: Sarah Lewis, The Argus
Community Campaign of the Year
WINNER: Gravesend Messenger – Axe the tax