The Sentinel has been named West Midlands Newspaper of the Year at an event to reward the best of the region’s press.
For the second year running the top prize at the West Midlands Media Awards went to the Stoke Sentinel and Sentinel Sunday, which are produced by the same news team.
Guest speaker David Mellor was controversial as ever, declaring his backing for the shamed soccer pundit Ron Atkinson, whose racist comments hit the headlines this week.
The former MP went on to divide his audience by asking for a show of hands on whether or not they supported Big Ron.
In the other categories, Sentinel staff also picked up two awards, as Claire Lewis was named News Photographer of the Year and Michael Baggaley won Sports Journalist of the Year.
The Birmingham Evening Mail also scooped three awards.
Lisa McCarthy picked up the coveted prize for News Reporter of the Year (Daily).
Chris Morley won the award for Business Journalist of the Year.
And colleague Guy Newey was named Newcomer of the Year.
Mike Lockley, editor of the Cannock Chase Post, walked away with the award for Headline of the Year thanks to his memorable headline One-legged lotto winner spends cash on sex change.
The prestigious award for Scoop of the Year was awarded to Keith Wilkinson, of Central Television, for his in-depth and moving report on Michael Shirley’s release from prison after serving more than 15 years for a murder he didn’t commit.
Andrew Sparrow, chairman of the Birmingham Press Club, which organised the awards, said: “The success of all the winners demonstrates the depth of talent that the region’s media industry currently has to offer.
“This year we received more than double the amount of entries for the awards, which made the judging panel’s decision, when choosing the winners for each category, extremely difficult.
“There were a lot of strong entries and, if this year’s event is anything to go by, I’m sure next year’s will be just as, if not even more, successful.”
The awards were handed out at a ceremony at the ICC in Birmingham.
Other winners included:
Feature Writer of the Year:
Caroline Foulkes, The Birmingham Post
News Reporter of the Year (Weekly):
Caroline Wheeler, Sunday Mercury
Sports Photographer of the Year:
Tim Harley-Easthope, Birmingham Post & Mail
Magazine of the Year:
Trevor Roberts Award:
Richard Harris, Walsall Observer
A special category for Irritant of the Year, as voted for by attendees on the night, was awarded to Marketing Birmingham.
The awards was sponsored by a number of leading local businesses including: Travel West Midlands; South Birmingham College; The University of Birmingham; Kroll; Advantage West Midlands; Flybe; Ethos; Open Box Publishing; Headline Communications; Lecote Solicitors; and Birmingham and Solihull Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
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