One of the North-West’s smallest evening papers has pipped big-city rivals to win the region’s Daily Newspaper of the Year prize.
The Newsquest-owned title beat the Liverpool Echo and Preston-based Lancashire Evening Post to the top prize at the 17th annual North West Newspaper Awards.
Circulation of The Bolton News stands at 29,552 according to the latest ABC figures, dwarfed by the Echo’s 106,401.
Ian Savage, editor-in-chief of The Bolton News, was presented with the award by TV news presenter Fiona Armstrong at the home of awards sponsors Sellafield.
Ian said: “I am delighted that the newspaper has won against some high quality opposition.
“It just goes to confirm my belief that we have a great team, not only in editorial, but in all departments.
“The judges particularly praised our coverage of local news and that is especially pleasing as I consider The Bolton News to be, above all things, a newspaper which cares about the community.”
Other winners include the Cumberland News, named Weekly Newspaper of the Year, and warringtonguardian.co.uk, which won best Weekly Newspaper Website.
Nicola Priest, editor of the Warrington Guardian, said: “This is a prestigious award and is a testament to all the hard work of our brilliant journalists as well as the valuable contribution of our readers.”
The Liverpool Daily Post took home a hat trick of awards with former staffer David Higgerson being crowned News Reporter of the Year while its digital arm won best Daily Newspaper Website.
Post and Echo snapper Colin Lane won photographer of the year.
Daily Post editor Mark Thomas said: “We’re very proud of what we have achieved online in a relatively short time; from our breaking news and video reports to the niche sites, live blogs and hugely popular Flickr group.
“We are constantly trying new ways to inform and engage our audience.
“I was particularly pleased for David as he has not only played a huge part in our online development but has also delivered some top-class scoops along the way.”
This year’s event attracted record entries from across the north-west of England in nine different categories.
The event was organised by the north-west branch of the Society of Editors with individual winners and runners-up taking home £700 and £150 cash prizes respectively.
The award winners are:
Daily Newspaper of the Year
Winner: Bolton News
Shortlisted: Liverpool Echo
Lancashire Evening Post
Weekly Newspaper of the Year
Winner: Cumberland News
Shortlisted: Chester Chronicle
Daily Newspaper Website of the Year
Winner: Liverpool Daily Post
Shortlisted: Lancashire Evening Post
Manchester Evening News
Weekly Newspaper Website of the Year
Winner: Warrington Guardian
Shortlisted: Westmorland Gazette
St Helens Star
News Reporter of the Year
Winner: David Higgerson, Liverpool Daily Post
Shortlisted: Neal Keeling, Manchester Evening News
Vanessa Cornall, Accrington Observer
Feature Writer of the Year
Winner: Paddy Shennan, Liverpool Echo
Shortlisted: Paul Taylor, Manchester Evening News
Wesley Wright, Bolton News
Sports Reporter of the Year
Winner: Amanda Little, News and Star (Carlisle), Cumberland News
Shortlisted: Tony Barrett, Liverpool Echo
Gordon Sharrock, Bolton News
Photographer of the Year
Winner: Colin Lane, Liverpool Daily Post and Echo
Shortlisted: Martin Birchall, Liverpool Daily Post and Echo
Matthew Ratcliffe, Stockport Express