The best of British regional newspaper journalism is to be celebrated at an ‘Oscars-style’ lunchtime awards ceremony in London in May.
Entries for the Society of Editors’ Regional Press Awards will open on 13 February with prizes to be handed out on 25 May at Savoy Place.
The industry’s premier awards are being organised for the second year running by the Society of Editors with the support of the Press Association, Asda and HoldtheFrontPage.
Also associated with the awards are energy company UK Power Networks, local press industry body the Newspaper Society, and lottery operator Camelot.
Entries will open on 13 February and close on March 7 with shortlists published on 17 April.
Full details of the awards will be available at a dedicated website www.theregionalpressawards.org.uk which will carry details of categories and offer guidance on how to register and enter the awards.
Paul Horrocks, former editor of the Manchester Evening News and SoE president in 2007, is to replace Peter Sands as chairman of the judges.
Peter has decided to step down after taking a non-executive director’s position with regional publisher Northcliffe Media.
Costs of the event will be covered by entry fees, which are being frozen at no more than last year’s figure of £25+VAT, table sales and sponsorship.
Any surplus will be donated to the Journalists’ Charity.
Society of Editors executive director Bob Satchwell said: “We are again pleased to help celebrate the brilliant journalism in local and regional newspaper which provides a terrific service to communities across the UK against a difficult economic background and continued pressure of dramatic change in the wider media industry.”
HoldtheFrontPage publisher Paul Linford added: “We were pleased to help out with last year’s successful revival of the awards by the Society of Editors and we are proud to continue to be associated with this great event.”
Geraldine Allinson, president of the Newspaper Society and chairman of Kent Messenger Group, said: “No other media can replicate the regional and local press. Our newspapers scrutinise those in authority, support local businesses and campaign on behalf of our readers.
“I am delighted we will have the opportunity through these awards to recognise and applaud the editorial excellence which is at the heart of our industry.”