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Award-winning trainee quits to join bookmaker

20140516-383B6738A regional daily reporter who won the industry’s top award for young journalists is leaving his paper to write for a firm of bookmakers.

Ben Leo of The Argus, was named Young Journalist of the Year at the 2014 Regional Press Awards, ironically for investigation into the growth of fixed-odds betting machines.

Now he has left the paper after three years to join bookmakers Marathonbet at their headquarters in Hove – writing about horse racing, football and other sport.

Ben told HTFP he would still be contributing some sports stories to the Argus on a voluntary basis, but said that it was “time to move on.”

He won the HTFP-sponsored award last year after highlighting an issue which was later taken up in every national newspaper and in Parliament.

Ben, pictured above right receiving his award from HTFP publisher Paul Linford, discovered that Sussex punters were spending £1bn a year on the machines.

Other recent job moves in the regional press include the following:

  • Reporter Rachel Butler has left the Derby Telegraph to become Midland press officer for the RSPCA.
  • Anthony Joseph, assistant content editor at the Evening Express, Aberdeen, has been appointed UK online reporter at MailOnline. Senior reporter Karen Roberts steps into his old role at the Evening Express.
  • The Coventry Telegraph has appointed news reporter Simon Gilbert as chief reporter.
  • Bucks Free Press and South Bucks Star have promoted Peter Grant to content editor. He was previously a reporter at the papers.
  • Simon Toft, previously features editor at The News, Portsmouth, has moved to the role of content editor.
  • Dave Burke has moved from the role of news editor at the Welwyn & Hatfield Times to join Archant sister title the Ham & High in the same role.
  • Peter Truman has stepped up from assistant news editor to deputy news editor at the Oxford Mail.

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  • August 13, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    So sad. That lad could have a great career but you can’t blame people his age for seeking out better opportunities, given the state we’re in. I hope someone at the Argus or indeed its owner is doing some soul-searching.

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  • August 13, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    1/100 shot that there’s a method in his madness :)

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