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Echo is named regional newspaper of the year

The Lincolnshire Echo has been named Regional Newspaper of the Year, at the Newspaper Society’s Circulation, Editorial and Promotions Awards.

The judges said it was “innovative on a quiet patch”, and its bold campaigning was praised for its intrepid efforts “to do things differently”.

The annual awards dinner, held last night at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, celebrated the best of the best from the regional and local press across the country, acknowledging successful and innovative sales, promotions and editorial excellence.

David Newell, director of the Newspaper Society said: “This year’s entries really reflected the dynamic and community-driven nature of the regional press today.

“There were some extremely strong candidates, making the judges’ decision incredibly difficult and proving yet again the consistency in quality and editorial excellence of regional newspapers.”

Sunday Mercury reporter Jeanette Oldham scooped the Journalist Of The Year title.

Judges said that from a particularly strong entry they had selected “a reporter who really knows how to tell a story”.

Jeanette’s portfolio included the Sunday Mercury exclusive about two gay dads who had been allowed to foster three young children, a story followed up by just about every national newspaper.

The awards for Campaigning Daily Newspaper of the Year and Campaigning Weekly Newspaper of the Year went to the Evening Times Glasgow and the North Shropshire Chronicle respectively.

Alison Hastings, media commentator and one of the judges, said: “The campaigning newspaper of the year and journalist categories were particularly strong this year and really stood out. It was great to see so many papers fighting on behalf of their readers.”

Selecting winners for these categories is often a close call, with judges having to make some really tough decisions. They were particularly impressed with this year’s winners, and were unanimous on the eventual winner, the Evening Times Glasgow, which “shone by galvanising support from the community, and reaching into the heart of campaign”.

The North Shropshire Chronicle was also praised for “making a difference” with judges commenting that the paper enabled the community to really get involved with the campaign.

The winners were presented their awards on stage by Nigel Pickover, editor of the Evening Star, Sandra Ciufinni, consumer marketing manager of Coventry Newspapers, and David Newell, director of the Newspaper Society, together with the sponsors for this year’s event from Pontins, Paperview, Media Solutions, JICREG and Dipinto.

A full list of editorial winners and runners-up can be found here.

  • The South Wales Argus has beat stiff competition from other regional newspapers for the third year running to collect the special merit award at the NS annual Sales Increase Awards – sponsored by Northcliffe Newspapers Group – for consistent growth over a three-year period.