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EDP honoured for war zone charity work

The Eastern Daily Press has received a major international award for helping thousands of tragic children and refugees in some of the world’s most horrific war zones.

The award was picked up by the paper’s deputy editor James Ruddy, who has handled tonnes of aid, contracted malaria and been shot during the campaign.

For the past eight years, readers of the EDP have donated hundreds of thousands of pounds in cash to support its appeals, which have gone to the very heart of wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Sierra Leone.

That effort has now been rewarded with a unique award from Britain’s leading organisation for the promotion of media coverage of the suffering of countries in crisis, The One World Broadcasting Trust.

Deputy editor James Ruddy, who has championed the appeals over the years, was given the Unique Achievement award by Channel 4’s Jon Snow during a glittering ceremony at London’s Grosvenor Square Marriott Hotel.

The television presenter said: “The jury agreed that we should make an exceptional personal award to James Ruddy of the Eastern Daily Press for his unswerving dedication to the cause of children suffering in war zones from Bosnia to Sierra Leone.

“Despite being a full-time deputy editor, James has devoted every spare minute to reporting and fundraising for these desperate people.

“This exceptional award goes to James personally – he’s physically manhandled tonnes of aid, contracted malaria and been shot at – and to the paper’s editor, Peter Franzen, for having the tenacity to stick with what almost amounts to an obsession over the years.”

One World Trust director Ritchie Cogan also paid tribute to the EDP. He said: “This is the first time we have had a regional newspaper in head-on competition and winning against the nationals in this way. The judges recognised that the nationals have vast teams of journalists doing major world stories.

“But here was a regional newspaper with all the usual pressures and a deputy editor creating campaigns and following them through with the readers being involved all the way along the line. It is a superb example of compassionate journalism in action.”

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