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Judges decide on EDF Energy London and South of England Media Awards

The judges for the EDF Energy London and South of England Media Awards 2006 have completed their judging and made their decisions on who will be named as the best in local and regional journalism.

They spent more than eight hours locked in a room at a Crawley hotel for the decision-making process.

They cast an expert eye over all 19 categories for the contest, which covers Dorset, Hampshire, Sussex, Kent, Surrey and London.

And the shortlist of nominees, made up of print and broadcast journalists, is now ready for invitations to go out to the finalists for the winners’ ceremony next month.

Cash prizes are up for grabs, with £100 on offer for individual winners, as well as trophies and certificates. The awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Corn Exchange, Brighton, on Monday, October 23, with a meal and drinks courtesy of the sponsors for all nominees and their guests.

The Brighton event will also raise money for the Journalists’ Charity, which benefits journalists and their dependents in times of personal difficulty.

The judges who pored over more than 150 entries from 50 publications, radio and television stations, have expertise in all areas of the media.

They are:

  • Nigel Bowles – co-director of John Connor Press Associates
      Nigel started in press photography 20 years ago working on weekly newspapers on the south coast before moving to The Argus where he spent five years on the picture desk. He left to set up the photographic department at John Connor Press Associates, where award-winning photographers take pictures for the national press, magazine and a number of corporate clients.

  • Aynsley Davidson – editor of the Braintree & Witham Times

      Aynsley joined the Colchester Evening Gazette/Braintree and Witham Times as a trainee at the Braintree office before moving to the Colchester Evening Gazette, serving as senior reporter and later health reporter, then assistant group news editor.
      In 1998 he moved to the East Anglian Daily Times as assistant news editor, becoming deputy news editor in 2000 and news editor in 2001.
      He became editor of the Braintree and Witham Times, Halstead Gazette, Stansted Life and Braintree and Witham Weekly News titles last year, helping the Gazette post a 5.4 per cent ABC increase for Jan-Jun.

  • Karen Ainley – media trainer
      Former BBC local radio and regional TV reporter and presenter Karen began her journalism career as a reporter on evening and weekly local papers and is an experienced CIPR-approved media trainer.

  • Claire Byrd – EDF Energy regional media manager
      EDF Energy’s Claire Byrd completes the judging line-up. She is a former news editor and assistant editor of The Argus, in Brighton, and is now heading up EDF Energy’s regional media activity across the country.

    The awards are held in conjunction with and the shortlist of nominees will be published here next week.