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KMG journos sweep awards list

Kent Messenger Group reporters swept the board in the county’s premier journalism awards.

Paul Francis, the group’s political correspondent, was named Shepherd Neame Kent Journalist of the Year at an award ceremony in Faversham and won £250 and a silver salver.

Alan Watkins, former press chief with the now-defunct Gillingham council and now a reporter with the Gravesend Messenger, was highly commended in the same category.

Judges Lord Bill Deedes of the Daily Telegraph, broadcaster Bob Holness, Bob Driscoll and Martin Jackson, both formerly with the Daily Mail, and Daily Mail showbusiness editor Alison Boshoff – a former Kent journalist of the year – praised both reporters.

Helen Cockersole, a reporter at the Kent Messenger’s office in Maidstone, was highly commended in the Young Journalist of the Year category and the judges praised her “straighforward no-nonsense reporting.”

Mike Bennett, news editor of the Ashford-based Kentish Express, another KMGtitle, received a special judges’ award for his services to journalism over the past 40 years.

Click here for more on Mike’s award.

The Gravesend Reporter scooped the Highly Commended Award in the Campaign category at the awards. The campaign helped bring back English speaking movies to Gravesend’s ABC Cinema.

Reporters from Meridian Broadcasting also picked up two awards. David Glencorse won the Bishops Finger Kent Broadcast Journalist of the Year award and colleague Charles Lambert walked off with the Spitfire Journalist of the Year title.

Dennis Fowle, editor of the Downs Mail, won the Campaign of the Year Award for his successful Jade Crossing Appeal to build a pedestrian bridge over an accident blackspot on the A249 following the deaths of eight-year old Jade Hobbs and her grandmother.

Alex Hoad, of the Folkestone Herald, was named Kent Young Journalist of the Year.

This year’s 14th annual awards attracted nearly 100 entries from 86 journalists working in radio, TV and 22 newspaper titles.

Back to the awards index

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