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Northern Echo is named Newspaper of the Year

The Northern Echo is the new North East Newspaper of the Year – and its reporters received a series of individual trophies at this year’s Tom Cordner North East Press Awards ceremony.

Commenting on the main award, judges from around the country said: “Here is a title that represents its region and its readers with a confidence that combines gravitas and oomph.

“Nationwide events and issues are covered with the authority of a national title but it always keeps faith with its regional roots. This is Premier League journalism.”

The paper’s individual award winners were led by Mike Amos who was named Journalist of the Year for a record sixth time.

Mike, who writes John North, At Your Service, Gadfly and Backtrack, was also Columnist of the Year and highly commended in the Sports Writer of the Year category.

Women’s editor Christen Pears enjoyed a double triumph as Feature Writer of the Year and Women’s Writer of the Year.

And Liz Lamb was awarded one of the night’s other main prizes – the Young Journalist of the Year title.

Bishop Auckland district reporter Bessie Robinson won the Scoop of the Year for her revelation that County Durham policeman Nigel Miller was in action as a Premiership assistant referee while off work with stress.

Richard Davies won the award for the best front pages for the third consecutive year, while Steve Pratt was Arts Writer of the Year.

Echo editor Peter Barron said: “This impressive list of awards represents a tremendous tribute to The Northern Echo’s dedicated team of journalists and an endorsement of the paper’s unique blend of local, regional, and national news.”

Peter collected the trophy from former BBC chief news correspondent Kate Adie, a former member of the Cordner judging panel.

She grew up in Sunderland and gained her BA from the University of Newcastle where she read Swedish. Her broadcasting career began in the region, as a station assistant at Radio Durham.

The prize that bears Kate Adie’s name for Initiative in Journalism, which is for reporting that shows the ability to take a story that extra stage in the public interest, went to John Corney of the Sunderland Echo. His long-running campaign in the paper over air guns and their use resulted in a change in the law.

The Darlington & Stockton Times celebrated a hat-trick after being named North East Weekly Paper of the Year for the third consecutive time.

Photographic honours went to Newcastle-based titles.

Tim McGuinness, of The Journal, won the Best Picture prize for a shot of the ecstatic Whitley Bay football team as they celebrated winning the FA Vase, and Ian Buist of the Evening Chronicle was voted North East Photographer of the Year for producing the best overall portfolio of pictures.

  • The awards, set up in memory of respected North East journalist Tom Cordner, who died in 1976, are open to papers from Northumberland to North Yorkshire.

    Click here for the full list of winners.

    Back to the awards index

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    E-mail pastill@nep.co.uk