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Sentinel Sunday is named Newspaper of the Year

Sentinel Sunday has been named Newspaper of the Year at the Midlands Media Awards – completing a hat-trick for the Stoke based news team.

Staff at the Sunday paper also produce daily The Sentinel, and have picked up the Newspaper of the Year title for the past three years.

The award was one of 13 presented last night during a ceremony at the Great Hall at the University of Birmingham, compared by Andrew Pierce, assistant editor of The Times.

He was also one of the judges for the competition, and said the Sentinel Sunday had been “head and shoulders” above the rest of the competition.

He said: “Sentinel Sunday is a real class act. I had not seen it before and was astonished by the quality of it – it was head and shoulders above the rest of the entries.

“In fact, it is probably the best regional newspaper I have ever seen. You would read that newspaper even if it was not reporting on your area.”

Staffordshire Sentinel Newspapers editor-in-chief Sean Dooley said: “I am delighted the team that produces both The Sentinel and Sentinel Sunday have been honoured for producing the best newspapers in the region for the third year running.

“It is a remarkable achievement.”

Other newspapers celebrating last night included the Sunday Mercury, which picked up two top awards.

Mercury journalist Jeanette Oldham was named News Reporter of the Year (daily) and Zoe Chamberlain won The Richard Williamson Award for feature Writer of the Year.

The Gloucestershire Echo also picked up two awards, with Jo Harvell winning Sports Photographer of the Year and its news team winning Scoop of the Year – the result of four years’ of work on the largest fraud operation in the UK, which involved crooked Cheltenham solicitor Tim Robinson and 28 others.

The Echo covered five separate trials as part of their coverage, but couldn’t report anything until October 29 last year, when they successfully applied for prohibitive reporting restrictions to be lifted.

Andrew Sparrow, chairman of the Birmingham Press Club, which organised the awards, said: “The success of all the winners once again demonstrates the depth of talent in the Midlands media industry.

“Our judging panel were keen to express how good the entries from the up and coming generation of journalists was, which means the future of the industry is in good hands.”

Other category winners were:

News Reporter of the Year (Weekly)
Ben Bentley, Sutton Coldfield Observer

Newcomer of the Year
Jessica Shepherd, Birmingham Post

News Photographer of the Year
Emily Barber, Leicester Mercury

Sports Journalist of the Year
Hyder Jawad, Birmingham Post

Business Journalist of the Year
Jon Griffin, Birmingham Evening Mail

Magazine of the Year
Henry Carpenter, The Shropshire Magazine

Headline of the Year
Fran Llewellyn, Shropshire Journal

Trevor Roberts Award
Matt Short, Leicester Mercury

Irritant of the Year
West Midlands Police Press Office