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Straightforward writing is rewarded

Journalists are to be rewarded for speaking in plain English at an annual awards ceremony.

The Plain English Campaign’s Media Awards will recognise both print and broadcast media.

The award for the Best Morning Newspaper will be collected by Metro.

And the Best Evening or Weekly Newspaper has been named as the London Evening Standard.

The judges’ citation said: “This free daily Metro newspaper is read by more than a million commuters in eight cities across the country.

“Its staff follow an important plain English guideline by writing with a specific audience in mind.

“The readers want a clearly-written mix of news, entertainment and information – and they want to finish reading it by the time they get to work. Metro gives the reader what they want.

“Our judges were particularly impressed with the way this Evening Standard took the personal approach.

“In a city the size of London, it is a difficult task to make the news relevant to every reader. The Evening Standard won the award for remembering that news is about people and how events affect their lives.”

Other winners were:

  • Best National Television Programme – Sunday with Adam Boulton (Sky News);
  • Best Regional Television Programme – North West Tonight (BBC North West);
  • Best National Radio Programme – You and Yours (BBC Radio 4);
  • Best Regional Radio Station – BBC Radio Humberside.

    Campaign spokesman John Lister said: “Journalists have a natural understanding for plain English – cutting through the waffle and turning complicated material into writing targeted at a particular audience.

    “Our judges looked for exceptional use of these skills, but also considered the work they had done to expose jargon and gobbledygook.”

    Radio 4’s John Humphrys will present the awards on Thursday – Plain English Day – as part of the Campaign’s annual awards ceremony.

    The ceremony also includes the infamous Golden Bulls – the booby prizes for gobbledygook.

  • The Plain English Campaign is an independent pressure group formed in 1979 to fight gobbledygook and unclear public information.

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