AddThis SmartLayers

Surprise award for journalists' champion

Journalist and NUJ stalwart John Bailey unexpectedly found himself on the receiving end at the annual North East Press Awards which he co-founded and has helped to organise for the past 20 years.

Colleagues gave a standing ovation and presented him with the unique Special Award during the 20th awards ceremony.

The well-known North East journalist, and former national president of the NUJ, was described as a “champion for the recognition of journalists’ work” by Society of Editors Northern Region chairman, Malcolm Warne, of the Darlington and Stockton Times.

He said: “This unique award goes to someone whose name is known throughout the news business.

“He is a mentor and colleague to a whole generation of journalists who now populate the newsrooms of the UK and beyond.

“We salute him as a champion for the recognition of journalists’ work.Bailey himself accepted the award with characteristic modesty and declared himself – uncharacteristically, but literally – speechless with gratitude.

His career has taken in the old Billingham Express, the Hartlepool Mail and Sunderland Echo, and he now handles media relations for Sunderland City Council.

In addition to his full time job he edits Northern Cross, the Catholic community monthly paper in the North East.

He is the only NE Awards organiser with continuous service throughout the 20-year run.

The event began with an award for trainee journalists in memory of County Durham journalist Tom Cordner, who died aged 38 in 1976. They now cover 27 categories for writing, subbing and photography.

From a get-together in a Hartlepool dance studio in 1981, the North East Press Awards has flourished to fill the banqueting suite of Newcastle Civic Centre and become on of the region’s leading corporate special occasions.

John Bailey’s marathon effort has covered everything from seeking out sponsors and rounding-up the trophies, to editing the programme, pinning up the displays, compering the Awards night and writing the prizewinners’ cheques.

Back to the awards index

Have you won an award? We’d love to hear from you.
E-mail us now for more details.