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Weekly Newspaper Award winners announced

The Newbury Weekly News and Hunts Post took the top honours at the Newspaper Society Weekly Newspaper Awards last night.

The Newbury Weekly News was crowned Paid-for Weekly Newspaper of the Year, judges hailing it as “a supreme example of how a paid-for newspaper should be produced”.

The Hunts Post walked away as Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year, with judges describing the entry as “a clear winner”.

They won through from the best of a number of regional categories from across the UK.

There were also a number of individual winners among editorial staff, with the full list below.

The North Somerset Times was another big winner, walking away with two awards for Most Unusual and/or Successful Revenue-producing Idea and Newspaper Community Award, as well as being Highly Commended for the Newspaper Campaigning Award, all in the free categories.

David Kerr, chairman of Clacksons, said: “The judges found many categories had a high number of quality presentations, which made judging very challenging.

“The standard of weekly newspapers for the 2005 awards reached new heights, and the winners and commendations were richly deserved.”

The Clacksons special award, developed to recognise an individual who has made a significant contribution to the continued development of the industry, was awarded to David Newell, director of the Newspaper Society.

Having worked in the industry for more than 20 years, David has been involved in guiding and representing the regional press through many significant changes and external influences, and has steadfastly continued to serve not only the Newspaper Society, but the industry as a whole.

Best News Journalist – Paid-for weekly newspapers

Winner: James Holt – North Shropshire Chronicle

Highly Commended Martin Sawden – Dartford Times
Highly Commended: Vickie Woodward – Shrewsbury Chronicle
Certificate of Merit Raymond Brown – Hertfordshire Mercury

Best News Journalist – Free weekly newspapers

Winner: Louisa Barnett – Borehamwood & Elstree Times

Highly Commended: Martin Shaw – The Press (Dewsbury)

Best Feature Journalist – Paid-for weekly newspapers

Winner: Jenni Frazer – The Jewish Chronicle

Highly Commended: Reg Little – The Oxford Times
Certificate of Merit: Paul Brackley – Hertfordshire Mercury
Certificate of Merit: Vickie Woodward – Shrewsbury Chronicle

Best Feature Journalist – Free weekly newspapers

Winner: Laura Vickers – Sutton Coldfield Observer

Highly Commended: Steve Neale – Yellow Advertiser (Basildon)
Certificate of Merit: Andrew Wragg – Cannock & Rugeley Mercury

Best Photographer – Paid-for weekly newspapers

Winner: Ed Godden – Reading Chronicle

Highly Commended: Stephen Cobb – West Sussex County Times
Certificate of Merit: Robert Bruce – The Northern Scot

Best Photographer – Free weekly newspapers

Winner: Gemma Marriner – News Guardian & News Post Leader

Highly Commended: Katharyn Boudet-Fenouillet – Bromley Extra
Highly Commended: Mark Cleveland – Yellow Advertiser (Basildon)

Newspaper Community Award – Paid-for weekly newspapers

Winner: Weston & Somerset Mercury – Top of the Pops

Highly Commended: Gazette & Herald (Wiltshire) – Springboard Appeal
Highly Commended: Kentish Times – Willow Wildlife Appeal
Highly Commended: Maidenhead Advertiser – Unsung Heroes
Highly Commended: Somerset County Gazette – Save our Meals on Wheels

Newspaper Community Award – Free weekly newspapers

Winner: North Somerset Times – Aquabox Appeal
Certificate of Merit: Southport Visiter – Southport Charity Fun Fest
Certificate of Merit: Yellow Advertiser (Basildon) – Access for All

Newspaper Campaigning Award – Paid-for weekly newspapers

Winner: North Shropshire Chronicle – Sink or Swim

Highly Commended: Weston & Somerset Mercury – Teach 2 Text
Certificate of Merit: Market Rasen Mail – Let safety be Heather’s memorial
Certificate of Merit: Rutland & Stamford Mercury – Save our Hospital

Newspaper Campaigning Award – Free weekly newspapers

Winner: Southport Visiter – Save our Schools

Highly Commended: North Somerset Times – Teach 2 Text
Highly Commended: Sutton Coldfield Observer – Time to Remember
Highly Commended: Yellow Advertiser (Basildon) – Access for All

Margaret Snowdon, director of Media Solutions and one of the judges, said: “What was really encouraging was the very high standard of some of the entries, including exciting revenue-generating publications the larger dailies would have been proud of.

“The quality of the editorial, and the presentation of content in the nominated weekly paid-for and free newspapers was also outstanding.”

For a full list of regional newspaper award winners, click here.