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
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.