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YEP wins praise for its coverage of race issues

The Yorkshire Evening Post has won a national award in recognition of its positive coverage of race issues.

The title, edited by Neil Hodgkinson, won the local newspaper category of the Race in the Media Awards.

It beat competition from fellow nominee the Birmingham Post with a series of articles about issues such as immigration, the holocaust and campaigs against far right groups such as the BNP.

The team of reporters involved was Peter Lazenby, Paul Robinson, Richard Edwards and Education Reporter Ian Rosser, and YEP editor Neil Hodgkinson, who collected the award.

Said Neil: “I am very proud of my team for winning this award. They deserve great praise for their efforts on such an important subject. The award reflects a positive culture at the YEP in attempting to portray fairly and accurately the changing face of society.

“It is not a question of being politically correct. Political correctness can cause more problems than it solves. It is a question of stating the facts, telling the truth and raising debate on issues that need to be discussed in the open rather than opinions being based on ill-informed information that breeds distrust and disharmony.

“Everyone should be involved in this debate in an attempt to promote harmony. The more people talk, the more progress will be made towards a peaceful, inclusive society.”

The award was one of 18 handed out during a ceremony at the Curzon Cinema in Mayfair, hosted by satirist Rory Bremner.

The citation accompanying the award said: “The Yorkshire Evening Post won the RIMA category for local newspaper for its reporting on a wide range of issues that concern people from all communities, including immigration, the Holocaust, and campaigning against far right groups such as the BNP.

“Judges looked for material that has made a significant contribution to public appreciation and understanding of race relations, integration and diversity in the UK. This includes less visible ethnic minority communities such as gypsies and travellers, and people from Eastern Europe.”

Other prize winners included The Guardian and specialist magazine The Voice, and Arsenal striker Thierry Henry was named Media Personality of the Year.

Speaking at the event, Trevor Phillips, chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, which runs the competition, paid tribute to all the winners.

He said: “There was a time when RIMAs were won just for having the courage to tackle a difficult issue or a little understood part of our society. No longer.

“The watchwords now are excellence and appeal – two things this year’s winners have in abundance.

“They have all helped to challenge negative stereotypes and increase understanding about the many different communities that make up Britain.

“After 13 years of trying to get the media to pay any attention at all to race issues, the quality of tonight’s winners shows just how far we’ve come.”

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