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Judges named for EDF Energy East of England Media Awards

With just a week to go until entries have to be submitted to the EDF Energy East of England Media Awards, the judging line-up has been revealed.

Former Sentinel Newspapers editor-in-chief Sean Dooley will team up with Yorkshire Evening Post editor Paul Napier and Midland Weekly Newspapers editorial director Tony Lennox for judging on December 13.

They will be joined by news agency director and former regional newspaper photographer Nigel Bowles and former BBC TV and radio reporter Karen Ainley, who also started her career in newspapers.

Completing the panel will be Claire Byrd, former Brighton Argus news editor, who is now EDF Energy’s regional media manager.

They will spend a day at the Derby headquarters of, judging entries across 19 print and broadcast categories.

Click here for the entry form

Entries have to be in by the end of Friday, December 7 – so check which categories you could enter. You’ll need one form for each entry, to be countersigned by your editor.

These regional awards attracted more than 200 entries last year and some 20 titles and broadcasters fought it out for the awards, which give a trophy to the company categories and a £100 cheque for individual winners.

The awards take in newspapers and broadcasters in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and parts of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

Our judges are:

  • Former Staffordshire Sentinel Newspapers editor-in-chief Sean Dooley, who picked up a string of awards in the run-up to his retirement after 18 years at the paper, with Sentinel Sunday being named Newspaper of the Year at the Midlands Media Awards in 2005. He began his journalism career at the Mercury Press Agency, on Merseyside, and worked for weekly and daily papers in Liverpool and Manchester before editing a current affairs magazine. He was also previously news editor of the Lincolnshire Echo and deputy editor of the South Wales Evening Post, and edited the Gloucestershire Echo in Cheltenham before moving to Stoke.
  • Paul Napier, who has been editor of the Leeds-based Yorkshire Evening Post for the past year, previously editing the Hartlepool Mail, and before that the Scarborough Evening News. He is a former editor-in-chief of the Bucks Herald in Aylesbury following a spell as editor of the Banbury Guardian. He spent seven years at the Evening Telegraph in Kettering, working his way up the ranks to assistant editor.
  • Tony Lennox, editorial director of Midland Weekly Newspapers. He has responsibility for more than 30 titles, and has previously served as acting editor of the Birmingham Post. He has been responsible for the weeklies since 1990, and has also edited the Bromsgrove Weekly Mail, the Cannock Advertiser and the Stafford Post. His first job was on the Devonshire Weekly Express, and he spent nine years as a reporter on the Birmingham Evening Mail.
  • Nigel Bowles, co-director at John Connor Press Associates. He started in press photography 20 years ago working on weekly newspapers on the south coast before moving to The Argus, in Brighton, where he spent five years on the picture desk. He left to set up the photographic department at John Connor Press Associates, where award-winning photographers take pictures for the national press, magazine and a number of corporate clients.
  • Karen Ainley. Former BBC local radio and regional TV reporter and presenter Karen began her journalism career as a reporter on evening and weekly local papers and is an experienced CIPR-approved media trainer.
  • EDF Energy’s Claire Byrd completes the judging line-up. She is a former news editor and assistant editor of The Argus, in Brighton, and is now heading up EDF Energy’s regional media activity across the country.

    Categories for individuals comprise:

    – Print Journalist of the Year (Daily)
    – Print Journalist of the Year (Weekly)
    – Radio Journalist of the Year
    – Television Journalist of the Year
    – Newcomer of the Year
    – Feature Writer of the Year
    – News Photographer of the Year
    – Sports Journalist of the Year
    – Business Journalist of the Year
    – Environmental Journalist of the Year
    – Columnist of the Year

    Categories for newspapers and broadcasting companies are:

    – Daily Newspaper of the Year
    – Weekly Newspaper of the Year (Paid-for)
    – Weekly Newspaper of the Year (Free)
    – Front Page of the Year
    – Radio News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year
    – Television News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year
    – Website of the Year
    – Community Campaign of the Year

    The awards take in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and parts of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

    Entries must be received by 5pm on Friday, December 7, and should be sent to:

    Patrick Astill,
    First Floor,
    East Point,
    Cardinal Square,
    10 Nottingham Road,
    Derby, DE1 3QT.

    Questions or queries about the awards or the event itself, should be e-mailed to [email protected] or [email protected].