Mr Hale, (48), has been handed the prestigious title in recognition of his work on the Stephen Downing case.
Thousands of the national newspaper’s readers voted for the editor, who has spent six years fighting to clear the name of Downing. Convicted of murdering Wendy Sewell in Bakewell cemetery in 1973, Downing, (44), has just spent his 28th Christmas in prison because he continues to maintain his innocence.
The news comes just over a week after Mr Hale was presented with the coveted title of Journalist of the Year at the What the Papers Say Awards in London.
It was the first time the top award has been presented to a regional journalist in the awards’ 44-year history.
Mr Hale, who has edited the Mercury for more than 15 years, said of the new Observer honour: “I was both surprised and delighted to receive a second prestigious award within the festive season.”
Man of the Year was open to all Observer readers to vote for the ‘man who most inspired Britain in2000.’
Click on this link to the Observer website for more.
Mr Hale said: “I understand that it was a landslide victory against the likes of film director Sam Mendes, super Olympian Steve Redgrave, and a host of top celebrities.
“It is a great honour and adds to a superb finish in Millennium Year.”
You can visit the Matlock Mercury’s website here
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