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Express and Echo sweeps board at EDF Awards

Exeter daily the Express and Echo enjoyed a bumper afternoon in Plymouth yesterday at the annual EDF Energy South West Media Awards.

The Northcliffe title took home six awards, including the top prize of daily newspaper of the year.

Other notable winners were Western Gazette reporter Tom Bevan and BBC broadcaster Matthew Hill, both of whom completed a hat trick of awards in the weekly journalist and TV journalist categories.

The Express and Echo was also crowned the region’s best for its football website Kellow’s Bootlaces, a community campaign highlighting the work of carers and in three of the individual categories – daily print journalist, sport and environment.

Editor Marc Astley said: “It’s absolutely brilliant. It’s a reflection of the depth and breadth of quality at the Express and Echo and a great credit to everybody who works at the paper.”

Reporter Eleanor Gregson, who won the prestigious daily print journalist category, added: “It’s fantastic to be part of such a winning team.”

Also tasting success in the newspaper categories was the Swindon Advertiser which scooped three awards while in the broadcast categories, the BBC swept all opponents before them by taking all four prizes.

The awards, run in association with HoldtheFrontPage, were held at Plymouth Pavilions to celebrate the best in print, online and broadcasting journalism across the South West region across 20 prize categories.

  • Click through to see what the judges said about the winners.
  • See their smiling faces in the winners’ gallery.
  • Read the full editorial and broadcast shortlists here.

  • Here is the complete list of champions and scroll down for some pictorial prize winners.

    Print Journalist of the Year (Daily)

    Eleanor Gregson, Express and Echo

    Print Journalist of the Year (Weekly)

    Tom Bevan, Western Gazette

    Newcomer of the Year – Joint Winners

    Jeremy Grimaldi, Swindon Advertiser
    Chloe Hubbard, The North Devon Journal

    Daily Newspaper of the Year

    Express and Echo

    Weekly Newspaper of the Year (Paid-for)

    Tiverton Gazette

    Weekly Newspaper of the Year (Free)

    Clevedon Mercury

    Front Page of the Year (see below)

    Western Morning News – How could it come to this?

    Website of the Year

    Express and Echo: Kellow’s Bootlaces

    Feature Writer of the Year

    Jaine Blackman, Swindon Advertiser

    Designer of the Year

    Michelle Tompkins, Swindon Advertiser

    Columnist of the Year

    Hugh Dixon, The Bath Chronicle

    News Photographer of the Year (see below)

    Paul Nicholls, Gloucestershire Media

    Sports Journalist of the Year

    Jon Lewis, Express and Echo

    Business Journalist of the Year

    Jonathan Gibson, ITV Westcountry

    Community Campaign of the Year

    Express and Echo – We Care

    Environmental Journalist of the Year

    Anne Byrne, Express and Echo

    Television Journalist of the Year

    Matthew Hill, BBC West

    TV News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year

    BBC West – Private Harry Patch

    Radio Journalist of the Year

    Nigel Dando, BBC Radio Bristol

    Radio News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year

    BBC Radio Bristol – Drive

    Here is the winning entry in the Front Page of the Year category. This shot was taken by Western Morning News Emily Whitfield-Wicks photographer seconds before the cow was culled as part of the title’s long-running coverage of the bovine TB crisis. The judges praised it for the strength of the image and being in tune with readers.

    Here are two pictures from the award-winning entry submitted by Paul Nicholls, photographer with Gloucestershire Media. The first is of a local major receiving an unwelcome donation from a passing bird and the second of an arrest outside a Gloucester shop.


    Onlooker (05/06/2009 10:17:02)
    I was on holiday in the South West not too long ago and picked up a copy of the Express and Echo by chance. ‘What a cracking read !,’ I thought, never having seen it before. Glad to hear of its deserved success.

    David (05/06/2009 10:51:19)
    Shame the Echo’s circulation is going down the pan and Westcountry TV journalists are no more. Still, great having an award though.

    Steve Hall’s nemesis (05/06/2009 14:44:46)
    Like the competition is really intense man. This is about as gratifying as winning a gold fish at the fair.

    Ivy Likes (05/06/2009 15:39:04)
    Still can’t get my head round EDF’s geography.
    Apparently Swindon is in the South West but Weymouth, Bridport and Lyme Regis are not.
    Shome mishtake surely?

    ChipWrappings (05/06/2009 15:53:52)
    David: “Still having an award though”
    Yeah Dave, awards are great, they help pay the bills, keep a roof over our heads, feed the kids etc etc.
    Oh hang on that’s wages I’m thinking of – you know, that monthly surprise you get for doing your own job plus the additional work of two other redundant journos in about 20% of your own time.

    Thomas (07/06/2009 19:48:22)
    As a South West-based journalist, seeing the E&E win daily paper of the year with the guff it fills its pages with makes me wonder why I bother.

    King Tubby (08/06/2009 12:25:41)
    How can a picture which looks like an ejaculation over the mayor win an award?