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Style award for monthly magazine writer

Surrey Life writer Matthew Williams was crowned Journalist of the Year at the annual Guildford Life with Style Awards.

The 24-year-old picked up the honour which celebrates those who make the biggest contribution to life in the Surrey town.

Judges praised his “warm and engaging style that made you want to read on” as well as his work on the Archant magazine to promote the CHASE children’s hospice in Guildford.

A journalism masterclass for anyone wishing “to bring down a government with a notebook” takes place next month.

Veteran national journalists David Leigh and Nick Davies, both of the Guardian, will be passing on the benefit of their collective experience in exposing big stories.

David wrote the original work which led to the downfall of Jonathan Aitken while Nick’s profile has risen dramatically since the release of his book Flat Earth News.

Topics will include exploiting the public domain, the Freedom of Information Act, dealing with leaks and undercover work.

The master class runs from 10am to 6pm at City University, London, on 21 February. For details visit

The shortlists for the Orwell Prize for political writing have now been published.

In the journalism three Scottish regional press journalists feature among with the 62 finalists – Scotland on Sunday’s Kenny Farquharson , The Scotsman’s Gerri Peev and Michael Settle from The Herald.

The Guardian’s Nick Davies’ (see above) is among the 188 authors whose books have been shortlisted for the book prize while the new blog prize welcomes 83 finalists.

The social networking website run by the Jewish Chronicle has clocked up 2,300 registered users since its launch five months ago.

The new network was part of an ongoing upgrade to the title’s website, enabling reporters to regularly pick up stories and even recruit a columnist. Video reports now feature strongly one the site with match reports from the Maccabi Southern Football League.

Tim Bowdler, the recently-retired chief executive of Johnston Press and incoming chairman of the Press Association, has been awarded the President’s Prize by the Newspaper Society. The Society says it for his “unique services to the regional media industry”.

The President’s Prize is awarded to recognise an individual’s personal commitment and contribution to the industry. There have been just 11 previous recipients including Sir Ray Tindle, owner of Tindle Newspapers.