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Venue and judges unveiled for East of England awards

The venue, date and judging panel can now unveiled for the EDF Energy East of England Media Awards, run in association with HoldtheFrontPage.

Entries for the awards closed yesterday and the judging takes place in Crawley tomorrow.

All those shortlisted will be invited to attend the awards ceremony which takes place on 21 January at the SAS Radisson Hotel, Stansted, Essex.

The awards honour the best in journalism across an area comprising Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and parts of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.

As usual, our six-strong panel contains some impressive names with decades of journalistic experience between them.

Here are our judges:

  • Ian Murray has been editor of the Southern Daily Echo since 1998 and is also editor-in-chief of Newsquest Hampshire.

    Earlier this year his paper was named Daily Newspaper of the Year in the EDF Energy London and South of England Awards.

  • Simon O’Neill became editor of the Oxford Mail in Feburary 2004, having previously been editor of the Swindon Advertiser.

    He has also previously worked at the Derby Telegraph where he rose to deputy editor before leaving for Swindon in May 1997.

  • Sam Holliday is editor of the Bath Chronicle, a role to which he was first appointed in July 2005.

    Previously editor of the Tamworth Herald, he oversaw the Chronicle’s successful transformation from a daily to a weekly title three years ago.

  • Karen Ainley is a former regional TV reporter and presenter and once again provides the main broadcasting expertise on the panel.

    She began her journalism career as a reporter on weekly and evening papers and is a Chartered Institute of Public Relations-approved media trainer.

  • Nigel Bowles is co-director at the photographic agency John Connor Press Associates which supplies pictures for the national press and a number of corporate clients.

    He spent five years on the picture desk at The Argus, in Brighton, before leaving to take up his current role.

  • Claire Byrd is the head of regional media relations for award sponsors EDF Energy.

    A former news editor and assistant editor of The Argus, she is now in charge of EDF Energy’s regional media activity across the country.