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Beware of the bull: Press wins plain English prize

A regional daily newspaper has been rewarded for its avoidance of gobbledygook by winning a coveted award from the Plain English Campaign.

The Press, York, has been named Best Regional Newspaper in the Campaign’s annual awards designed to highlight clear use of the English language.

It was praised for its excellent communication skills in listening and reporting, ensuring it remained representative of the area’s heritage and identity.

The Newsquest-owned paper is one of the media winners which have been announced today to mark National Plain English Day, along with other prizes for the best and worse use of the English language.

Editor Steve Hughes said: “We had no idea we were nominated so we were delighted to win.

“We do spend a lot of time talking about clear and concise writing and also take training very seriously, so this award is a tribute to all our journalists who recognise the importance of constantly trying to improve standards.”

Judges said The Press has maintained a high reputation over many years of production and had become ‘more than a newspaper’.

Campaign founder Chrissie Maher said: “When I started the UK’s first community newspaper in Liverpool, there was clearly a need for local people to be part of their local news in a way that they could understand.

York Press has kept that spirit alive in their press where others have been swallowed up by the big boys or simply disappeared.”

The Press succeeds last year’s winner, the Birmingham Mail, which was picked as the top regional paper for its clean and concise writing.

By contrast, London Mayor Boris Johnson was the recipient of a ‘Golden Bull’ award, given for the worst examples of gobbledygook, for a Transport for London Press release in which he spoke of a “a cyclised city of pioneers.”

Other winners of the Media Awards were:

The International Media Award: Korea Herald

Best National Newspaper: Daily Mail

Best national radio programme: BBC Radio Five Live 606 Robbie Savage

Best regional radio: Rock Radio Manchester (5-word weather report)

Best national television programme: BBC Breakfast and BBC Reporting Scotland (joint award)

Best regional television programme: ITV Granada Reports

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  • December 14, 2010 at 11:15 am
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    maybe we hacks can all get back to just decent english. we can ban illiterate “for free” and use “for nothing” or “free” instead. We can stop writing the council ARE. We can stop calling everything UPCOMING and ONGOING. We can stop writing “a man died following an accident” (serves him right). A dumb brains are still getting Its and it’s wrong. There’s more where that lot came from in your local paper, Since there are no subs to bail out the fools. Does no-one under 45 write decent tight concise English sentences any more or know how to?

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