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Daily Press crowned best of the South West

The Western Daily Press was yesterday crowned South West Newspaper of the Year in the EDF Energy Regional Media Awards, held in association with HoldtheFrontPage.

The paper’s editor Andy Wright retired in March and has since been succeeded by Tim Dixon – but Andy’s last year in charge earned the WDP the biggest prize in South West journalism.

Judges praised the Northcliffe-owned title – which has since undergone a radical redesign – as “neat, tidy and very authoritative,” and “a good daily read that covered all the bases.”

Head of content Paul Burton picked up the top award on the paper’s behalf, saying afterwards: “It’s thanks to Andy for steering us towards this award and I am sure Tim Dixon will steer us towards more in the future.”

Other big winners at yesterday’s ceremony in Weston-super-Mare included Carl Eve, who won the coveted Daily Print Journalist of the Year prize for his coverage of the Vanessa George child abuse case after having narrowly missed out on the same award 12 months ago.

Unfortunately Carl missed his moment of triumph as he is currently holidaying with his family in France.

The award was collected from special guest and paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds on his behalf by his news editor, James Garnett, who relayed the news to Carl by mobile phone.

Said James: “He was absolutely delighted. He put in an incredible amount of work and it is thoroughly well-deserved.”

Among the weeklies there were wins for the Wells Journal which won Front Page of the Year for its commemoration of WW1 veteran Harry Patch, and the Sunday Independent which was named best weekly.

Independent editor John Noble said: “It’s a tribute to all the staff. We’re a small team and everyone works really, really hard.”

Steven Haywood of the Western Morning News, who jointly won the News Photographer of the Year prize, collected his award despite having his left leg in plaster after an unlucky break last week.

He told HTFP: “It wasn’t something that happened on a photographic assignment. I did it while out walking my dog.”

  • A collection for the Journalists’ Charity raised £176.87 in addition to the £500 donated by EDF Energy.

  • All the winners from yesterday’s awards together with EDF Energy’s Andrew Spurr, third left, HoldtheFrontPage publisher Paul Linford, right, and special guest Ellie Simmonds, foreground left. Picture by Nigel Bowles of John Connor Associates.

  • Here is the complete list of award winners. Click here to see all the shortlisted nominees:

    Print Journalist of the Year (Daily)

    Carl Eve, The Herald, Plymouth

    Print Journalist of the Year (Weekly)

    Andy Woolfoot, Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard

    Newcomers of the Year

    Stephen Hackwell, Gloucestershire Echo and Liz Webster, Bristol Evening Post

    Daily Newspaper of the Year

    Western Daily Press

    Weekly Newspaper of the Year

    Sunday Independent

    Front Page of the Year

    Wells Journal for Harry Patch Commemorative Issue

    Website of the Year

    Feature Writer of the Year

    Lyn Barton, Western Morning News

    Designer of the Year

    Craig Lyus, Swindon Advertiser

    Columnist of the Year

    Sarah Feeley, Bristol Evening Post

    News Photographers of the Year

    Fran Stothard, Bristol News and Media and Steven Haywood, Western Morning News

    Sports Journalist of the Year

    Tom Bradshaw, The Bath Chronicle

    Business Journalist of the Year

    James Cowling, Bristol Evening Post

    Community Campaign of the Year

    Save the Open-Air Pool, Bristol Evening Post

    Environmental Journalist of the Year

    Martin Hesp, Western Morning News

    Television Journalist of the Year

    Jonathan Gibson, ITV Westcountry

    Television News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year

    Terror Trial, ITV West and Westcountry

    Radio Journalist of the Year

    Denis Nightingale, BBC Radio Cornwall

    Radio News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year

    Laurence Reed’s Lunchtime Programme, BBC Radio Cornwall


    Confused of Northcliffe (11/06/2010 10:31:02)
    WDP getting newspaper of the year is a joke. A once-great newspaper is now nothing more than a cobbled-together effort from the regional Northcliffe centres. The judges are well off on this one.

    The Stig (11/06/2010 11:07:03)
    I think there are quite a few examples here of the judges being “well off” (to quote ‘confused’). Some of the decisions are unfathomable.

    anon (11/06/2010 11:37:34)
    Hell hath no fury like a journo scorned….

    Miss McDoogal (11/06/2010 11:55:12)
    Anon, that’s surely most of us these days?

    Anon (11/06/2010 13:26:30)
    Well, with judge comments like “nice” and “neat” as justifications for awards, I think we can see they what they judges were looking for. The criteria for these awards have always been somewhat baffling. More “nice” and “neat” journalism, everyone!

    Truth Speaker (14/06/2010 11:32:42)
    It’s true though, the WDP is simply cobbled together using the ‘best’ bits of other Northcliffe titles, so quite how they can win a coin toss is beyond me.
    It’s an award for a newsdesk ringing other newsdesks each day to steal their best stories. Great.
    They should have turned it down really, or given it to the other papers.

    Ex-Ex (18/06/2010 10:12:34)
    Almost as interesting here are the dogs that didn’t – the papers that have in the past won multiple awards and this year scored nul points. Has there been a change in the criteria, the panel of judges, or have the former winners’ standards slipped?