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.”
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.”
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
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?