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Judges assemble for South West Media awards

Judging is taking place today for the EDF Energy South West Media Awards, run in association with HoldtheFrontPage.

Entries for the awards closed earlier this month and the ceremony, to which all shortlisted contenders will be invited, is due to take place in Weston-super-Mare in June.

The awards aim to honour the best in journalism across an area comprising Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

Our seven-strong panel contains some impressive names with decades of journalistic experience between them.

Here are our judges:

  • Alan Geere has been editorial director of Northcliffe Media’s South-East weeklies division and editor of the Essex Chronicle since 2008

    His previous roles have included editor of the Diss Express, night editor of the Eastern Daily Press, and executive editor of both The Journal, Newcastle and the Western Mail.

  • Tim Williams is editor of the Norwich Evening News having succeeded James Foster in the role last year.

    It marked a long-overdue promotion for Tim who had previously had two spells as acting editor of the Archant-owned daily, having originally joined it as assistant editor in 2001.

  • Peter Cook is editor of BBC Radio Suffolk and one of two broadcasting judges on the panel.

    He started his broadcasting career at Radio Broadland in Norwich before joining the BBC in 1999. He has since held a range of senior editorial positions across local radio stations in East Anglia and was appointed to his current role in 2007.

  • Karen Ainley is a former regional TV reporter and presenter now working as a Chartered Institute of Public Relations-approved media trainer.

    She began her journalism career as a reporter on weekly and evening papers.

  • Neil Gallagher is assistant night editor on The Sunday People and also works for the Daily Mirror.

    Before that he worked for regional newspapers including Head of Production for the Ipswich Evening Star. He also runs an editorial consultancy.

  • 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 senior media manager for award sponsors EDF Energy.

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