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Publisher crowns its editorial champions

Newspaper publisher Archant has been handing out more awards to three of its regional divisions ahead of the company’s UK-wide ceremony later this week.

It has already bestowed praise and recognition on staff at its titles in its London and Suffolk divisions, with the Norfolk, Herts and Cambs and South West groups the next to receive awards.

Among the latest to be recognised are Eastern Daily Press public affairs correspondent Shaun Lowthorpe, named Archant Norfolk’s editorial person of the year, and the weekly Hunts Post, crowned top product or service in the Herts and Cambs division.

All the divisional winners go forward to the group-wide awards ceremony being held in London on Friday.

Scroll down to see the other editorial winners, complete with comments from senior managers.

Archant Norfolk

Editorial Person of the Year
Shaun Lowthorpe – public affairs correspondent, Eastern Daily Press

MD Stephan Phillips said: “Ensuring that ‘stones are turned over’ is a key part of the way that Shaun works.

“Shaun has consistently proved himself to be a thorn in the side of some officials, elected and otherwise, particularly in the stories of old people being turned out of their homes to be replaced by council officials and the council that secretly invested £7m of taxpayers’ money in a local hotel.”

Team of the Year
Editorial Sports Department

After the Saturday evening sports paper Pink ‘Un ceased publication, the team worked to fill the gap with ‘live’ online Norwich City match reports and new sports in the Eastern Daily Press and Mondays and Saturdays.

A new Thursday–Saturday online section called The Match and a Pink ‘Un for mobile phones has also been developed.

Stephan said: “This forward thinking is on top of providing excellent coverage of the region’s sport for Archant Norfolk newspapers and websites, hosting an EDP Sports Awards ceremony, producing a Canary Preview and working with Active Norfolk to produce the EDP’s weekly Rising Stars supplement.”

  • Archant Norfolk editorial sports team
  • Archant South West

    Team of the Year
    Weston and Somerset Mercury newsdesk

    MD Bernard Driscoll said: “2009 brought the launch of a new title, substantial personnel changes and new working practices.

    “It was a tough year, but the newsdesk team at Weston have come through it with flying colours to increase circulation and break web records

    “They are a team that gets on with it – whether selling copies of the paper on the seafront, conducting sensitive interviews with bereaved families, or writing advertising features.”

  • Weston and Somerset Mercury newsdesk
  • Archant Herts and Cambs

    Product of Service of the Year
    Hunts Post

    MD Stuart McCreery said: “The Hunts Post is central to almost everything that takes place in its circulation area, boasting an impressive list of community campaigns and achievements over the last 12 months.

    “Its depth of coverage demonstrates the lengths its journalists will go to help readers understand local issues and its strength in the advertising marketplace has enabled it to continue to be a profitable title, despite extremely difficult trading conditions.”

    Editorial Person of the Year
    Alistair Nelson, Saffron Walden Reporter

    Mr McCreery said: “When an invitation came from Armed Forces Minister Bill Rammell MP for a reporter to join him on a trip to Afghanistan in July, Alistair stepped up to the plate.

    “As a result of his trip he produced a series of stories to rival any national, including a front page splash for the sister daily paper the EADT.

    “Alistair is a brave, enthusiastic and talented reporter and is a thoroughly deserving winner of this category.”

  • Alistair receives his award from editorial director Paul Richardson
  • Employee of the Year
    Michelle Fosbrook, web designer

    Michelle single-handedly designs the majority of the Herts and Cambs news websites.

    Mr McCreery said: “She is proficient at constructing digital editions, has implemented the framework for the highly successful E-shot email marketing system and can work around any request that the editors will throw at her.

    “Despite an enormous workload, her pace and precision never falters, nor does her smile.”