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Regional mornings scoop top prizes at EDF Awards

East Anglia’s two morning dailies emerged as the big winners at the EDF Energy East of England Media Awards 2009.

The East Anglian Daily Times scooped three categories including the top accolade of daily newspaper of the year, while the Eastern Daily Press together with Archant Norfolk won a total of five awards.

Meanwhile in the individual categories, investigations reporter Jon Austin, from Basildon-based daily The Echo, took home the daily journalist of the year prize for the fourth consecutive year.

The prizes were handed out as the best of the East of England’s press and broadcast media gathered yesterday at the SAS Radisson Hotel, Stansted Airport, for the annual celebration, run in association with HoldtheFrontPage.

The EADT beat off competition from its Archant sister papers the Evening Star, Eastern Daily Press, Norwich Evening News, as well as Iliffe’s Cambridge News, to emerge as best daily.

Editor Terry Hunt said afterwards: “I was really pleased that the judges have recognised us as the best overall package. I was particularly delighted they singled out the Saturday package for special mention.”

The EADT also won columnist and news photographer of the year while Archant Norfolk’s Eastern Daily Press won the sports writer, feature writer and environmental journalist of the year categories.

Staff working across several Archant Norfolk titles also took home the website and designer awards.

Jon Austin’s fourth successive victory in the daily print journalist category is a record for EDF Energy regional media awards.

He told HTFP: “You never know what other people have written, so it’s always a shock to win even if you’ve won it before.”

In the weekly newspaper categories the Essex Chronicle won best paid-for for the third consecutive year, and also emerged victorious in the front page of the year category.

Editor Alan Geere said: “It’s three in a row for the Chronicle and we’re as thrilled as ever. What really pleased me most was the front page win where we beat off the challenge of the dailies.”

Weekly print journalist of the year was Lui Straccia, from the Luton and Dunstable Express, whose scoops included the memorable tale of the Luton mum-of-fourteen who vowed to keep on having babies until the council let her keep one.

Said Lui: “I am very chuffed to have won this, it will be a landmark in my journalism career. Thanks to HTFP and EDF for putting on a fantastic awards ceremony.”

  • Read here what the judges had to say about our champions.
  • See the prizes being handed out in our winners’ gallery.

  • Here is the complete list of award winners and click through to see all the shortlisted nominees:

    Print Journalist of the Year (Daily)

    Jon Austin, Echo, Basildon

    Print Journalist of the Year (Weekly)

    Lui Straccia, Luton and Dunstable Express

    Newcomer of the Year

    Sarah Calkin, Echo, Basildon

    Daily Newspaper of the Year

    East Anglian Daily Times

    Weekly Newspaper of the Year (Paid-for)

    Essex Chronicle

    Weekly Newspaper of the Year (Free)

    Hunts Post

    Front Page of the Year

    Surf Tragedy Hits Family – Essex Chronicle

    Website of the Year, Archant Norfolk

    Feature Writer of the Year

    Keiron Pim, Eastern Daily Press

    Designer of the Year

    Daren Francis, Archant Norfolk

    Columnist of the Year

    Martin Newell, East Anglian Daily Times

    News Photographer of the Year

    Alex Fairfull, East Anglian Daily Times/Archant Suffolk

    Sports Journalist of the Year

    Chris Lakey, Eastern Daily Press

    Business Journalist of the Year

    Jenny Chapman, Cambridge News

    Community Campaign of the Year

    The Kids Are Alright – Cambs Times/Wisbech Standard

    Environmental Journalist of the Year

    Tara Greaves, Eastern Daily Press/Norwich Evening News

    Television Journalist of the Year

    Kevin Burch, BBC Look East

    Television News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year

    ITV Anglia

    Radio Journalist of the Year

    Nikki Fox, BBC Radio Norfolk

    Radio News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year

    Ray Clark Breakfast Show, BBC Essex