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Award for journalist banned by council

A journalist who made headline news when he was banned from speaking to a local authority has been honoured by the regional newspaper publisher he works for.

Paul Geater, political and local government correspondent at the Ipswich Evening Star, was named editorial person of the year by Archant Suffolk at a ceremony held at the Cameo Hotel in Copdock.

Paul, who has worked for the company since 1982, was presented with his award by Archant Anglia MD Johnny Hustler.

Earlier this year he made headlines on HoldtheFrontPage when he was banned from Suffolk County Council offices for publishing an article about chief executive Andrea Hill and the huge amount of money she was costing the taxpayer. The story led to her resignation and eventually made national headlines.

Paul Geater receives his award from Johnny Hustler

There was also an award for East Suffolk news editor Jonathan Barnes who was given the accolade ‘unsung hero of the year.’

Jonathan was appointed to the role of East Suffolk News Editor at the end of 2010. His brief was to improve the paper’s coverage in its east Suffolk patch, improve the company’s connections with the community, to launch the new-look two-edition Coastal Scene weeklies, and to work closely with commercial colleagues to improve revenues in the area.

In presenting the award Mr Hustler said: “Over the year, Jonathan has achieved his aims brilliantly. The east edition of the EADT is immeasurably stronger in terms of news coverage, and we have forged stronger links within the community.”

Johnny Hustler presents Jonathan Barnes with his award

The hard work that went into two supplements was also recognised.

London Calling, published 12 months before the London Olympics, was named ‘Best Use of New Media’ and Innovation and Print Product of the Year went to a supplement which was produced to celebrate 125 years of the Port of Felixstowe.