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EDF Energy London and South of England Media Awards 2011: What the judges said

With more than 200 entries to sift through, the panel of  judges for this year’s EDF Energy London and South of England Media Awards faced a tough task in choosing a winner for each of the 20 categories.

Here’s our round-up of what the judges said about the victorious entrants together with pictures of each of them receiving their awards.

The awards were presented by Gareth Wynn, EDF Energy’s London 2012 Programme Director, and special sporting guest Katherine Grainger, three times an Olympic rowing silver medallist.


Newcomer of the Year: Nikki Jarvis, Croydon Advertiser

What the judges said: “She has a real skill at getting close to people on her patch – with compelling human interest results and three very strong front page splashes for the Croydon Advertiser – including the pupil suspended for giving a friend a high five.”

Environmental Journalist of the Year: Charlotte Wilkins, ITV Meridian

What the judges said: “Charlotte Wilkins’ work is very watchable. There were fun interviews with the residents challenged to cut their energy use and plotting their successes and failures on a graph chalked out along their street.”

Business Journalist of the Year: Emma Judd, The News, Portsmouth

What the judges said: “A good relationship with Portsmouth FC’s chief executive helped secure exclusives as the club nose-dived into administration. And when the chief exec texted Emma that the club had been saved – she left the wedding she was at and headed straight to the office to begin work.”

News Photographer of the Year: Terry Applin, The Argus

What the judges said: “Terry Applin entered a fine portfolio of his work at The Argus. It included a technically brilliant portrait of Patrick Moore and an uplifting photo of a parade. The framing and lighting of the circus performers also impressed the judges.”

Sports Journalist of the Year: Jordan Cross, The News, Portsmouth

What the judges said: “Jordan Cross offers a mixture of approaches and sports in his entry. As rumours circulated that Portsmouth manager Steve Cotterill was about to leave, Jordan secured the exclusive that he was staying – and got the scoop on a new signing before the club had announced it themselves.”

Feature Writer of the Year: Sarah Foster, The News, Portsmouth

What the judges said: “Sarah Foster matches great interview skills with quality writing. The judges enjoyed all three of her entries – including the father of four undergoing a sex change. It was a really well written piece that pulled in the perspective of his daughters.”

Columnist of the Year: Louise Ford, Kent and Sussex Courier

What the judges said: “‘Really, really funny’” said one judge. Subjects covered include – how to dress a two year old as a cocktail sausage for a nursery nativity play; and keeping the kids entertained on the cheap with a day out at the local ‘Pets at Home’ superstore.”

Designer of the Year: Graeme Windell, The News, Portsmouth

What the judges said: “His work is modern and makes brilliant use of colour. One judge described his use of graphics as ‘sensational’ and they loved his space travel two-pager. The Your City Your Passion front page pie chart was very different and striking.”

Radio Journalist of the Year: Julia George, BBC Radio Kent

What the judges said: “The most striking of her entries was from a programme about rape. An elderly woman called and talked openly and emotionally on-air about her experience of being raped as a teenager. It was an incredibly powerful moment that could easily have thrown a lesser presenter.”

Television Journalist of the Year: Andrew Pate, ITV Meridian

What the judges said: “His entry included an impressively creative series that ran across a week – uncovering the stories through the ages of one terraced street in Brighton. It was great television, an investment in time and very well thought out.”

Weekly Print Journalist of the Year: Gareth Davies, Croydon Advertiser

What the judges said: “Gareth Davies included work resulting from a two month investigation into financial mismanagement across 17 local schools after one headteacher resigned. The revelations made for a shocking read – the result of great contacts, digging and persistence.”

Daily Print Journalist of the Year: Jenny Makin, Southern Daily Echo

What the judges said: “A great writer with great contacts. She got the interview with the council leader who tackled the submarine gunman – having broken the news online that one man had died in the attack. And an exclusive interview with the victim of a horrific domestic abuse case was a captivating read.”

Website of the Year:

What the judges said: “ has a range of innovative approaches around its core offering. A daily 60 seconds lunchtime news bulletin and a clever approach to subjects – online hustings for example, work really well.”

Community Campaign of the Year: Southern Daily Echo – Have a Heart

What the judges said: “The campaign launched 24 hours after it was announced the local children’s heart surgery unit was under threat of closure. The presentation in the paper was brilliant – a mix of hard news, heartfelt stories and background features, sweeping the campaign along at a fantastic pace.”

Front Page of the Year: Faversham News – Murdered teenager discovered by side of road

What the judges said: “A clever headline that would have stopped readers in their tracks. The remains were Roman, but with that kind of headline alongside such a striking image – you’re going to want to pick it up and find out more.”

Radio news or current affairs programme of the year: Breakfast Show, BBC Radio Kent

What the judges said: “Strong journalism, engaging and entertaining presentation and well-produced story treatments at its core. This is clearly a programme that is sure footed and very much in tune with its audience.”

Television news or current affairs programme of the year: ITV Meridian – Turner Contemporary Opens

What the judges said: “Producers spotted the potential to investigate the huge amount of controversy that had blown up around this new attraction. And they were not afraid to put tough questions.”

Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year: The Wokingham Times

What the judges said: “The Wokingham Times is unusual in that it’s a free broadsheet – and one that’s absolutely packed with local news and sport. There are regular local campaigns, a busy readers’ letters page and the last year has seen increases in advertising, pagination and circulation.”

Paid for Weekly Newspaper of the Year: Kent and Sussex Courier

What the judges said: “You really feel that you’re getting great value for your 70p with the Kent and Sussex Courier. A new investigations editor helped generate a series of strong splashes, and it’s a paper that’s prepared to go in-depth with well designed double-page spreads too.”

Daily Newspaper of the Year: Southern Daily Echo

What the judges said: “The Southern Daily Echo has had a very strong year, packed with powerful news stories and several headline-grabbing campaigns. Its news content is high – with some fantastic coverage including the dramatic killing on a moored submarine.”