A new nationwide regional press awards scheme is being launched today with the backing of HoldtheFrontPage.
The Society of Editors Regional Press Awards will aim to celebrate the best of UK regional journalism during 2010, with prizes to be handed out at a ceremony in London in May.
The awards, which will be open for entries later this month, are being held in association with the Newspaper Society and HoldtheFrontPage.
Details on how to enter will be published shortly on a dedicated website www.regionalpressawards.org.uk.
Entries will open on 14 February and close on 8 March with judging to take place in March and shortlists published in early April.
A lunchtime awards ceremony will be held in London on 11 May, to coincide with Local Newspaper Week 2011.
The cost of staging the awards will be met from entry fees, table sales and sponsorship, with any surplus going to the Journalists’ Charity.
Newspaper Society members have undertaken to participate in and support the awards and to avoid taking part in any competing UK-wide events.
This announcement follows an arrangement between the SoE and the NS’s sister organisation the Newspaper Publishers’ Association to bring the National Press Awards back into the industry this year.
SoE president Robin Esser said: “We are glad to help recognise the tremendous skills and achievements of regional newspapers that report tirelessly on behalf the communities they serve.”
Georgina Harvey, president of the NS and managing director of Trinity Mirror Regionals, said: “The regional and local press has a long and proud history of journalistic excellence and photographic prowess and I’mdelighted we’ll have the chance to pay tribute to our best journalists and photographers with these new awards.”
HoldtheFrontPage publisher Paul Linford added: “The SoE and the NS are the logical partners to take these awards forward and, as the home of UK regional journalism news, we are understandably pleased to beassociated with this initiative.”
Bob Satchwell, executive director of the SoE, will oversee the awards process in conjunction with the other partners.
The last full set of nationwide regional press awards were staged two years ago by Press Gazette and its then owner, the Wilmington Group.
However when Wilmington sold the magazine to Progressive Media in 2009, it retained the rights to the awards.
After failing to get industry backing, Wilmington then announced it would not be staging the awards during 2010.
The National Union of Journalists then stepped in by organising a scaled-down event last summer.