The Derby Telegraph’s Steve Hall was today named Editor of the Year at the Regional Press Awards for his barnstorming campaign to save rail jobs on his patch.
Steve, left, became the first winner of the newly-created prize after leading the fight to win new contracts for the city’s Bombardier factory after the government snubbed its bid for the £1.3bn Thameslink project.
Judges praised Steve for taking the campaign from the Midlands to Europe, reporting from the Bombardier company HQ, and winning the support of his home community as he addressed the crowd at a demonstration and lobby of Parliament.
They said: “The campaign was a great example of an editor selecting the right campaign to support the readers and sticking to it until the paper achieved a result. Hall led from the front and came face to face with the issue.”
Said Steve: “When I was 16 I tried to get a job with Derby Locomotive Works but I wsn’t bright enough so I went into journalism instead.
“It was the proudest moment of my career when we helped to save that factory from closure and I think this might be the second proudest moment.”
The Northern Scot picked up the award for Weekly Newspaper below 20,000 circulation and the Essex Chronicle took the award for Weekly Newspaper above 20,000 circulation for the second year running.
The award for Daily/Sunday Newspaper below 25,000 went to the Cambridge News and the Bel Tel won the award for Daily/Sunday Newspaper above 25,000.
Chairman of the judges, former SoE president and former editor of the Manchester Evening News, Paul Horrocks, said: “These awards have demonstrated the amazing quality of journalistic effort that is still being produced in these challenging times for the whole of the media and regional and local papers in particular.”
The winners of the last five categories to be announced were as follows:
Editor of the Year
Winner: Steve Hall, Derby Telegraph
Weekly Newspaper (below 20,000)
Winner: The Northern Scot
Highly Commended: The Ulster Herald
Weekly Newspaper (above 20,000)
Winner: Essex Chronicle
Highly Commended: Newbury Weekly News
Daily/Sunday (below 25,000)
Winner: Cambridge News
Highly Commended: Lancashire Evening Post
Daily/Sunday (above 25,000)
Winner: Belfast Telegraph
Highly Commended: Sunday Life