Judges will begin poring over a mountain of entries for the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards today with the number of entries reaching a final tally of 740.
Panels of independent experts will start the process of choosing the best of British regional journalism under the chairmanship of Paul Horrocks, SoE president in 2007 and former editor of the Manchester Evening News.
The awards have been made possible by the lead sponsorship of UK Power Networks and are also supported by Asda, media law firm Foot Anstey, the Press Association and HoldTheFrontPage, which will sponsor the award for Young Journalist of the Year for the second year running.
The winners will be announced at an Oscars-style lunchtime awards ceremony to be held at the Savoy Place, London on 25 May.
Chairman of the judges Paul Horrocks said: “The entries demonstrate 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.”
HoldtheFrontPage publisher Paul Linford added: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Young Journalist of the Year award again and in so doing demonstrating our confidence in the future of our industry.”