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Express and Star takes region’s top title

The Express and Star in Wolverhampton was named Newspaper of the Year at the Midlands Media Awards last night, taking the crown from the Derby Telegraph.

But the Telegraph emerged with the largest number of awards overall , with reporter Chris Jones taking Scoop and Feature Writer of the Year for his exclusive interview with the mother of four children who died in a tragic house fire.

There were also wins for two Telegraph photographers, Leah McLaren in the news picture category and Katherine Burnett for sports photography, taking the Northcliffe-owned title’s tally to four wins.

And there was a double success for Les Reid, of the Coventry Telegraph, who took the awards for Journalist of the Year and News Reporter on a daily title.

The Express and Star beat off competition from the Birmingham Mail, Coventry Telegraph, Leicester Mercury, Northampton Chronicle and Echo, Tamworth Herald, and the Derby Telegraph.

Editor Adrian Faber (second right) with his award-winning team from the Express and Star

Chairman of judges Steve Dyson said: “The Express and Star stood out as the paper with painstakingly detailed local coverage of live events, high story counts and great projection of front page stories in good, old-fashioned black type. And as its industry-leading circulation figures show, old-fashioned is not always a bad thing.”

Steve also praised Chris Jones’s scoop which followed the fatal house fire at Hulland Ward, Derbyshire, in 2011.

“To have gained the trust of a mother who had lost children in a fire, and to have persuaded her to give such a detailed, emotive interview, was a remarkable scoop.  You were compelled to read the resulting splash and feature from start to finish, and the story was one that was imprinted on the mind,” he said.

Scoop of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year Chris Jones, from the Derby Telegraph with co-host Lucy Kite and David Lavender, from sponsors Birmingham Airport

For the first time ever, there was a tie for Business Journalist of the Year – former Birmingham Post Business Editor John Duckers, who now contributes to Midlands Business Insider magazine, sharing the honours with Jon Griffin, Business Editor of the Birmingham Mail.

Press Club Chairman John Lamb said: “At a time when journalism is being put through unprecedented and, in my view, dangerous scrutiny, and is undergoing a contraction in many areas, it is heart-warming to receive so many entries brimming with enthusiasm and pride.”

The full list of winners is as follows:

Newspaper of the Year

Express and Star

Journalist of the Year

Les Reid, Coventry Telegraph

Magazine of the Year

The Journal

News Reporter of the Year (Daily)

Les Reid, Coventry Telegraph

News Reporter of the Year (Weekly)

Paul Kemp, Tamworth Herald

Online Journalist of the Year

Stephanie Bartup, Midlands Business insider

Business Journalist of the Year

John Duckers, Midlands Business Insider

Jon Griffin, Birmingham Mail

Sports Journalist of the Year

Tom Ross, BRMB

Scoop of the Year

Chris Jones, Derby Telegraph

Headline of the Year

Richard Jackson, Birmingham Mail

Columnist of the Year

Mike Lockley, Sunday Mercury

Feature Writer of the Year

Chris Jones, Derby Telegraph

Newcomer/Student of the Year

Daniel Hewitt, ITV Central

News Photographer of the Year

Leah McLaren, Derby Telegraph

Sports Photographer of the Year

Katherine Burnett, Derby Telegraph

TV Journalist of the Year

Mark Gough, ITV Central.

Radio Journalist of the Year

Stacey Foster, BRMB



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  • March 16, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Congratulations to Les Reid – proof that persistence really does pay off.

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  • March 16, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Well done Les Reid, a great ”double” for a quality journalist

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