Multi-award winning investigative reporter Jon Austin has been named the top journalist in his region for an incredible sixth year in a row.
Jon, of Basildon-based daily The Echo, was named EDF Energy East of England Daily Print Journalist of the Year at a ceremony in Essex today.
Judges praised the level and detail of his work on the traveller evictions at Dale Farm as ‘incredible.’
Jon is also in the running for the prestigious UK-wide Paul Foot Award for Campaigining Journalism for the same set of stories.
The EDF judges described him as “a very talented reporter who turns opportunities into brilliant stories and who continues to operate at a high level year after year.”
- See our gallery of all the winners receiving their awards plus what the judges said about the winning entries
Jon also retained his award for Environmental Journalist of the Year in the region as the prizes were handed out at The Fennes, Bocking.
Unfortunately he was unable to be present in person to collect his two awards.
They were collected on his behalf by Echo colleague Chris Phillips, who was shortlisted in the Sports Journalist of the Year category.
Also retaining their awards from last year were top Feature Writer Alice Hutton, of the Cambridge News, and Sports Journalist of the Year Donovan Blake, of ITV Anglia.
And there was a double success for Faye McBride of the Essex Chronicle, who was named both Newcomer of the Year and Weekly Print Journalist of the Year.
Faye started out on the Chronicle in January 2011 after completing the Press Association course at Newcastle.
Said Faye: “It’s a massive shock. Every story you do to the utmost of your ability but you never think you are going to win an award.”
The Chronicle won the Weekly Paid-for Newspaper of the Year prize while the Daily Newspaper of the Year award went to the Evening Star, Ipswich.
Chronicle editor Alan Geere said: “We are now regional newspaper of the year both nationally and in the region – what more could you want?”
Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover added: “We fight very hard for our readers and we are thrilled this has been recognised at a time when the industry is under great pressure.”
The full list of winners was as follows:
Daily Print Journalist of the Year: Jon Austin, The Echo, Basildon
Weekly Print Journalist of the Year: Faye McBride, Essex Chronicle
Newcomer of the Year: Faye McBride, Essex Chronicle
Feature Writer of the Year: Alice Hutton, Cambridge News
News Photographer of the Year: Ben Davis, Peterborough Evening Telegraph
Sports Journalist of the Year: Donovon Blake, ITV Anglia
Environmental Journalist of the Year: Jon Austin, The Echo, Basildon
Business Journalist of the Year: Jenny Chapman, Cambridge News
Columnist of the Year: Dave Bromage, Herts & Essex Observer
Designer of the Year: Le-Anne Reeves, East Anglian Daily Times
Radio Journalist of the Year: James Melley, BBC Essex
Television Journalist of the Year: Neil Bradford, ITV Anglia
Radio News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year: The Ray Clark Breakfast Show, BBC Essex
Television News Programme of the Year: Britain’s Great Reef, BBC East
Website of the Year: www.cambridge-news.co.uk
Community Campaign of the Year: Make it Marham, Eastern Daily Press
Front Page of the Year: Gambling and me, Evening Star, Ipswich
Paid-for Weekly Newspaper of the Year: Essex Chronicle
Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year: St Neots News and Crier
Daily Newspaper of the Year: Evening Star, Ipswich