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Journalist honoured after 50 years with publisher

A journalist who has worked for a regional publisher for 50 years has been given a special award in recognition of her long service.

Shropshire Star journalist Shirley Tart was presented with a directors’ discretionary award for her long-standing contribution to the business at an awards ceremony held by the Midlands News Association to honour its staff.

A video tribute was paid to Shirley, who is also associate editor of the Shropshire Magazine, at an awards ceremony at Telford International Centre last week, when senior members of the MNA praised her.

Express & Star editor Keith Harrison said: “Shirley Tart is a legend in journalistic circles, not just locally but at a national level.”

Shropshire Star editor Martin Wright added: “I don’t think anybody will match the length of service which Shirley has given the Star.”

Shirley Tart receives her award from MNA managing director Phil Inman.

Speaking after she received a standing ovation for her award, Shirley said: “It’s such an honour and I feel so privileged. I wouldn’t have ever been able to do some of the amazing things I’ve done in my career if it wasn’t for MNA.”

Others winning prizes at the awards included Express & Star political editor Daniel Wainwright who was named West Midlands journalist of the year for the second year running, Jennifer Meierhans was Shropshire journalist of the year and Wolves reporter Tim Nash won sports desk person of the year.

Said Daniel: “I work with some of the most brilliant and talented people in the business. I am very grateful that people think I am worthy to win again.”

The team leader of the year award was shared between Express & Star head of news Becky Woods and Shropshire Star regional advertising manager Petra Smith.

Two other editorial awards went to Express & Star employees, with Melissa Coombs being named sub editor of the year and the photographer of the year award going to Tim Thursfield, another back to back winner.

The public facing award went to Shropshire Star head of editorial support Tania Taylor.

In total, 380 guests attended the event, including more than 80 members of the editorial department.