A regional journalist who reported from a Royal Navy destroyer beat off competition from national and international publication to land a prestigious award.
Sam Bannister, defence correspondent at The News, Portsmouth, has been given the prestigious Desmond Wettern Media Award in recognition of reporting undertaken while embedded aboard HMS Dragon during anti-piracy operations in the Persian Gulf.
The award is given to the journalist or media figure who does the most to generate public awareness of Britain’s current maritime issues.
It is presented in honour of the former naval correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, Desmond Wettern, who died in 1991.
Sam, pictured above receiving the award from Desmond’s widow Gillian, said: “It was a real honour to pick up the award for my reporting of naval issues in The News.
“Portsmouth is the home of the Royal Navy and therefore it is rightly a topic of significant interest to our readers. We remain proud as a paper to stand almost alone in the regional press in maintaining our defence post and believe we give the subject the coverage it deserves.”
The award is presented by the Maritime Foundation, an organisation dedicated to promoting Britain’s interests across the maritime sector.
Mark Waldron, editor of The News, said: “This is a prestigious accolade and Sam is a truly deserving winner.
“It was pleasing to hear that the judges were ‘bowled over’ by the quality and depth of his writing – talents we are lucky to have at our disposal on a daily basis.
“The News remains proud to be the home-town paper of the Royal Navy and I think Sam’s award is a reflection of the importance we continue to place on our coverage of the senior service.”