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EDF South West Awards: What the judges said

With more than 300 entries to sift through, the panel of  judges for this year’s EDF Energy South West Media Awards faced a tough task in choosing a winner for each of the 20 categories.

The eight-strong panel comprises: Colin Channon, editor of the Basildon Echo, John Elworthy, editor of the Cambs Times, Stacia Briggs, Eastern Daily Press senior writer and columnist, Simon Wright, editor of ITV News Anglia, Terry Hunt, editor of the East Anglian Daily Times, Steve Adams, picture editor at Archant Norfolk,  Paul Linford, editor of Hold the Front Page, and Nick Woodhead, editor of the Lynn News.

Here’s our round-up of what the judges said about each of the winners.

Newcomer of the Year: Sian Davies, The Plymouth Herald

“A brilliant piece on the foul-smelling exotic fruit that sparked a city centre evacuation because of gas leak fears, impressed the judges.”

Digital Journalist of the Year: Emily Koch, Bristol Post

“Delivers great journalism and brilliant use of an array of digital tools to produce fantastic story-telling.”

Specialist Journalist of the Year: Gavin Thompson, Bristol Post

“Variety, fine writing and good use of quotes…great stories that prove business can be written to appeal to all.”

News Photographer of the Year: Paul Nicholls, Gloucestershire Media

“A fantastic selection, five brilliant shots.”

Sports Journalist of the Year: Steve Cotton, Bristol News and Media

“There was reams of coverage when David Moyes became manager at Manchester United, but that didn’t stop Steve finding a unique angle for the Bristol Post.”

Feature Writer of the Year: Steven Impey, Gloucestershire Media

“A class writer, showing genuine empathy with the people he interviews, and is adept at turning those conversations into crisp, flowing content.”

Columnist of the Year: Barrie Hudson, Swindon Advertiser

“Barrie’s one-liners produce genuine laugh out loud moments….passion and tongue in cheek humour aplenty.”

Designer of the Year: Jon Lewis, Express and Echo

“Stand-out imagery, headlines and copy combine for maximum impact, with each element always given space to breathe.”

Radio Journalist of the Year: Chris Brierley, BBC Bristol

“An exclusive about Bristol’s Somali community and feelings of victimisation by police made for a powerful lead news item, with good use of audio and a range of views aired.”

TV Journalist of the Year: David Woodland, ITV Westcountry

“From the moment the floods took hold in Somerset, David took to his kayak to reach the places that other journalists couldn’t.”

Print Journalist of the Year (Weekly): Siobhan Stayt, The Bath Chronicle

“Detailed, compelling copy…a series of strong stories and captivating reads.”

Print Journalist of the Year (Daily): Claire Jones, The Plymouth Herald

“A talented reporter who tells riveting stories that always have people at their heart.”

Website of the Year:

“Punches above its weight both traffic-wise and commercially, with a well rounded editorial package.”

Community Campaign of the Year: Mid Devon Gazette, Protect Our Kids

“The campaign was brave, with the paper successfully calling for a serious case review to be carried out.”

Front Page of the Year: Helston Packet, Storm Force

“A bold approach, matched by great thought and confidence in the final delivery.”

Radio News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year: BBC Somerset, Ben McGrail Programme

“A programme that has produced gripping radio, offering unfolding dramas and real lives through a range of voices.”

Television News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year: ITV Westcountry, Dawlish Rail line

“The images are striking, the local reactions powerful.”

Weekly Newspaper of the Year (Free): Nailsea, Clevedon and Portishead Times

“A good story count, the Nailsea, Clevedon and Portishead times offers hard news and exclusives, underpinned by a wealth of community news and activity.”

Weekly Newspaper of the Year (Paid for): Western Gazette

“A consistently strong offering, a paper that’s rammed with news, adopts a brave approach and generates of lots of reader engagement.”

Daily Newspaper of the Year: The Western Morning News

“An agenda-setting newspaper that’s listened to at Westminster, has stepped up it’s multi-media approach, and remains Local World’s top performing title.”