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Morning News takes West of England crown

The Western Morning News was named best daily newspaper in the South West yesterday while the Western Gazette took the weekly crown.

This year’s EDF Energy South West Media Awards, held in association with HoldtheFrontPage. were handed out in a lunchtime ceremony at the Bristol Hotel in Bristol.

There were three awards for the Bristol Post including Specialist Journalist of the Year and Digital Journalist of the Year but it was pipped to the Daily Newspaper of the Year prize by Local World sister title the WMN.

Plymouth daily The Herald took two awards with the Newcomer of the Year and Daily Journalist of the Year prizes.

Western Morning News editor Bill Martin said: “This is a fantastic recognition of all the hard work the Western Morning News does to champion the Westcountry and stand up for and stand by the issues that really matter to the people that live and work here.

“It’s also a great recognition of all the hard work of all the staff in all departments across the region.”

WMN editor Bill Martin with the paper's award

Coverage of the winter floods figured heavily among the winners with ITV News Westcountry picking up Television News or Current Affairs Programme of the Year, for its coverage of the Dawlish rail line collapse.

BBC Radio Somerset’s Ben McGrail Programme won best Radio News Programme, for its coverage of the floods which struck large parts of the county while the Helston Packet won Front Page of the Year for ‘Storm Force’, with a striking image capturing the moment giant waves engulf seafront buildings on the Cornish coast.

Now in their tenth year, the awards honour the best in local journalism in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Bath and Bristol.

Tim McCoy, EDF Energy’s Head of Media Relations, said: “Congratulations to all the winners. They are clearly at the top of their game, producing content that resonates with their readers and viewers, and reflecting the lives and concerns of communities across the South West of England.”

The full list of winners was as follows:

Newcomer of the Year: Sian Davies, The Plymouth Herald

Digital Journalist of the Year:   Emily Koch, Bristol Post

Specialist Journalist of the Year: Gavin Thompson, Bristol Post

News photographer of the Year:  Paul Nicholls, Gloucestershire Media

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

Feature Writer of the Year: Steven Impey, Gloucestershire Media

Columnist of the Year: Barrie Hudson, Swindon Advertiser

Designer of the Year: Jon Lewis, Express and Echo

Radio Journalist of the Year: Chris Brierley, BBC Bristol

TV Journalist of the Year: David Woodland, ITV Westcountry

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

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

Website of the Year:

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

Front Page of the Year: Helston Packet, Storm force

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

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

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

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

Daily Newspaper of the Year: The Western Morning News


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  • July 4, 2014 at 9:09 am

    A cracking paper produced by a cracking team. Well done to Bill and the team at the Western Morning News

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  • July 4, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Congratulations to all the winners. But wait… Nothing for the Western Daily Press? I remember the day when it scooped almost everything – even on the national stage. Could its sad demise be anything to do with the quality of its recently appointed management?

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  • July 4, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    The Western Daily Press passed away about three months ago I think.

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  • July 4, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Looks like a case of downANDout.
    But is this really true the WDP has finished? I knew a few old sods who worked on it once upon a time and they won’t have heard (rest homes etc).
    A chance to recall very happy days, maybe.
    Can someone please set the record straight?

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  • July 6, 2014 at 11:22 am

    I don’t know the Western Daily Press either then or now but just to say winning a little plastic thing is not always the sign of a good paper, day in day out. It’s the sign of a paper that likes (needs?) to win awards, for whatever reason.

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