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Murdered soldier’s parents praise regional press

The parents of murdered soldier Lee Rigby have praised the regional press as a Manchester Evening News reporter was honoured for his coverage of the story.

Lyn and Ian Rigby handed the North West News Reporter of the Year prize to the MEN’s Neal Keeling in an emotional finale to last night’s O2 Awards ceremony at Salford Quays.

Said Lyn:  “We’ve got to know well a number of journalists from across the region and they have been so supportive. We were so pleased to be asked to attend and to present the award in Lee’s honour.”

Ian added: “It’s been a very moving experience and I’d like to thank all the journalists here for giving us such a welcome.”MEN front page Rigby 24 May copy

The couple, from Greater Manchester, joined other special guests at the Imperial War Museum at Salford Quays as the awards were handed out.

The Liverpool Echo retained its crown as Daily Newspaper of the Year and picked up a joint winners award for its week-long series of First World War supplements and the scoop of the year prize for its revelation of internet slurs about Hillsborough victims on Wikipedia.

Other special guests included veterans the late Sir Tom Finney’s son Brian, as the Lancashire Evening Post was named Team of the Year for its in-depth coverage of the football legend’s death.

Emmerdale’s on-screen couple Fiona Wade and Pasha Boccarie presented the Warrington Guardian with its Weekly Newspaper of the Year trophy, while there was a  special award for Oldham Evening Chronicle Managing Editor Dave Whaley for his moving accounts of his fight to beat throat cancer.

Nicola Green, director of communications and reputation at O2 UK, said the judging panel were hugely impressed by the tremendous examples of community journalism across the North West.

“The O2 awards are a celebration of all that is good about regional media,” she said.

Bob Buiaroski, Capita O2 Partnership Director, added:  “The fantastic work of regional journalists across North West needs to be showcased.”

The full list of winners was as follows:

Free Distribution NewspaperSt Helens Star

Team of the Year: Lancashire Evening Post

Young Reporter of the Year: Adam McClean – ITV Granada

Feature Writer of the Year: Diane Cooke – Lancashire Telegraph

Judges’ Special Award: Dave Whaley – Oldham Evening Chronicle

Weekly News Reporter of the Year: Anna Smith – Westmorland Gazette

Radio Journalist of the Year: Michelle Livesey – Key 103

Specialist Writer of the Year: Aasma Day – Lancashire Evening Post

Community Journalism Award: Juice FM

Weekly Sports Reporter of the Year: Jon Colman – Cumberland News

Specialist Publication of the Year: Carlisle Living

Scoop of the Year: Liverpool Echo (Hillsborough Wikipedia slurs)

Photographer of the Year: Gareth Jones – Liverpool Echo

Supplement of the Year: Liverpool Echo Great War 100 Years and Stoke Sentinel – D Day the Final Salute

New Media Award: Chester Chronicle

Broadcast Presenter of the Year: Mike Hall – ITV Granada

Weekly Newspaper of the Year: Warrington Guardian

Sports Reporter of the Year: Mick Coyle – Radio City

Daily Newspaper of the Year: Liverpool Echo

TV Journalist of the Year: Jayne McCubbin – BBC North West Tonight

News Reporter of the Year: Neal Keeling – Manchester Evening News