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Regional journalist takes on nationals for top award

A regional daily reporter will compete with the nationals after being shortlisted for an award which recognises campaigning and investigative journalism.

Aasma Day, left, from the Lancashire Evening Post, has been shortlisted for the Paul Foot Award against national newspaper journalists, including the team from The Guardian who broke the Edward Snowdon leaks about the extent of mass surveillance by government agencies.

Aasma was nominated for a six-week “Twilight” investigation into life on the margins of society, which saw her look into pawn shops, food banks, soup kitchens and loan sharks.

The winner of the award will be announced on 25 February at a ceremony in London and will receive £5,000, while the runners-up will be given £1,000 each.

Aasma was given six weeks off diary by the Evening Post to look into “the hidden world on our doorstep”, which saw her mix with people from all walks of life.

This included walking the city centre at night talking to the homeless, including one man who had not bought any food for five years, living instead from supermarket dustbins.

Her investigation won widespread praise from all sections of the community, including the individuals themselves, MPs, charities, police chiefs and the leader of Preston Council.

In shortlisting Aasma, judges praised regional newspapers, including the Evening Post, who still carry out “impressive investigations on limited manpower” despite attacks on their editorial budgets. 

One of Aasma's stories which saw her nominated for the award.

Editor Gillian Parkinson said: “Aasma’s Twilight investigation showed incredible tenacity and ingenuity.

“It is one thing to find the people featured in this investigation, but another to get them to open up and speak about the fabric of their incredible lives.

“Her nomination, in the company of some of the finest investigative journalists in the country, is well deserved.”

Aasma, 36, has worked at the Evening Post for 15 years and was named News Reporter of the Year at the O2 Media Awards for the North West region last year.

Others shortlisted for the award are Tom Bergin from Reuters, Jonathan Calvert and Heidi Blake from the Sunday Times, David Cohen from the Evening Standard, James Dean from The Times and The Snowden Team from The Guardian.

The award was set up by Private Eye magazine and The Guardian in memory of Paul Foot, the journalist and campaigner who died in 2004.


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  • February 17, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Well done Lancashire Evening Post for giving Aasma the time to do this. Well done to Aasma for doing it. Best of luck!

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  • February 19, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Just seen this in Private Eye. What an achievement. Reuters, Sunday Times, Evening Standard, The Times, Guardian and…The Lancashire Post! Can I read this anywhere?

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