Two sister newspapers have won plaudits from cricket’s governing body for providing “excellent exposure” for the sport.
Newcastle-based titles The Journal and Sunday Sun landed the Regional Newspaper of the Year accolade at the England and Wales Cricket Board’s fifth annual County Cricket Journalism Awards.
Continued coverage of all of Durham County Cricket Club’s home and away County Championship fixtures by sports writer Stuart Rayner was cited among the reasons for The Journal and Sunday Sun’s victory.
Mark Baldwin, the chairman of the Cricket Writers Club and a member of the five-strong judging panel, said: “The awards were started in 2011 to celebrate and encourage outstanding coverage of county cricket, so it was heartening for all of us to reflect on the quality of the competition this year.
He added: “We were also delighted to recognise the excellent coverage that Stuart Rayner has been providing to The Journal and the Sunday Sun in the North-East, continuing to attend all of Durham’s County Championship fixtures at home and away, and ensuring that county cricket continues to receive excellent exposure even in such a competitive sporting landscape, helped by a strong trio of columnists.
“Along similar lines, Marcus Hook has provided regular coverage of all things Surrey in the South London Press, and we felt it was important to recognise the efforts of Chris Travers in The Sentinel.
“There may not be a first-class county in Staffordshire, but they show there is no reason why Minor Counties and league cricket should not receive first-class coverage.”
The prizes were presented at the Business of Cricket Awards, an annual event attended by representatives of all 18 first-class counties and the MCC, in London on Thursday night.
Journal editor Darren Thwaites said: “We are delighted to receive this award from the ECB.
“It demonstrates our commitment to local sport in the region, informing local audiences with insightful reporting and informed comment.”