At a lunchtime ceremony on Friday which was interrupted by a fire, the Birmingham Mail took home four awards including that of Business and Finance Journalist of the Year for its business editor, Jon Griffin.
Jon, left, had been at risk of redundancy earlier this year as a result of a restructure at Trinity Mirror’s Midlands titles, although the threat was later lifted.
He was one of two individual winners for the Mail alongside Jeanette Oldham who took the HTFP sponsored Specialist Reporter of the Year category as the prizes were handed out at London’s Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel.
The Mail also took home the Wesbite of the Year award for its online channel www.birminghammail.co.uk and the Digital Award for its web coverage of the 40th anniversary of the Birmingham Pub Bombings.
They were among eight prizes won by Mail publisher Trinity Mirror, the most of any of the regional publishing groups.
The judges described the Mail’s digital award entry, which also saw two other Trinity Mirror projects shortlisted, as a masterpiece in storytelling.
They said: “The paper took the anniversary of a huge news story and told it in a compelling way. It used an enormous amount of detailed research, dozens of interviews, video, haunting audio, a live-blog, interactive graphics and plundered its archives to create a fantastic piece of work. It was also a campaign – calling for justice for the 21 people who died in the Birmingham pub bombings of 1974.”
Two of the four Newspaper of the Year titles also went to TM, with the Macclesfield Express awarded the Weekly Newspaper below 20,000 circulation award and The Journal, Newcastle taking the Daily/Sunday Newspaper below 25,000.
Belfast’s Sunday Life won the Daily/Sunday Newspaper above 25,000 circulation title while Local World’s Essex Chronicle was awarded the Weekly Newspaper below 20,000 prize.
There was also two top individual awards for Sunday Life, with reporter Patricia Devlin awarded both the Daily/Sunday News Reporter of the Year and the Scoop of the Year titles.
Patricia was praised for landing an exclusive interview with Michaella McCollum, the young girl from Dungannon who was jailed in Peru for drugs smuggling in 2013.
“She boasted brave reporting on top of a courageous investment by her editor. It certainly paid off producing an astonishing exclusive. Many other reporters would have been extremely jealous that Devlin got there first.”
Sunday Life also won the Making a Difference award for its campaign to abolish the cruel
practice of illegal puppy farming.
The award was organised by Local Media Works, part of News Media UK, for Local Newspaper Week with the winner chosen in a public vote held this week.
Organised by the Society of Editors in association with HoldTheFrontPage and the Press Association, the awards were made possible by the lead sponsorshipn of UK Power Networks.
Bob Satchwell, executive director of the SoE said: “Congratulations to all of this year’s winners who have yet again demonstrated the vital pubic service that they continue to perform.”
Chairman of the judges, former SoE president and former editor of the Manchester Evening News Paul Horrocks added: ” It is a much over-used phrase – but the standard of entries was superb and the judging process careful with much debate.”
The full list of winners was as follows:
YOUNG JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR – sponsored by HoldtheFrontPage. Winner: Gareth Davies – The Argus. Highly commended: Isaac Crowson – Derby Telegraph and Ciaran Jones – Media Wales
BUSINESS AND FINANCE JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Foot Anstey. Winner: Jon Griffin – Birmingham Mail. Highly commended: Bernard Ginns – The Yorkshire Post and Robin Johnson – Derby Telegraph
SPECIALIST WRITER OF THE YEAR – sponsored by HoldtheFrontPage. Winner: Jeanette Oldham – Birmingham Mail. Highly commended: Jon Austin – The Echo, Basildon
FEATURE WRITER OF THE YEAR. Winner: Lee Marlow – Leicester Mercury. Highly commended: Gemma Collins – Leicester Mercury and Chae Strathie – Sunday Post
COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR – sponsored by ASDA. Winner: Fred Leicester – Leicester Mercury. Highly commended: Emma Clayton – Bradford Telegraph & Argus
WEEKLY SPORTS JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR. Winner: Chris Harby – Melton Times. Highly commended: Jon Colman – The Cumberland News
DAILY/SUNDAY SPORTS JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR. Winner: Jon Colman – News & Star, Carlisle Highly commended: Mark Guidi – Sunday Post and Suzanne Geldard – Lancashire Telegraph
WEEKLY REPORTER OF THE YEAR – sponsored by UK Power Networks . Winner: Gareth Davies – Croydon Advertiser. Highly commended: Phil Coleman – The Cumberland News and Emma Hobley – Braintree and Witham Times
DAILY/SUNDAY REPORTER OF THE YEAR – sponsored by UK Power Networks. Winner: Patricia Devlin – Sunday Life. Highly commended: Jon Austin – The Echo, Basildon
WEEKLY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR. Winner: Arwyn Parry-Jones – Cambrian News. Highly commended: Christopher Whiteoak – Aldershot News & Mail
DAILY/SUNDAY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR. Winner: Paul Jacobs – The News, Portsmouth. Highly commended: Mike Sewell – Leicester Mercury
DESIGNER OF THE YEAR. Winner: Adam Walker – Media Wales. Highly commended: Sian David – Bath Chronicle and Kathryn Clarke-Mcleod – Western Morning News
SUPPLEMENT OF THE YEAR. Winner: Great War 100 – Liverpool Echo. Highly commended: First World War – Dundee Courier and Advertiser
SCOOP OF THE YEAR.Winner: Michaella: My Story, Patricia Devlin – Sunday Life. Highly commended: Beyond Belief, Darren Hamilton – Dundee Evening Telegraph
CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR – sponsored by ASDA. Winner: Keep Our Streets Free – News & Star, Carlisle Highly commended: Greengate Memorial – Manchester Evening News
WEBSITE OF THE YEAR – sponsored by JTI. Winner: Birmingham Mail. Highly commended: www.edp24.co.uk
THE DIGITAL AWARD – sponsored by JTI. Winner: Birmingham Mail. Highly commended: The Great North Run Million – Newcastle Evening Chronicle
JOURNALISTS’ CHARITY AWARD. Winner: Robin Burgess, Chief Executive, CN Group
WEEKLY NEWSPAPER (BELOW 20,000). Winner: Macclesfield Express. Highly commended: Keighley News and Kent Messenger
WEEKLY NEWSPAPER (ABOVE 20,000). Winner: Essex Chronicle. Highly commended: The Cumberland News
DAILY/SUNDAY NEWSPAPER (BELOW 25,000). Winner: The Journal, Newcastle. Highly commended: Sunday Echo
DAILY/SUNDAY NEWSPAPER (ABOVE 25,000). Winner: Sunday Life. Highly commended: Aberdeen Press and Journal
MAKE A DIFFERENCE CAMPAIGN. Winner: Sunday Life’s Campaign to abolish illegal puppy farming