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Redundant weekly editor scores double awards nomination

john-butterworthA weekly newspaper editor made redundant three months ago has won a double nomination in the Midlands Media Awards.

John Butterworth, left, has been shortlisted in the Feature Writer of the Year and Weekly News Reporter of the year categories for the awards with the list of nominations published today.

Bu John will be unable to attend the ceremony in person because he is celebrating his 40th wedding anniversary with a trip to Antigua and Grenada at the time.

On missing the awards, he told HTFP: “I’m in the West Indies for my wedding anniversary, that is absolutely incredible. I’m pig sick, I really am.

John left the Black Country Bugle in June amid Trinity Mirror cuts, but successfully fought to keep the newspaper’s staff on patch before doing so.

The Bugle has also been nominated in the Magazine of the Year and Headline of the Year categories, for which John was responsible.

On his nominations, John added: “That is a brilliant epitaph for me. I really am touched that at 63 I can get in the awards.”

The Bugle’s four nominations were part of 14 won by TM-owned Central Independent Newspapers – with other shortlisted titles including the Nuneaton News, Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer, Tamworth Herald and Walsall Advertiser

Elsewhere, the Birmingham Mail scored the highest number of nominations with 16 in total.

Trinity Mirror dominates the shortlist for the Newspaper of the Year prize, with the Mail up against sister titles the Derby Telegraph, Sunday Mercury, Stoke Sentinel and Tamworth Herald along with the Newsquest-owned Worcester News.

However the Midland News Association, owner of the region’s top-selling daily the Express & Star and sister title the Shropshire Star, decided not to enter the awards this year.

There were also nominations made in the News Website of the Year category.

The awards, organised by the Birmingham Press Club, attracted more than 200 entries with the most competitive category being News Reporter of the Year (Daily), which received 36 entries.

Award-winning television presenter Suzanne Virdee was chairman of the final judging panel of experienced journalists and communications specialists who scrutinised a shortlist of entries after an initial judging process carried out by a panel of 40 professionals.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held at Birmingham Repertory Theatre on Thursday 20 October.

The full shortlist is as follows:

Blogger of the Year
Ruth Emmerson, Sheworechic Blog
Ross Hawkes, Lichfield Live
Alessandro Sorrentino, UK by Numbers
Graham Young, Birmingham Mail

Business Journalist of the Year
Simon Gilbert, Coventry Telegraph
Mark Gough, ITV News Central
Lauren Mills, Leicester Mercury
Peter Plisner, BBC Midlands Today

Campaign of the Year
Martyn Smith, Stourbridge News
Gary Phelps, Nuneaton News
Gary Phelps, Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer

Columnist of the Year
Jenny Amphlett, The Sentinel
Neil Elkes, Birmingham Mail
Robin Johnson, Derby Telegraph
Mike Lockley, Birmingham Mail
Mike Lockley, Sunday Mercury
Anton Rippon, Derby Telegraph

Feature Writer of the Year
John Butterworth, Black Country Bugle
Zoe Chamberlain, Birmingham Mail
Andy Darlington, Taste the Seasons
Justine Halifax, Sunday Mercury
Mike Lockley, Birmingham Mail
John Woodhouse, The Sentinel

Headline of the Year
Birmingham Mail, ‘The May Team’
Birmingham Mail, ‘Remi Detached’
Birmingham Mail, ‘Fiddler in the Roof’
Black Country Bugle, ‘To Be or To Bay – That is the Question’
Sunday Mercury, ‘The Good , The Bad & The Dudley’
Taste the Seasons, ‘Temper Temper!’
Walsall Advertiser, ‘Whitney: I Believe the Children are the Future’

Magazine of the Year
Birmingham Living
Black Country Bugle
Herefordshire Society
Midlands Business Insider
Taste the Seasons
University of Derby Magazine

Newcomer of the Year
Rebecca Burrows, ITV News Central
Matthew Dresch, Worcester News
Megan Jones, Free Radio
Nicholas Reid, Tamworth Herald

News Photo of the Year
Chris De Bretton-Gordon, Leicester Mercury
Adam Fradgley, AMA Sports Photo Agency
Ross Hawkes, Lichfield Live
Nick Wilkinson, Birmingham Mail
Graham Young, Birmingham Mail

Daily News Reporter of the Year
Antonia Bannister, Coventry Telegraph
Zoe Chamberlain, Birmingham Mail
Ben Ireland, Nottingham Post
Chris Mallett, Derby Telegraph
Martin Naylor, Derby Telegraph
Jeanette Oldham, Birmingham Mail
Catherine Phillips, Worcester News
Andy Richards, Birmingham Mail

Weekly News Reporter of the Year
John Butterworth, Black Country Bugle
Robbie Gordon, The Hinckley Times
Bev Holder, Stourbridge News
Sam Jones, Tamworth Herald
Mike Lockley, Sunday Mercury
Adam Smith, Halesowen News

News Website of the Year
There are no nominations in this category

Newspaper of the Year
Birmingham Mail
Derby Telegraph
Hinckley Times
Sunday Mercury
The Sentinel
Tamworth Herald
Worcester News

Radio Journalist of the Year
Paul Bradbury, Touch FM
Sian Grzeszczyk, BBC Coventry & Warwickshire
Kellie Maddox, Free Radio
Suzie Rack, BBC Coventry & Warwickshire
Amy Stubbs, Global’s Midlands News Room
Kate West, BBC Hereford & Worcester

Scoop of the Year
Tom Edwards, Worcester News
Adam Smith, Halesowen News

Sports Journalist of the Year
Michael Beardmore, Walsall Advertiser
Geoff Berkeley, Worcester News
Steve Clamp, ITV News Central
Matt Davies, Nottingham Post
Chris Philpotts, Nuneaton News
Les Reid, Coventry Observer
James Sharpe, Leicester Mercury

Sports Photographer of the Year
Chris De Bretton-Gordon, Leicester Mercury
Adam Fradgley, AMA Sports Photo Agency
Tim Harley-Easthope, Birmingham Mail
Dale Martin, Freelance

Supplement of the Year
Central Independent News & Media, ‘Education’
Lincolnshire Media, ‘The Business’
Oxford Times, ‘Oxfordshire Limited Edition’
Stratford Herald, ‘Shakespeare 400’
Tamworth Herald, ‘Draw the Queen’
Tamworth Herald, ‘Archive’

Television Journalist of the Year
Qasa Alom, BBC Inside Out West Midlands
Andy Bevan, ITV News Central
Jonathan Gibson, BBC Inside Out West Midlands
Mark Gough, ITV News Central
Sian Grzeszczyk, BBC Midlands Today

The Tony Flanagan News Photographer of the Year
Steve Bould, The Sentinel
Chris De Bretton-Gordon, Leicester Mercury
Adam Fradgley, AMA Sports Photo Agency
Dale Martin, Freelance
Nick Wilkinson, Birmingham Mail
Mark Williamson, Stratford Herald


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  • September 9, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Well, if that doesn’t show the bosses in their ivory towers that this scorched earth policy has lost pretty much all the talent that once persuaded people in their tens of thousands to buy newspapers isn’t working…
    However, given all the guff I’ve heard down the last 20 years about the internet being the future, why is their no website of the year award?
    That is the oddest thing I’ve read on here in a while.

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  • September 9, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    I’d imagine the reason why there are no entries is because most of the papers are now owned by the same group and therefore have identikit sites. Judging sites which share a lot of common features (and content in some cases) would have been a bit tough I’m guessing. Hopefully some of the independent projects will be given some encouragement in future, perhaps by dropping the news bit from the title to reflect the diverse nature of work being produced?

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  • September 15, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    I thought the quality was really high this year, but it seems there was a late addition to the shortlist.

    Surely the committee didn’t add someone to the list just because they were on the receiving end of an angry rant?

    Perish the thought.

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