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Judges hail MEN’s ‘exceptional year’ as Regional Press Awards handed out

The Manchester Evening News scooped no fewer than seven top prizes at the Regional Press Awards for 2017 after judges praised the paper’s “exceptional year.”

The paper, which was widely applauded for its coverage of the Manchester Arena attack under former editor Rob Irvine, took home both the Daily Newspaper of the Year and Campaign of the Year awards, in large part for its reporting of the atrocity and its aftermath.

In awarding the Campaign of the Year Award for its #WeStandTogether drive, the judges said that the MEN had put together an excellent campaign that “turned tragedy into triumph.”

The awards, held in association with HoldtheFrontPage, were handed out today in a lunchtime ceremony hosted by LBC presenter Nick Ferrari at the IET, Savoy Place, London, organised by the Society of Editors on behalf of the industry.

Massacre - winner of the Front Page of the Year category at the Regional Press Awards for 2017

Massacre – winner of the Front Page of the Year category at the Regional Press Awards for 2017

The judges said: “The Manchester Evening News had an exceptional year during 2017 and has been widely recognised for its work.

“Under former editor Rob Irvine, the paper produced outstanding coverage of the Manchester arena atrocity that was dignified, sympathetic and insightful. It reflected the grief and courage of a community in mourning.

“It brought the entire community together and celebrated the things that make Manchester great despite the temptation to take an opposite view.”

“It continues to produce exceptional news, sport and business coverage both in print and online and its social media offerings and followers continue to reflect its strong community spirit.”

The paper also took home Website of the Year, Social Media Team of the Year and Front Page of the Year while MEN reporters Jennifer Williams and Chris Osuh won the awards for Specialist Writer/Impact Journalist of the Year and Feature Writer/Long Form Journalist of the Year respectively.

And the North West dominance continued with the Liverpool Echo winning three awards, including the HoldtheFrontPage-sponsored Young Journalist of the Year prize.

Josh Parry was named Young Journalist for his undercover reporting on ‘gay conversion’ therapies in the city while the Business and Finance Journalist was awarded to Alistair Houghton for his reports on the regeneration of the city.

And Echo reporter Joe Thomas took home the Scoop of the Year award for his investigation into the predatory exploitation of vulnerable young girls by two paedophile brothers.

Other winners in the Newspaper of the Year categories were The Mail (formerly the North West Evening Mail) which was name best daily below 20,000 circulation, the Camden New Journal (weekly above 15,000 circulation) and the Bucks Free Press (weekly below 15,000 circulation).

The daily and weekly reporting prizes went to the Bimingham Mail’s Jeanette Oldham for her reporting on emerging gangs in the city and the theft of secret police documents from the car of the West Midlands counter-terrorism chief, and the Camden New Journal’s William McLennan for his reports on the human cost of welfare reform and the attempted deportation of individuals that have lived for decades in the UK.

The Eastern Daily Press scored a digital double with the Digital Initiative of the Year Award for its Archant Databank along with the Overall Digital Award.

And the Making a Difference award, chosen by public vote from a 26-strong shortlist, went to the Cambs Times for its ‘Sling the Mesh’ campaign.

The full list of winners is below.

YOUNG JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR – sponsored by HoldtheFrontPage
Winner: Josh Parry, Liverpool Echo
Highly commended: Samantha Booth, Croydon Advertiser

BUSINESS AND FINANCE JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Foot Anstey
Winner: Alistair Houghton, Liverpool Echo
Highly commended: Kevin Scott, The Herald, Glasgow

SPECIALIST WRITER/IMPACT JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Winner: Jennifer Williams, Manchester Evening News
Highly commended: Paul Brackley, Cambridge Independent

FEATURE WRITER/LONG FORM JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Winner: Chris Osuh, Manchester Evening News
Highly commended: Peter Barron, The Northern Echo and Jennifer Williams, Manchester Evening News

COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Asda
Winner: Carolyn Hitt, Western Mail
Highly commended: Bill Heine, Oxford Mail and Paul Kirkley, Cambridge Independent

WEEKLY SPORTS JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Winner: Jon Colman, The Cumberland News
Highly commended: Chris Harby, Melton Times

DAILY/SUNDAY SPORTS JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Winner: Cahair O’Kane, The Irish News
Highly commended: Neil Allen, The News, Portsmouth

SOCIAL MEDIA JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Winner: Brendan Hughes, The Irish News
Highly commended: David Pritchard, Oxford Mail

REPORTING COMMUNITIES AWARD
Winner: Sam Jackson, The Star, Sheffield
Highly commended: Mark Taylor, Cambridge Independent

WEEKLY REPORTER OF THE YEAR – sponsored by UK Power Networks
Winner: William McLennan, Camden New Journal
Highly commended: Charles Thomson, Yellow Advertiser

DAILY/SUNDAY REPORTER OF THE YEAR – sponsored by UK Power Networks
Winner: Jeanette Oldham, Birmingham Mail
Highly commended: Gordon Blackstock, Sunday Post and Marion Scott, Sunday Post

WEEKLY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Mark Williamson, Stratford-upon-Avon Herald
Highly commended: Michael Gillen, The Falkirk Herald

DAILY/SUNDAY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Winner: James Hardisty, The Yorkshire Post
Highly commended: Tim Thursfield, Express & Star, Wolverhampton

DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Tracey Renowden, Western Morning News
Highly commended: Gary Beckwith, The Chronicle, Newcastle and David Lewins, Bristol Post

SUPPLEMENT OF THE YEAR
Winner: Weekend, Western Mail
Highly commended: The Spirit of Manchester, Manchester Evening News

FRONT PAGE OF THE YEAR
Winner: Massacre, Manchester Evening News
Highly commended: Devastation, The Mail

SCOOP OF THE YEAR
Winner: Jailed for 40 years, Liverpool Echo
Highly commended: 33 police officers say they were abused by disgraced force doctor, Eastern Daily Press, and Uni boss to be paid £230k for 6 months’ research, Bath Chronicle

CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Asda
Winner: #WeStandTogether, Manchester Evening News
Highly commended: Cleaner Coastlines, Weston, Worle and Somerset Mercury

MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD – organised by News Media Association
Winner: Sling the Mesh – Cambs Times

WEBSITE OF THE YEAR – sponsored by JTI
Winner: Manchester Evening News
Highly commended: The Yorkshire Post

SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM OF THE YEAR
Winner: Manchester Evening News
Highly commended: WalesOnline

DIGITAL INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR – sponsored by Google
Winner: Archant Databank, Eastern Daily Press
Highly commended: Brummie Mummies, Birmingham Mail

THE OVERALL DIGITAL AWARD – sponsored by JTI
Winner: Eastern Daily Press
Highly commended: Manchester Evening News

INNOVATION AND INITIATIVE AWARD OF THE YEAR
Winner: Trinity Mirror Data Unit
Highly commended: The Bristol Cable

JOURNALISTS’ CHARITY AWARD – sponsored by Cision
Winner: Peter Sands

WEEKLY NEWSPAPER (BELOW 15,000)
Winner: Bucks Free Press
Highly commended: Cambridge Independent

WEEKLY NEWSPAPER (ABOVE 15,000)
Winner: Camden New Journal
Highly commended: The Cumberland News

DAILY/SUNDAY NEWSPAPER (BELOW 20,000) – sponsored by United Utilities
Winner: The Mail
Highly commended: South Wales Echo

DAILY/SUNDAY NEWSPAPER (ABOVE 20,000) – sponsored by United Utilities
Winner: Manchester Evening News
Highly commended: Sunday Post

2 comments

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  • May 19, 2018 at 9:31 pm
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    Over the past couple of years, the MEN has been by far the best regional paper, on paper and online. I don’t know what the future holds, but congratulations to all its staff – not just the winners here – for doing such a superb job.

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