Six new categories – including one named in memory of a former weekly newspaper journalist – are set to be presented at this year’s Regional Press Awards.
The Society of Editors has officially launched the awards for 2018 with an emphasis on rewarding smaller newspapers and digital journalism, and journalists from across the country are now being invited to enter.
New categories among the 38 up for grabs this year include Digital Live News Reporter of the Year and Data Journalist of the Year, Magazine of the Year, Magazine Designer of the Year and Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year’.
This year also sees the launch of the The Cathryn Nicoll Interviewer of the Year Award, set up by the News Media Association.
The award has been launched in memory of Cathryn Nicoll, who held the position of news editor at the Croydon Advertiser during her career as a journalist, and carries a £500 prize.
Cathryn was known for her “passionate belief in journalistic standards and training”, and the new award will highlight and reward brilliant interviewing and feature writing by young journalists.
Cathryn, who was married to former Bletchley Park codebreaker and GCHQ deputy director Douglas Nicoll, died in 2016 and made provision in her will for an annual award for young journalists to be set up by the NMA.
The new award is open to any journalist working for a weekly or daily local or regional newspaper published in the UK, who is aged between 18 and 25.
The awards will also include the Making a Difference – People’s Choice public vote organised by the NMA’s Local Media Works.
And in some established categories, such as Front Page of the Year, the award has been split to ensure that journalists working on smaller titles with less resources are recognised without having to compete with larger, better-funded regional daily newsrooms.
Ian Murray, executive director of the Society of Editors and chairman of the judges, said: “Anyone who works in a regional newsroom knows that the emphasis is now firmly on digital journalism and after addressing this with some new categories for last year’s awards we have gone further this year to reflect those changes.
“It is also important to recognise the diversity of products now produced in local newsrooms and so we have included two awards recognising the superb magazines now created by regional newspaper publishers.
“Another reality is the strength of many free weekly papers and again we have introduced a new category that recognises the tremendous publications that exist in that field.”
Journalists have until Tuesday 5 March to submit their entries, and the shortlists will be published the following month.
The awards ceremony and celebratory lunch will take place at IET London, Savoy Place, on Friday 17 May 2019.
Full details on how to register and enter are available here.
The full list of categories is as follows:
YOUNG JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Open to journalists aged 26 or under on 31 December 2018 who have not previously been shortlisted for this award. Entries may include work from any journalistic discipline.
BUSINESS AND FINANCE JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
For reporters and commentators covering all aspects of business and personal finance.
SPECIALIST WRITER/IMPACT JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
For journalists with specialisms not covered by any other category such as health, fashion, travel, science, environment, motoring and politics.
FEATURE WRITER/LONG FORM JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR DAILY PAPERS
Entrants should have a regular by-lined column or blog.
COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR WEEKLY PAPERS
Entrants should have a regular by-lined column or blog.
SPORTS JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR DAILY PAPERS
Open to sports news writers, match reporters, feature writers and columnists on daily newspapers. Entries may be from a variety of sports or one specialist area.
SPORTS JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR WEEKLY PAPERS
Open to sports news writers, match reporters, feature writers and columnists on weekly newspapers. Entries may be from a variety of sports or one specialist area.
SOCIAL MEDIA JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Open to anyone who regularly uses social media to enhance the public’s awareness of their own work and that of their publication/website.
DATA JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
This award seeks to recognise those journalists who are making use of the wealth of data and information that is now available to newsrooms.
DIGITAL LIVE NEWS REPORTER OF THE YEAR
This award seeks to recognise those journalists who go live either on Facebook or via live blogs or live tweeting that through their skill and understanding of the medium take the reader and viewer with them to the heart of the action.
DIGITAL LIVE SPORTS REPORTER OF THE YEAR
This award seeks to recognise those sports journalists who go live either on Facebook or via live blogs or live tweeting that through their skill and understanding of the medium take the reader and viewer with them to the heart of the action.
REPORTING COMMUNITIES AWARD
This award seeks to recognise the tremendous work that goes on in regional newspapers to ensure all communities are well covered.
WEEKLY REPORTER OF THE YEAR
DAILY/SUNDAY REPORTER OF THE YEAR
WEEKLY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
DAILY/SUNDAY PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
DESIGNER OF THE YEAR: NEWSPAPER
DESIGNER OF THE YEAR: MAGAZINE
SUPPLEMENT OF THE YEAR
MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR
FRONT PAGE OF THE YEAR DAILY PAPER
FRONT PAGE OF THE YEAR WEEKLY PAPER
SCOOP OF THE YEAR
The story or series of stories that everyone else wished they had broken. This can be a team or individual award.
CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR DAILY PAPER
CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR WEEKLY PAPER
WEBSITE OF THE YEAR
SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM OF THE YEAR
Open to news teams that have as a unit made the best use of social media platforms to reach out and engage with the public.
DIGITAL INITIATIVE OF THE YEAR
This category focuses on those bright ideas that changed the face of digital coverage.
THE OVERALL DIGITAL AWARD
The judges will look for the newspaper that produces the best journalism and service to readers on a range of platforms whether print, website, mobile or any other means.
INNOVATION AND INITIATIVE AWARD OF THE YEAR
This category focuses on those brilliant innovations and ideas that have made their mark in the industry – from new supplements and sections to launches and re-launches of products.
THE CATHRYN NICOLL INTERVIEWER OF THE YEAR AWARD
The award is open to any journalist working for a weekly or daily local or regional newspaper published in the UK, who is aged between 18 and 25 as at 5 March 2019.
JOURNALISTS’ CHARITY AWARD
The winner will be chosen by the Journalists’ Charity and is in the gift of the charity’s council and recognises an individual or body that has made an outstanding contribution to journalism and journalists in any way. It cannot be entered.
FREE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR
To qualify a publication must be free for 80 per cent or more of its distribution.
PAID FOR WEEKLY NEWSPAPER (BELOW 10,000)
PAID FOR WEEKLY NEWSPAPER (ABOVE 10,000)
DAILY/SUNDAY NEWSPAPER (BELOW 15,000)
DAILY/SUNDAY NEWSPAPER (ABOVE 15,000)