Entries are now open for this year’s Regional Press Awards – with organisers pledging to recognise those who have gone the “extra mile” for their newsrooms during the coronavirus pandemic.
Designed to celebrate the best of UK journalism during the calendar year 2020, the awards comprise of 39 categories covering daily and weekly newspapers, news websites and social media platforms.
The closing date for entries is 5 March and a virtual awards ceremony is currently planned for late May, although organising body the Society of Editors says it will monitor the situation with regards to Covid-19 and re-evaluate the circumstances closer to the date.
The SoE has announced a free to enter Chairman’s Special 2020 Award will be one of three new prizes given this year.
The award will recognise individual journalists, teams and support staff who have gone the “extra mile” to ensure their newsrooms continued to function during the crisis.
New categories for Sunday Newspaper of the Year and Special Supplement of the Year have also been unveiled by the SoE.
Ian Murray, SoE executive director and chair of the judges, said: “In any year the regional press in the UK performs an important and vital service in binding communities together and policing local democracy, however during 2020 it stepped up to the mark to play an even more significant role.
“The regional and local press has performed magnificently and under extremely difficult circumstances to perform its duties and keep communities well informed during what has surely been the greatest challenge to us all in modern times.
“The fact the crisis is not over should not and will not prevent us from recognising the amazing professionalism and sheer determination shown by local journalists and their publications during last year.”
He added: “We know that it has taken Herculean efforts to keep the presses rolling, the news reported, the IT running and newsrooms to function during these times.
“We want to acknowledge this tremendous work by the industry at this time, so such stories are not lost.”
HTFP will be continuing its long association with the awards by sponsoring the Daily and Weekly Front Page of the Year categories for the second year running.
Publisher Paul Linford said: “As our name suggests, we try to showcase great front pages on a daily basis through our Front Page News channel so we are particularly pleased to be sponsoring these two prizes once again.”
The award, which comes with a £500 cash prize, 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 NMA’s Paul Sinker said: “Since its launch, the Cathryn Nicoll Award has gone from strength to strength, highlighting the brilliant work of young journalists across the UK.
“Local and regional journalism continues to play a critical role in keeping communities informed during the coronavirus pandemic and the Regional Press Awards will shine a spotlight upon this brilliant work.”
In some established categories, awards have been split to ensure journalists working on smaller titles with fewer resources are recognised without having to compete with larger regional daily newsrooms.
Entries for the Campaign of the Year categories will also be included in the Making a Difference – People’s Choice public vote organised by the NMA, and announced as part of Journalism Matters later in the year.
Entries for the awards can be submitted via the SoE website from today and the registration page can be found here.
A shortlist will be announced in April 2021. The full list of categories is as follows.
Young Journalist of the Year
Business and Finance Journalist of the Year
Specialist Writer/Impact Journalist of the Year
Feature Writer/Long Form Journalist of the Year
Columnist of the Year Daily/ Sunday Papers
Columnist of the Year Weekly Papers
Sports Journalist of the Year Daily/ Sunday Papers
Sports Journalist of the Year Weekly Papers
Social Media Journalist of the Year
Reporting Communities Award
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
Supplement/ Section of the Year
Special Supplement of the Year
Magazine of the Year
Front Page of the Year Weekly Papers
Front Page of the Year Daily/Sunday Papers
Scoop of the Year
Campaign of the Year Daily/Sunday Papers
Campaign of the Year Weekly Papers
Website of the Year
Social Media Team of the Year
Data Journalist of the Year
Digital Live News Reporter of the Year
Digital Initiative of the Year
The Overall Digital Award
The Cathryn Nicoll Award
Journalists’ Charity Award [cannot be entered]
Chairman’s Special 2020 Award
Paid For Weekly Newspaper of the Year (above 50,000 total monthly reach)
Paid For Weekly Newspaper of the Year (below 50,000 total monthly reach)
Daily Newspaper of the Year (below 400,000 total monthly reach)
Daily Newspaper of the Year (above 400,000 total monthly reach)
Sunday Newspaper of the Year
Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year