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Publisher takes home top print and digital prizes at annual awards

An independent publisher scooped an awards double after being declared a county’s top newspaper and news website.

Iliffe Media titles the Kent Messenger and Kent Online won Kent Newspaper of the Year and Kent News Website of the Year at this year’s Kent Press & Broadcast Awards.

Reach plc’s Kent Live also secured a brace of victories, taking home Best Use of Digital Media and the Kent Voices Award.

For the first time in two years, a 110-strong audience of finalists, sponsors and judges met in person at Kent Country Cricket Club for Friday’s ceremony to celebrate the winners across 16 categories.

The Kent Messenger won the Newspaper of the Year crown

The Kent Messenger won the Newspaper of the Year crown

Now in its eighth year, the not-for-profit award scheme is organised by Kent PR and marketing agency Maxim.

Maxim director Rachel Knight said: “It was so good to be able to celebrate the achievements of Kent’s media in person again. It’s been a difficult couple of years but we were pleased to be able to keep KPBA going throughout the pandemic.

“That wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the KPBA sponsors so we must say a huge thank you to them, and to our independent industry judges who review every single entry.”

The full list of winners is as follows:

Kent Broadcast Journalist of the Year
Winner: Colin Campbell, BBC South East Today
Highly commended: Josie Hannett, BBC South East Today

Kent Columnist of the Year
Winner: Susan McGowan, Kent Life
Highly commended: Matthew Munson, The Isle of Thanet News

Kent Designer of the Year
Winner: Lizzy Tweedale, Brightside Publishing
Highly Commended: James Black, KM Media Group

Best Use of Digital Media
Winner: Kent Live
Highly commended: Kent Online

Kent Feature Journalist of the Year – Broadcast
Winner: Jo Burn, BBC Radio Kent
Highly Commended: Sara Thornton, BBC South East Today

Kent Feature Journalist of the Year – Print & Online
Winner: Chris Hunter, Medway Messenger/Kent Online
Highly Commended: Jack Dyson, Kentish Gazette Series

Kent Magazine of the Year
Winner: ‘Cene
Highly Commended: The Margate Mercury

Kent New Journalist of the Year
Winner: Jadzia Samuel, KMTV
Highly Commended: Emily-Jane Heap, Kent Live/Kent & Sussex Courier

Kent News Website of the Year
Winner: Kent Online
Highly Commended: Kent Live

Kent Newspaper of the Year
Winner: Kent Messenger
Highly Commended: Sheerness Times Guardian

Kent Photographer of the Year
Winner: Frank Leppard, freelance
Highly Commended: Andy Jones, freelance

Kent Print & Online Journalist of the Year
Winner: Lydia Chantler-Hicks, Kentish Gazette
Highly Commended: Marijke Hall, Thanet Extra

Kent Programme of the Year
Winner: The Wake Up Call, BBC Radio Kent
Highly Commended: BBC South East Today

Kent Scoop of the Year
Winner: Joe Coshan, ITV News Meridian
Highly Commended: Alex Jee, Kentish Express, Folkestone and Hythe Express & Kent Online

The Neil Bell Kent Sports Journalist of the Year
Winner: Jon Phipps & Matt Gerrard, Kent Non-League Podcast
Highly Commended: Juliette Parkin, BBC South East Today

Kent Voices Award
Winner: Kent Live
Highly Commended: Laoise Gallagher, Kent Online

This year, two further awards were also presented for entries that really stood out, but did not win the category they were shortlisted for.

The Golden Pen 2022 was awarded to Joe Wright of the Kentish Gazette, and the Golden Microphone 2022 was presented to the team at the Kent Online Podcast.