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Shortlisting begins for NUJ Regional Press Awards

18 May 2010

A shortlist of top examples of regional journalism – news, features, campaigns, design and photography – will now be assessed by a distinguished panel of judges for the NUJ regional press awards. Last minute entries have boosted the postbag, which will be presented next month in London.

The regional press awards were saved by the NUJ after the Wilmington Group, which sold the Press Gazette title last year, but retained the rights to awards events associated with it, announced that it would not be running awards this year due to a lack of support from all newspaper publishers.

Aidan White, general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, is among the panel of judges. He says:

"The only people standing up for quality and ethical standards in journalism are journalists themselves. The media industry in Britain, Ireland and across Europe is betraying the mission of journalism as a public good through their neglect, cost-cutting and lack of respect for quality content.
"Journalists across our regions do work we can be proud of and they produce stories that matter to the communities we serve, so let´s put regional media owners to shame by making the NUJ Regional Press Awards a showcase for the best that journalism has to offer."

Kevin Maguire, Mirror associate editor, is another judge proud of his own career in regional journalism: He says:

"Local and regional newspapers are the beating heart of so many communities and a cornerstone of our democracy, at their best holding the rich and powerful to account. Some of the finest journalists and journalism are found in the locals and regionals and it's right the NUJ should recognise the excellent and excellence.
"I cut my teeth on the Western Morning News in Plymouth and, whenever I go somewhere on a job, I always turn to the local papers to discover what's going on."

Steve Busfield, Head of Media and Technology for Guardian News and Media, another one of the leading journalists and media commentators on the judging panels, believes:

"It is vital in the current climate that quality journalism is properly recognised and rewarded. These awards are an excellent opportunity to champion quality journalism and celebrate the role local and regional journalism can play in reflecting communities and enhancing local democracy".

Judge Kate Simon of the Independent on Sunday added:

"It's more important than ever to support quality journalism and defend the crucial job done by local and regional journalists to hold the powerful to account and give communities a voice."

Martin Shipton, Western Mail chief reporter, is another of the judges for the awards. He said:

"At a time when journalistic standards are under unprecedented pressure, largely because of the greed of media companies, it is vital that we celebrate the fine work that is still produced against the odds."

Entry categories for the awards are:

  • Multimedia Journalist of the Year
  • Reporter of the Year
  • Columnist of the Year
  • Feature Writer of the Year
  • Sports Journalist of the Year
  • Student Journalist of the Year
  • Designer of the Year
  • Photographer of the Year
  • Sports Photographer of the Year
  • Scoop of the Year
  • Campaign of the Year
  • Multimedia Publisher of the Year
  • Newspaper of the Year
  • Specialist Writer of the Year
  • The Felix Dearden Reporting on Race Award

The awards will be presented on Tuesday 29 June in London.

Tags: , regional press awards, local newspapers, regional newspapers, newspapers, ifj, mirror, independent on sunday, guardian news and media, western mail, multimedia, reporters, columnists, feature writing, sports, students, photographers, black members