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Yorkshire Post photographer among regional award winners

8 May 2009

A photographer from the Yorkshire Post, where NUJ members took thirteen days of strike action to oppose compulsory cuts in photographic, was among the winnders at the Regional Press Awards in London today.

Scores of journalists attending the awards wore NUJ Stand Up for Journalism stickers. The union also distributed a leaflet congratulating the winners and nominees for producing excellent journalism despite low pay, long hours, job cuts and office closures.

Most journalists arriving at the event were very happy to take the leaflets and wear the stickers. They also expresssed amusement at the NUJ's call for nominations for an alternative award for the most hypocritical campaign of the year by a newspaper.

Amongst those welcoming the union's presence were editors and union members from across the UK. Awards judge Steve Panter, who, as a Manchester crime reporter, stuck to the union's code and refused to reveal the source of a story despite threats of jail, wore his Stand Up for Journalism sticker.

Media bosses were less impressed – trying to stop to good-natured leafleting and threatening to call the police.

More than 60 per cent of the individual winners in the ceremony at the Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square were NUJ members.

Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said:

"I congratulate the nominees and winners at today's awards who will have endured long hours for low pay and shown dedication to duty in the face of cutbacks and office closures.
"Today, we can celebrate quality local journalism – but we're calling on owners to recognise that it can't be sustained without investment."

The NUJ is launching its own alternative awards for the regional media in Britain and Ireland.

Categories include:

  • The Most Hypocritical Local Media Campaign of the Year award, aimed at all the papers who urge readers to save the local economy while chucking profit-making workers onto the dole.
  • The community served by the most remote news hub.
  • The best story by a journalist who has since been made redundant.
  • The lowest number of journalists producing a weekly paper of 80 pages or more.

Tags: , awards, local journalism, regional newspapers, johnston press, yorkshire evening post, photographers, cuts, pay, closure