Veteran journalists Denis Cassidy and Derek Bellis picked up lifetime achievement honours at the sixth National Association of Press Agency (NAPA) awards.
Between them, Cassidy – who runs the Cassidy and Leigh agency – and Bellis, who set up the Bellis News Agency in North Wales in 1963, have run agencies for almost 100 years.
The NAPAs recognise the work of the normally un-bylined reporters and photographers who provide many of the biggest stories for the national press.
The exclusive of the year went to London Media Press’s Andrew Buckwell for his scoop on London Mayor Boris Johnson finding himself at the centre of a wealthy socialite’s paternity riddle.
Solent News and Photo Agency’s Ben Ellery was awarded spec news/sport story of the year – awarded for stories found by news agencies and sent in speculatively to publishers – for his exclusive interview with the boyfriend of murdered architect Joanna Yeates days after she went missing.
The feature story of the year was shared by Marissa Charles at Splash News, and Liam Miller at Barcroft Media, while the Kevin Fitzpatrick Award for the best journalist under 25 went to Aaron Sharp at Mercury Press
Sports picture of the year went to Carl Recine at Action Images for his image of Lionel Messi at last year’s world cup, and picture of the year (UK) was won by South West News Service’s Adam Gasson,
Press Eye’s William Cherry scooped the Picture of the Year (Rest of the World) award for the third time.
Guest of honour at the event was former BBC director-general Greg Dyke. During his speech, the outspoken host claimed Alastair Campbell ‘had changed the relationship between journalists and politicians for ever,’and went on to brand the BBC’s former governing body, the board of governors, ‘a bunch of gutless bastards”.