BBC's 'risk-taker' is Journalist of Year

Kevin Magee of the BBC has been crowned the Institute of Public Relations/BT Northern Ireland Journalist of the Year.

He was also named News Broadcaster of the Year, with the judges commenting, “The best journalism is about taking risks – and challenging those in authority. For Loyalists at War, Kevin Magee did both, giving the audience a rare insight into a secret world. It was brave in the truest sense of the word – and great TV.” They continued: “He demonstrates skill and sensitivity in covering a wide range of difficult issues.”

The Belfast Telegraph stole the show, scooping the award for Daily Newspaper of the Year, along with numerous awards in the print categories.

The paper also won Magazine of the Year for its Friday entertainment magazine Twentyfourseven, while its journalists Ian Trevithick and Neil McKay won Photographer of the Year and Production Person of the Year respectively.

The Sunday Life won Best Sunday Newspaper and Sunday Life sports editor Jim Gracey took the Sports Journalist of the Year award.

Belfast Telegraph editor Ed Curran said: “The awards are a recognition of the professionalism and dedication of our editorial team and our commitment to quality journalism”.

In declaring the paper the overall winner, the judges said powerful pictures and headlines combined with crispy layout and strong editorial made the Belfast Telegraph a worthy winner.

The Ulster Herald was named Weekly Newspaper of the Year. The BBC Northern Ireland Online Website won awards for Publication of the Year and Technical Innovation. The Newsletter’s Geoff Hill was named Feature Writer of the Year and Sandra Murphey of the same publication won the print section of the Specialist Journalist of the Year.

The Martin O’Hagan Memorial award went to Joanne Symington of the Irish News, who was also named Newcomer of the Year.

The gala awards ceremony was held at the Ramada Hotel, Belfast, and was attended by more than 450 guests.

Mark Smith, chairman of the IPR (Northern Ireland region) said: “The standard of entries was exceptionally high this year and the judges had an extremely difficult job in choosing our winners. I would like to thank all those who entered and congratulate the winners”.

Here is the full list of winners: Martin O’Hagan Memorial Award: Joanne Symington, The Irish News.

Journalist of the Year: Kevin Magee, BBC.

Magazine of the Year: Alternative Ulster/Belfast Telegraph24/7.

Website Publication of the Year: BBC Northern Ireland Online, www.bbc.co.uk/ni.

E-Journalist of the year: Brian Rowan, BBC Northern Ireland Online.

Award for Technical Innovation: BBC Northern Ireland News Online.

News Journalist of the Year: Greg Harkin, The People.

Newcomer of the Year: (broadcast) Brian Hollywood, BBC Northern Ireland, Fairplay; (print) Joanne Symington, The Irish News; (overall winner) Joanne Symington, The Irish News.

Newspaper of the Year: (daily) Belfast Telegraph; (Sunday) Sunday Life; (weekly) Ulster Herald; (overall winner) Belfast Telegraph.

Business Journalist of the Year: (broadcast) Eddie O’Gorman, BBC Radio Ulster; (print) Tina Calder, Daily Mirror; (overall winner), Eddie O’Gorman, BBC Radio Ulster.

News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year: Loyalists at War, Spotlight, BBC Northern Ireland.

Cameraman/Crew of the Year:Mark Jervis.

News Broadcaster of the Year: (television) Kevin Magee, BBC Northern Ireland; (radio) Audrey Carville, BBC Radio Ulster; (overall winner) Kevin Magee, BBC Northern Ireland.

Newspaper Production Person of the Year: Neil McKay, Belfast Telegraph.

Weekly News Journalist of the Year: Chris Donegan, The Imperial Reporter.

Specialist Journalist of the Year: (broadcast) Maggie Taggart, BBC Northern Ireland; (print) Sandra Murphey, The Newsletter; (overall winner) Maggie Taggart, BBC Northern Ireland.

Sports Journalist of the Year: (broadcast) Graham Little, UTV; (print) Jim Gracey, Sunday Life; (overall winner) Jim Gracey, Sunday Life.

Feature Writer of the Year: Geoff Hill, The Newsletter.

Newspaper Photographer of the Year: Ian Trevithick, Belfast Telegraph.

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