For the second year in succession, the Belfast Telegraph has won a regional newspaper of the year award.
The paper took the award for daily and Sunday newspapers with circulations above 40,000 during an awards ceremony hosted by BBC One breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on Friday.
Its deputy editor, Paul Connolly, also won the inaugural digital journalist of the year award.
“We won three awards last year, and I really didn’t think it was our turn again,” said editor Martin Lindsey.
The Regional Press Awards’ 24 categories were, for the first time, reorganised to separate daily papers with circulations above and below 40,000 and weeklies with circulations above and below 20,000.
The the Evening Star, Ipswich, was named newspaper of the year in the new category for dailies with circulations below 40,000. The Star also won the award for best subbing team. The judges commended the paper’s coverage of the murder of multiple women in Suffolk late last year.
The Cumberland News, which won overall regional newspaper of the year in 2005, took the award for the best large-circulation weekly. The North Shropshire Chronicle is the weekly newspaper of the year in the small-circulation section.
- The Comet, Hertfordshire, was named Free Newspaper of the Year.
- The Reading Evening Post won supplement of the year for its Food Monthly.
- GazetteLive.co.uk, the web site of the Evening Gazette, Teesside, won web site of the year.
- Belfast’s Sunday Life won campaign of the year for its Baby James Appeal.
The winners were selected by independent judging panels made up of 40 senior journalists and chaired by director of Press Association Training Peter Sands.
The Aberdeen Press and Journal’s Nicola Barry was named columnist of the year for the third year running. While collecting her award on stage Barry took the opportunity to inform the room of editors that she was now freelance and looking for work.
Anne Pickles was named feature writer of the year for the second year running. In 2004 she won two awards at the Regional Press Awards. Last year Pickles left the Yorkshire Evening Post to work for her former boss Neil Hodgkinson as associate editor at Cumbrian Newspapers.
The winners in the individual categories were:
Specialist Reporter of the Year
Giles Shedrick, Oxford Mail
Photographer of the Year (Weekly)
Steve Cobb, West Sussex County Times
Photographer of the Year (Daily & Sunday)
Mal McCann, Irish News
Designer of the Year
Tracy Feltham, Western Daily Press
Young Journalist of the Year
Catherine Oakes, Evening Telegraph, Derby
(Adrian Butler of the Liverpool Echo was highly commended)
Sports Photographer of the Year (Weekly)
Marie Caley, South Yorkshire Newspapers
Sports Photographer of the Year (Daily & Sunday)
Steve Riding, Yorkshire Evening Post
Sports Journalist of the Year (Weekly)
John Colman, The Cumberland News
Sports Journalist of the Year (Daily & Sunday)
Mike Amos, Northern Echo
(Christopher Bascombe of the Liverpool Echo was highly commended)
Feature Writer of the Year Daily & Sunday
Keiron Pim, Eastern Daily Press
Reporter of the Year (Weekly)
Joshua Layton, Croydon Advertiser
Reporter of the Year (Daily & Sunday)
Jon Austin, Basildon Echo
(Chris Allen of the Bristol Evening Post was highly commended)