Entries open for British Press Awards

After more than eight months of controversy and negotiations, a
committee of senior newspaper executives has voted by a majority to
back Press Gazette’s new-look British Press Awards.

Entry forms are published in this week’s magazine and are available on the press awards website.

A
question mark had hung over the awards ceremony after this year’s event
in March, when 11 editors said they could no longer support it.

The
situation was complicated further when Press Gazette was sold in June
by Quantum Business Media to Matthew Freud and Piers Morgan.

Months
of deliberations have since been held by the Press Awards Forum, which
comprises senior editorial executives representing all the national
newspapers.

The row over the future of the awards erupted because it was seen by some as too raucous.

In particular, Bob Geldof caused offence when he went on stage with journalists from The Sun.

At
the meeting of the Press Awards Forum last week, a majority voted to
support the Press Gazette-organised event for one year and then put it
out to tender.

Three newspaper groups – the Telegraph Group,
Express Newspapers and Associated Newspapers – are understood to be
considering their position over their entries for the event.

Alterations
to next year’s event, to be held on 20 March at the Dorchester in Park
Lane, London, include scaling it down in size, reducing the number of
categories from 29 to 21, stopping corporate sponsorship of individual
categories and changes to the judging process.

Editors have insisted that the most important factor is that the judging process be “fair and transparent”.


Entry forms are to be found stapled in the centre pages of this
magazine and on www.pressgazette.co.uk. The closing date for entries is
17 January, 2006.

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