The Evening Gazette, Middlesbrough, came away with five trophies at the 23rd Tom Cordner Transco North East Press Awards and, to top it off, picked up the honour of North East Newspaper of the Year.
Gazette chief reporter Angus Hoy was North East Journalist of the Year, and also won the Hard News Prize; photographer Ian Cooper won the Picture of the Year Award; Anthony Vickers was Sports Writer of the Year and the subs team secured the Splash Subbing Award.
The Gazette amassed 12 places in the shortlists. Editor Steve Dyson said: “These awards were richly deserved by the top team of journalists we have at the Gazette. They are always striving for the best news coverage, the best sports stories, the best pictures, features and business news, always put together by a team of sub-editors who really push the boat out with some superb design work.
“Yes, we have great journalists but the main award – Newspaper of the Year – is also about everyone else who works on the Gazette.”
The Evening Chronicle, Newcastle, and Sunderland Echo were joint runners-up for Newspaper of the Year.
The Chronicle’s news team won the Kate Adie Award for Initiative for its “Justice for Rebecca” campaign, which helped to change the law on sentences for causing death by dangerous driving.
Reporter Hannah Davies was named Young Journalist of the Year, while Julie Cush retained the Health Reporter Prize she won last year.
North East Weekly Newspaper of the Year was the Darlington & Stockton Times, for the fourth year in a row, with special mentions for close contenders Teesdale Mercury and Hexham Courant. The Courant’s Brian Tilley was voted North East Weekly Newspaper Journalist of the Year.
The Sunderland Echo had its best night in recent years, taking home five trophies. The Northern Echo – the previous North East Newspaper of the Year – featured strongly in the shortlists with 11 mentions.
The region’s lifetime recognition award, the Graeme Stanton Trophy, went to Stanton’s widow, Heather Miller. She recently retired after a full career in newspapers and local radio, mostly in the North East, where her husband used to edit the Evening Chronicle. The award was presented to her by the newspaper’s present editor, Paul Robertson, on behalf of the Society of Editors (North) and the Tom Cordner Awards.
The awards began as a tribute to Hartlepool Mail news editor Tom Cordner, who died in 1976.
Below is the full list of winners: Newspaper of the Year: Evening Gazette.
Weekly Newspaper of the Year: Darlington & Stockton Times. Graeme Stanton Memorial Award for outstanding contribution to journalism: Heather Miller.
Weekly Newspaper Journalist of the Year – best overall entry: Brian Tilley, Hexham Courant. Tom Cordner Quill for Young Journalist of the Year: Hannah Davies, Evening Chronicle. Journalist of the Year: Angus Hoy, Evening Gazette. Philip Hickey Prize for North East Columnist of the Year: Mike Amos, Northern Echo. Jim Merrington Prize for Photographer of the Year – best portfolio of pictures: Raoul Dixon, North East News & Pictures. Ian Weir Award for Picture of the Year: Ian Cooper, Evening Gazette. Fred Hurrell Prize for best portfolio of features: Nick Morrison, Northern Echo. Tom Bergman Prize for arts reporting: Matt McKenzie, Sunday Sun. Business Prize: Mike Parker, Northern Echo. Health Prize: Julie Cush, Evening Chronicle.Maurice Brady Award for hard news: Angus Hoy, Evening Gazette. Investigative Journalism Prize: Patrick Lavelle, Sunderland Echo. ABC Spike – sub-editing best overall page design: Susan Taylor, The Journal. Splash Subbing Award for best front/back page design: subs team, Evening Gazette. Jeremy Bennington Prize for best exclusive: John Corney and team, Sunderland Echo. Steve Jones Prize for community journalism: Bethany Usher, Sunderland Echo. Consumer Affairs Prize: Sarah Stoner, Sunderland Echo.
Women’s Writer of the Year: Linda Colling, Sunderland Echo. Kate Adie Prize for initiative in journalism: reporting team, Evening Chronicle. Durhams Sporting Plate: Anthony Vickers, Evening Gazette.
Magazine of the Year: A Love Supreme. Eric Dobson Scroll – top trainee in NCTJ exams: David Crosby, Sunderland Echo.