'Going the extra mile and pushing boundaries'

Ray Sadri gritted his teeth and took a chlamydia test live on air as part of his creative approach to news reporting that helped him pick up the gong for young journalist of the year.

Sadri, 26 — who has been a news reporter for Beacon Radio in the West Midlands for 10 months — said he narrowly avoiding swearing on-air while taking the test.

"It was very painful," he said. "It was just me and the doctor, and I was recording everything with the microphone."

Sadri said the Beacon newsroom, led by editor Shauna McCarthy, was "very creative". He said: "We have a big patch with loads happening, and we're always out there trying to do things the best way we can. We don't use the telephone for interviews — we always see people in person.

People are always going that extra mile and pushing boundaries, andthere are loads of opportunities for creative reporting."

The judges said Sadri's ability to communicate the issues with such authority so early in his career made him the number one choice.

Sadri found himself in a sticky situation last November while compiling a special report on substandard facilities for the homeless in the West Midlands. Sadri planned to spend a night sleeping rough, but his first attempt went wrong when the homeless man he'd befriended and with whom he planned to spend the night, showed up with two other friends and demanded money.

He said: "He seemed really nice, but when I met him again at night, he'd totally changed. It was dark and scary and I ended up legging it.

I loved the challenge. I had a bullet- proof vest from my last reporting job, so I wore that to keep myself self safe and I needed it."

IRN Award Winners

Best sports coverage Sheffield United's path to the Premiership, Real Radio Yorkshire

Best funny story Crazy Italian woman, Real Radio Yorkshire

Scoop of the year Rogue Gatwick Airport parking, Mercury FM

Young journalist of the year Ray Sadri, Beacon Radio

News reporter of the year Colin Mackay, Radio Forth

 Best News Story 40th anniversary of Aberfan, Real Radio Wales

Best news coverage Key 103 and Magic 1152

Newsreader of the year Giulia Bould, Radio City

IRN contribution award Real Radio Scotland

IRN special award Howard Hughes, Smooth FM

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