The entry fee for the relaunched Press Gazette regional press awards has been cut by £30 to £39.
The move follows widespread consultation with the industry and is intended to enable more journalists to enter.
Following feedback from editors, the awards will feature new categories for the best regional press multimedia journalist and multimedia publisher, for scoop of the year, best front page, and business and finance journalist of the year.
And to streamline the entry process – and further reduce costs for publishers – this year most entries will be sent in electronically.
Former Northern Echo editor Peter Sands – director of Press Association Training – is again chairman of the judges.He said: ‘It is important that the industry continues to support these awards.
‘They are without doubt the premier awards for the regional industry and never fail to reflect the excellent work that is carried out by newspapers and their journalists– often in difficult times.
‘My role is to ensure that the judging process is scrupulously fair and meticulously done. There will be more than 40 independent specialists who will devote their time and expertise for free simply because they believe these awards are crucial to the industry.
‘With the reduction in entry fees and the added categories to reflect the work in multimedia, we are looking for record entries and the opportunity to applaud the excellent work of the regional Press.”
The Regional Press Awards open for entries on 13 March, with full category and entry details in Press Gazette. The event takes place at Lancaster Gate Hotel, London on 13 June.