Severn Sound journalists recognised for rolling coverage of flooding

Gloucester-based commercial radio station Severn Sound has won an award for its rolling coverage of the widespread flooding that hit the region last summer.

The station, owned by GCap Media, has picked up the social action initiative award at today’s Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.

Severn Sound was praised for its round-the-clock coverage of the flooding, which had forced the station to relocate to Bristol after a local power station stopped working.

Journalists at presenters at the station manned a 24-hour Floodline, which it said received 5,000 calls, and used the station website to provide updates on the unfolding story.

“The people of Severn Sound are deserving winners for a great reaction to a huge crisis,” the judges said.

The floods were caused by the rivers Avon and Severn bursting their banks after a period of heavy rainfall, leaving many houses and business without power or clean mains water for up to a fortnight.

Speaking to Press Gazette last July, the Severn Sound news editor, Duncan Cook, said: “Everyone has dug in deep. We’re doing shifts of at least 12 hours.

“It’s quite exciting – it’s not often we get a story like this. In fact, nothing like this has happened before.”

Liverpool local station Juice 107.6 won the news award, with journalists Nomia Iqbal and Katie Collins commended by judges for “going that extra mile, with high quality news all the way”.

The station, which is owned by TalkSport parent company UTV, operates in a competitive market following the launch earlier this year of an all-talk rolling news station, CityTalk, by rival Bauer Radio.

The annual Arqiva awards are open to all of the UK’s 300-plus commercial radio stations, and are organised by commercial radio trade body the Radiocentre.

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