Press agency journalists, the unnamed reporters so often behind major stories in the national press, had their moment in the spotlight at the National Association of Press Agencies awards.
The event on Friday was hosted by Barry Rabbetts, former executive editor of The New Day newspaper that had closed only a week earlier after just 50 issues.
“A week really is a long time in newspapers,” he told journalists at the Grange City Hotel, Tower Hill. “There are many reasons why I believe The New Day closed but I don’t believe anyone in this room or in our industry wanted it to fail.
“It was a different kind of newspaper. It might not have been aimed at you or me but it was different. I truly believe it’s tragic that it didn’t work.”
Press agency SWNS was the big winner on the night, taking home four out of the six awards with its own reporter Harriet Rose-Gale claiming two: Feature of the Year for her story about Bobbi Woodley who was sexually and mentally abused by her father over 30 years and The Keith Patrick Award for her work on mistaken acid attack victim Andreas Christopheros (pictured below).
Ferrari News’ Adam Gillham won Exclusive Story of the Year with his piece about the decision by prison officials to keep M25 road rage killer Kenneth Noye at a maximum security jail amid fears he might be moved to an open prison ahead of being released.
Other winners included Peter Summers of SWNS for Picture of the Year (pictured), capturing an Osprey as it snatched a Trout from a river, Alex Wilkinson of Simon Wilkinson Pictures for Sports Picture of the Year, capturing a diver mid-descent at the diving world championships in Kazan, Russia (pictured below), and Laura Elvin of SWNS who picked up the Spec News Award (for a story sent in speculatively to newspapers on a non-exclusive basis) for her story about poppy seller Olive Cooke who killed herself after being hounded by 99 charities for donations.
Napa chairman Jon Harris said: ‘’The quality of entries in this year’s awards was quite outstanding and is typical of the agenda setting content which our member agencies source, compile and distribute to all media on a daily basis.’’