Consumer champions honoured

The work done by national and regional print and broadcast journalists in raising the profile of trading standards was celebrated at the Trading Standards Institute’s annual conference and inaugural media awards.

The Nottingham Evening Post won the national award of Campaign of the Year for “Fair ‘n’ Square”, which tackles doorstep crime and rogue traders and calls for a ban on cold-calling by property repair salesmen.

Editor Graham Glen received the award and his paper’s campaign was praised as “extremely well branded”.

ITV News consumer affairs editor Chris Choi, who was named Best National Consumer Journalist, said: “No one knows consumer affairs better than Trading Standards – this is like a crime correspondent winning an award from the police.”

Choi has covered stories ranging from rising petrol prices to the soaring interest charged on store cards.

Regional Consumer Journalist of the Year for Broadcast went to BBC Scotland’s Gillian Marles for her Trading Standards coverage, which included highlighting loopholes in the law allowing people to buy prescription drugs over the internet.

She said: “We spend so much time rubbing people up the wrong way it is nice to be recognised and helped to realise that you are rubbing people up the right way too.”

The Yorkshire Evening Post’s Andrew Hutchinson won the Regional Print Journalist award for his ongoing work in uprooting trade scams in his articles, including a weekly column called Consumer Watch.

The BBC’s Watchdog was named best consumer TV programme and the same award for radio went to BBC Radio Four’s You and Yours.

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