Digital journalists to be honoured at Regional Press Awards

This year's Regional Press Awards includes a new category for digital journalist of the year to reflect the growing emphasis on multimedia journalism in the industry. And for the first time, all award categories are open to both online and print journalists.

Entrants for the digital journalist category are expected to show a clear understanding of the medium and the type of content that suits the web.

To make the awards fairer for smaller circulation newspapers there will separate categories for overall newspaper of the year depending on the number of papers they sell.

There are categories for daily papers above 40,000 and below 40,000 and weekly papers above 20,000 and below 20,000, taking the total number of categories to 24.

There are also separate weekly and daily newspaper categories for reporter of the year, feature writer, sports journalist, photographer and sports photographer of the year.

Evening and morning newspaper categories have been merged into a daily newspaper category to reflect earlier printing times in what had previously been evening papers.

Press Gazette editor-in-chief Tony Loynes said: "The regional press is moving forward fast into digital in all its forms and revenues are following on behind. In effect, the sector is reclaiming its communities and audience reach is growing fast.

"This is good news and we have reshaped the Regional Press Awards to take account of this. Wherever great journalism is happening — digitally or in print — we can now reward it.

"We have also recognised that smaller teams competing with large teams often don't get a fair shake and have split some categories to reflect this."

There is a new award for subbing team of the year.

The Regional Press Awards panel of judges is made up of 60 senior journalists and chaired by director of Press Association Training and former editor of the Northern Echo, Peter Sands.

Judging will be done in two stages.

The first stage will result in a shortlist of six entries for each category that will be announced on PressGazette.co.uk on 31 May and in Press Gazette magazine on 1 June.

The awards are open to all those contributing to British regional newspapers and websites. A discounted entry fee is available for freelances.

Winners will be selected at the second stage in a secret ballot, and announced at the lunchtime awards ceremony at the Royal Lancaster hotel in London on Friday 29 June.

Deadline for entries is 5pm on Wednesday 25 April and all entries must have been published between 20 May 2006 and 25 April 2007.

For more information or to book a table, email franb@pressgazette.co.uk, or call 020 7549 8719. An entry form can be downloaded from the Regional Press Awards web site.


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