Birmingham’s ‘Sunday Mercury’ scooped newspaper of the year at Birmingham Press Club’s annual Midlands Media, beating long-standing champions, the Stoke-on-Trent Sentinel.
The Sentinel group has picked up the accolade for the past four years in Awards, and chairman of judges and ‘Daily Telegraph’ assistant editor, Andrew Pierce, said it took a lot to beat them. ‘It was going to have to be a very good newspaper to stop Stoke – and that’s what the ‘Mercury’ is,’he said. Runners-up in the competition, held last week at Baskerville House in Birmingham city centre, were the ‘Mercury’s stablemates, the ‘Coventry Telegraph’ and the ‘Birmingham Mail’.
One of the smallest newspapers in the region, the ‘Hinckley Times’, scooped the other major award of the night. ‘Times’ reporter Amy Harris made her Media Awards debut by winning ‘Scoop of the Year’ and coming runner-up in ‘Newcomer of the Year’.
Her award winning entry focused on an unusual tale about a local man who disposed of some junk mail in a litter bin. He was soon tracked down by a member of the council, who thought his ‘crime’ was so serious that it warranted a fine. The story was picked up by not only the nationals, but various media all around the world.
Pierce said: ‘All reporters dream that their story is going to make headlines around the world – few actually do so, but certainly the dream came true for Amy. What a fabulous start to her career in journalism!”
Full list of winners
News reporter of the year (daily)
Ben Hurst, Birmingham Mail
News reporter of the year (weekly)
Caroline Wheeler, Sunday Mercury
Feature writer of the year
Caroline Foulkes, The Birmingham Post
Sports photographer of the year
Tim Harley-Easthope, Birmingham Post & Mail
Magazine of the year
Newcomer of the year
Richard Ashmore, Coventry Times
Headline of the year
John McLaren, Birmingham Mail
Trevor Roberts award
Richard Harris, Walsall Observer