Yellow Advertiser trainee reporter Jon Austin was named the 2004 Shepherd Neame Essex Journalist of the Year.
Austin was praised for a string of exclusives, including an exposÃ© of two cases of Legionnaire’s Disease – one fatal – that a hospital had not made public. Austin was also a runner-up in the Campaign of the Year category.
Roger Watkins, editor of the Brentwood Gazette, won the Essex Campaign of the Year title for his successful “Stop the Sex Shop” crusade.
Readers were urged to write to the local council protesting against a proposed sex shop in the town.
Other winners in the awards were Donovan Blake, sports reporter with Anglia Television News, who took the Spitfire Sports Journalist of the Year accolade, and Basildon Evening Echo political reporter Lea Fountain, named 2004 Essex Young Journalist of the Year.