Entries are now open here for the Regional Press Awards for 2018, where this year there is renewed focus on digital journalism excellence.
Organised by the Society of Editors, the Awards will celebrate the best of British regional and local newspaper journalism in 2018 and journalists have until Tuesday 5 March to submit their entries.
This year the awards have been revised to further recognise the role of digital and innovation in regional newsrooms as well as including new categories that reflect the growing strength of free local newspapers and regional publishers’ magazine output.
New categories include ‘Digital Live News Reporter of the Year’ and ‘Data Journalist of the Year’ as well as ‘Magazine of the Year’, ‘Magazine Designer of the Year’ and ‘Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year’.
In some established categories, the award has been split to ensure that journalists working on smaller titles with less resources are recognised without having to compete with larger, better-funded regional daily newsrooms.
Ian Murray, Executive Director of the Society of Editors and Chairman of the Judges said that, after careful consultation, the awards had been revised to better reflect the new skills and platforms used by the regional media.
He said: “Anyone who works in a regional newsroom knows that the emphasis is now firmly on digital journalism and after addressing this with some new categories for last year’s awards we have gone further this year to reflect those changes.
“It is also important to recognise the diversity of products now produced in local newsrooms and so we have included two awards recognising the superb magazines now created by regional newspaper publishers. Another reality is the strength of many free weekly papers and again we have introduced a new category that recognises the tremendous publications that exist in that field.”
This year will also see an important new category: The Cathryn Nicoll Interviewer of the Year Award. Set up by the News Media Association (NMA), the Award has been launched in memory of Cathryn Nicoll who held the position of news editor at the Croydon Advertiser during her career as a journalist and carries a £500 prize. The award is open to any journalist working for a weekly or daily local or regional newspaper published in the UK, who is aged between 18 and 25.
Cathryn was known for her passionate belief in journalistic standards and training, and the new award will highlight and reward brilliant interviewing and feature writing by young journalists.
The Society of Editors, supported by Camelot since 2001, organises the awards on behalf of the industry and they are made possible by the support of several sponsors including Cision, Foot Anstey, Holdthefrontpage, the News Media Association and the Press Association.
The awards will celebrate regional and local journalism in print or as part of a corresponding digital platform and will include the Making a Difference ~ People’s Choice public vote organised by the News Media Association’s Local Media Works.
Early registration and entries are encouraged so that any issues can be attended to in advance of the deadline. The entry price has been kept at the same level as last year.
Shortlists will be published in mid-April with the awards ceremony and celebratory lunch taking place at IET London, Savoy Place on Friday 17 May 2019. Full details of the new awards and guidance on how to register and enter is available here.
The awards will be presented by LBC presenter Nick Ferrari. Revenue generated by entry fees, table sales and sponsorship will pay for the not-for-profit awards programme and help to support the Journalists’ Charity.
For further information or comment please contact the Society of Editors on 01223 304080.
During her career as a journalist, Cathryn Nicoll held the position of news editor at the Croydon Advertiser where she was in charge of 21 reporters. Her colleagues have said that she was a good and fair interviewer who believed passionately in journalistic standards and training and would devote her time to young journalists in the newsroom who showed promise.
Cathryn, who was married to former Bletchley Park codebreaker and GCHQ deputy director Douglas Nicoll, died in 2016 and made provision in her will for an annual award for young journalists to be set up by the News Media Association. This year sees the launch of The Cathryn Nicoll Award, run by the NMA as part of the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards. The award will highlight and reward brilliant interviewing and feature writing by young journalists, with a cash prize of £500 for the winner.