Entries are now open for the Regional Press Awards at www.regionalpressawards.org.ukwhere 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 2017 and journalists have until Thursday 8 March to submit their entries.
This year the awards have been revised to recognise the role of digital and innovation in regional newsrooms. New categories include ‘Social Media Journalist of the Year’ and ‘Social Media Team of the Year’ as well as ‘Digital Designer of the Year’, ‘Digital Initiative of the Year’ and ‘Innovation and Initiative Award of the Year’. ‘The Overall Digital Award’ will also recognise the newspaper that produces the best journalism and service to readers on a range of platforms whether print, website, mobile or any other means. Special attention will be made to innovation and use of social media including blogs.
An additional new award will recognise ‘Reporting Communities’ and seeks to recognise the tremendous work that goes on in regional newspapers to ensure all communities are well covered.
Ian Murray, Executive Director of the Society of Editors 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 we have ensured that this year’s awards reflect that reality while not downgrading the continuing excellence in more traditional categories.”
The existing Specialist Writer and Feature Writer of the Year have also been changed to Specialist Writer/Impact Journalist of the Year’ and ‘Feature Writer/Long form Journalist of the Year’ again to reflect modern newsroom demands.
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 UK Power Networks, United Utilities, JTI, 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 for Local Newspaper Week.
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 18 May 2018. Full details of the new awards and guidance on how to register and enter is available at www.regionalpressawards.org.uk.
Paul Horrocks, SoE President in 2007 and former editor of the Manchester Evening News will again chair the judges and 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.
Paul Horrocks said: “Once again the Society of Editors is proud to host the premier awards recognising the fantastic journalism produced in the regions.
“They recognise the enormous contribution journalism makes to the fabric of the UK and to communities where journalists uncover issues which others would prefer remain hidden.”
For further information or comment please contact the Society of Editors on 01223 304080.