The Manchester Evening News has triumphed at the Regional Press Awards for 2017 taking home seven awards including the Daily/Sunday Newspaper of the Year and the Campaign of the Year.
The paper, which was widely praised by the judges for its coverage of the Manchester Arena attack under former editor Rob Irvine, took home both the Daily Newspaper of the Year (above 20,000 circulation) and the Campaign of the Year, in large part, for its work reporting on the atrocity and its aftermath.
The judges said: “The Manchester Evening News had an exceptional year during 2017 and has been widely recognised for its work. Under former editor Rob Irvine, the paper produced outstanding coverage of the Manchester arena atrocity that was dignified, sympathetic and insightful. It reflected the grief and courage of a community in mourning. It continues to produce exceptional news, sport and business coverage both in print and online and its social media offerings and followers continue to reflect its strong community spirit.”
In awarding the Campaign of the Year Award for its #WeStandTogether drive, the judges said that the MEN had put together an excellent campaign that turned tragedy into triumph.
They added: “It brought the entire community together and celebrated the things that make Manchester great despite the temptation to take an opposite view.”
The paper also took home Website of the Year, Social Media Team of the Year and Front Page of the Year. Reporters Jennifer Williams and Chris Osuh also took home the awards for Specialist Writer/Impact Journalist of the Year and Feature Writer/Long Form Journalist of the Year respectively.
The awards, organised by the Society of Editors and presented at the IET, Savoy Place in London today also saw the Newsquest-owned Mail (formerly the North West Evening Mail) awarded the Daily/Sunday Newspaper of the Year (below 20,000 circulation) and the Bucks Free Press awarded the Weekly Newspaper of the Year (below 15,000 circulation). The Camden New Journal was awarded the Weekly Newspaper (above 15,000 circulation) Award.
The lunchtime event, hosted by LBC Radio presenter Nick Ferrari, also saw awards presented to a number of other titles.
The Daily/Sunday Reporter of the Year was awarded to the Birmingham Mail’s Jeanette Oldham for her reporting on emerging gangs in the city and the theft of secret police documents from the car of the West Midlands counter-terrorism chief. The Weekly Reporter of the Year was awarded to the Camden New Journal’s William McLennan for his reports on the human cost of welfare reform and the attempted deportation of individuals that have lived for decades in the UK.
Archant was also a big winner with the Eastern Daily Press taking home The Overall Digital Award and the Digital Initiative of the Year Award for its innovative Archant Databank. Johnston Press titles The Yorkshire Post and The Sheffield Star saw reporters James Hardisty awarded the Daily Photographer of the Year and Sam Jackson awarded the Reporting Communities Award for her education coverage.
Other Reach PLC, formerly Trinity Mirror-owned, winners included the Liverpool Echo and the Western Mail.
The Liverpool Echo took home the Scoop of the Year Award for reporter Joe Thomas’ investigation into the predatory exploitation of vulnerable young girls by two paedophile brothers. The paper also saw reporter Josh Parry awarded the Young Journalist of the Year Award for his undercover reporting on ‘gay conversion’ therapies while the Business and Finance Journalist was awarded to Alistair Houghton for his reports on the regeneration of the city.
The Western Mail was awarded the Supplement of the Year Award for its Weekend edition and Carolyn Hitt was named the Columnist of the Year. Trinity Mirror’s data unit was awarded the Innovation and Initiative of the Year Award.
The Society of Editors, supported by Camelot since 2001, organises the awards on behalf of the industry.
The awards are made possible by the key sponsorship of UK Power Networks and United Utilities and continuing sponsorship from JTI, ASDA, Cision, Google and Foot Anstey. The Press Association, HoldtheFrontPage, News Media Association and the Journalists’ Charity support the awards.
A full list of winners and highly commended entrants alongside high resolution images are available online at www.regionalpressawards.org.uk