By Hamish Mackay in the Scottish Review
Scottish newspapers and Scottish journalists – especially Newsquest Scotland titles – feature prominently in the Regional Press Awards 2020, organised by the Society of Editors and which attracted close on 700 entries.
The Herald on Sunday has lifted the Sunday Newspaper of the Year award, beating off opposition from four other titles – the Sunday Echo, Sunday Life, Sunday Mercury and the Sunday Sun. And The Courier, Dundee, is highly commended in the Daily Newspaper of the Year category which has been won by the Liverpool Echo.
Newsquest Scotland journalists did especially well. Martin Williams, of The Herald and Herald on Sunday triumphed in the Business and Finance Journalist of the Year category, and Teddy Jamieson, of The Herald, is voted the Feature Writer/Long Form Journalist of the Year.
Three of Newsquest Scotland’s journalists are highly commended – Jack Aitchison, of the Glasgow Evening Times, in the Young Journalist of the Year category; Neil Mackay, who writes for The Herald and Herald on Sunday, in the Columnist of the Year category; and Catriona Stewart, of The Herald and Glasgow Evening Times in the Reporting Communities Award. And The Herald Magazine is highly commended in the Magazine of the Year category and the Glasgow Evening Times Digital Team is highly commended in the Social Media Team of the Year award.
The Young Journalist of the Year joint-winner is Conor Matchett, of The Scotsman and the Edinburgh Evening News. Subsequently, Conor has joined The Scotsman’s political team. The judges remark: ‘Conor has broken many news stories using his investigative skills. From knee-jerk official secrecy, to exposing alleged key failings and mistruths by the council [Edinburgh City Council]. Connor shows a willingness to question authority and shine a light on its faults and failings’.
Two writers in the DC Thomson Media stable are highly commended: Dale Haslam, in the Specialist Writer/Impact Journalism of the Year category, as is Lesley-Anne Kelly, also of DC Thomson Media, in the Data Journalist of the Year award.
A Special 2020 Award, recognising the work of the sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, has gone to the Aberdeen Journals Home Delivery Team. The judges point out: ‘The news is nothing if readers can’t access it. The Press and Journal (P&J) are right to feel proud of their 750 paper girls and boys who maintained their impressive home delivery network during a pandemic’, adding: ‘A brilliant way of bringing together young people who were on the front line of the battle to keep the public informed’.
Sarah Brown, Facebook’s Head of Northern Europe News Partnerships, comments: ‘It has been a remarkable 18 months by any standards and the courage, bravery and incredible work all the journalists and teams nominated have done has been truly inspiring. Please keep up your extraordinary work reporting on communities across the country – helping them keep informed in times of crisis’.
The main awards include: Daily Newspaper of the Year (Below 400,000 monthly reach): Jersey Evening Post; Paid for Weekly/Sunday Newspaper of the Year (Above 50,000 monthly reach): Warrington Guardian; Paid for weekly/Sunday Newspaper of the Year (Below 50,000 monthly reach): The Hexham Courant; Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year: shared by Jewish News and the Camden New Journal; Website of the Year: Manchester Evening News; Campaign of the Year: Essex Live: Death in care; Daily/Sunday Reporter of the Year: Emily Townsend, East Anglian Daily Times; Daily/Sunday Photographer of the Year: Kevin Scott, Belfast Telegraph; Designer of the Year for both the newspaper and magazine/supplements categories: Georgia Robinson, Eastern Daily Press; and Overall Digital Award: Manchester Evening News.
The awards are supported by the Facebook Journalism Project, Camelot, Google News Initiative, Amazon, HoldTheFrontPage, and the Journalists’ Charity. They recognise excellence throughout the regional and local press during the unprecedented times posed by COVID-19. A full list of the awards can be accessed on HoldtheFrontPage’s website and the Society of Editors website.
Here are the 12 categories in which Scottish newspapers and their journalists were recognised for their achievements:
Young Journalist of the Year
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Joint winners: Conor Matchett, The Scotsman/Edinburgh Evening News and Andra Maciuca, Saffron Walden Reporter and Dunmow Broadcast
Highly commended: Jack Aitchison, Glasgow Evening Times
Business & Finance Journalist of the Year
Winner: Martin Williams, The Herald and Herald on Sunday
Highly commended: Coreena Ford, The Journal, Newcastle and Hannah Baker, Bristol Post/BusinessLive South West
Specialist Writer/Impact Journalist of the Year
Winner: Liam Thorp, Liverpool Echo
Highly commended: Dale Haslam, DC Thomson Media
Feature Writer/Long Form Journalist of the Year
Winner: Teddy Jamieson, The Herald
Highly commended: David Owens, Western Mail
Columnist of the Year
Winner: Paul Kirkley, Cambridge Independent
Highly commended: Neil Mackay, The Herald and Herald on Sunday
Reporting Communities Award
Joint winners: Abbie Wightwick, WalesOnline and Thomas Kingsley, MyLondon
Highly commended: Catriona Stewart, Glasgow Evening Times/The Herald and Conor Gogarty, Bristol Live
Data Journalist of the Year
Winner: Will Hayward, WalesOnline/Western Mail
Highly commended: Lesley-Anne Kelly, DC Thomson Media
Magazine of the Year
Winner: Cumbria Life
Highly commended: The Herald Magazine
Social Media Team of the Year
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Winner: Yorkshire Live
Highly commended: Glasgow Evening Times Digital Team
Special 2020 Award
Winner: Aberdeen Journals Home Delivery Team/The Press and Journal (P&J)
Highly commended: Newsquest Regional ACE network
Daily Newspaper of the Year (above 400,000 monthly reach)
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Winner: The Liverpool Echo
Highly commended: The Courier, Dundee, and the Belfast Telegraph
Sunday Newspaper of the Year
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Winner: The Herald on Sunday
Highly commended: Sunday Life, Northern Ireland