The Rotherham Advertiser has been named Newspaper of the Year in the O2 Yorkshire and Humber Media Awards. The paper was also crowned O2 Weekly Newspaper of the Year in a triumphant night for Editor Doug Melloy and his team.

Judges said the Advertiser was “an excellent weekly paper and fantastic value for money.”

“Stunning pictures, cracking reproduction. Totally comprehensive … a paper to be applauded and admired,” they added.

The Yorkshire Evening Post picked up the title of Daily Newspaper of the Year, beating its sister title the Yorkshire Post and the Hull Daily Mail.

Judges described the Evening Post as: “Well designed with good story count, good front page stories and pictures. All in all, a compelling package.”

More than 200 journalists and guests celebrated the 2011 awards at York Racecourse last night (Thursday). A total of 17 awards were presented to media teams working on newspapers, radio, television and on-line publications.

Now in their third year, the O2 awards are a celebration of excellence in regional journalism.

Awards supporter Sir Michael Parkinson, who worked on local newspapers in Yorkshire as a cub reporter, commended regional journalists for their work in keeping communities informed and entertained.

Introducing the Young Journalist of the Year categories he told guests: “This is a job that’s hard work and far from glamorous, but it is a job that can be extremely rewarding.”

Another famous son of Yorkshire, Peter Stringfellow, who was raised in Sheffield and opened his first nightclub in the city, presented the Scoop of the Year Award and also congratulated writers and broadcasters.

“As someone who’s enjoyed his fair share of headlines I know the tremendous impact the regional press can have.  All of the nominees should feel proud of their achievements,” he said.

Other VIPs included Emmerdale actors Siân Reese Williams and Rik Makarem, and GB elite athlete Hannah Lawrence. Best-selling author GP Taylor and stroke victim and champion fund-raiser Kate Allatt also presented awards.

The audience enjoyed a performance from musicians from across the region that had played in the acclaimed Yorkshire Symphony, a fund raising composition created for Children in Need which celebrated Yorkshire as a region.

This year’s awards attracted more than 250 individual entries across a range of categories covering print and broadcast journalism, photography, teamwork and digital media.

Glenn Manoff, Director of Communications, Reputation and Sustainability at O2, said: “As a company we focus heavily on schemes and initiatives which help to build better communities so we were also delighted to recognise the impact regional journalism has on local life. This year’s record number of entries didn’t disappoint both in the variety of nominations we received and in the quality of the submissions.”

The Star Sheffield walked away with two O2 gongs; staffer Martin Smith was named Feature Writer of the Year and colleague Graham Walker Digital Journalist of the Year.

In the radio categories it was a good night for BBC Radio Sheffield who were crowned Editorial Team of the Year ahead of the colleagues at BBC Look North. Reporter James Vincent was also named Radio Broadcast Journalist of the Year.

Real Radio’s Grace Melody Gardner was praised for her interview with Gary Hart, the man who caused the Selby Rail Disaster, as her station picked up the Scoop of the Year.

Jon Hill of ITV Yorkshire was voted TV Journalist of the Year and in an excellent night for the television crews Nicola Rees of BBC Look North was named News Reporter of the Year for “a series of exclusives which any newspaper, radio or television station would have been proud to land.”

Two awards for outstanding contributions to the regional media industry were handed out. Campaigning editor George Robinson was recognised after a distinguished career with the Worksop Guardian and the Mansfield Observer, while a second award went to Hannah Postles of the Pontefract and Castleford Express, who was nominated for her inspirational leadership and mentoring skills.
Stephen Garnett of the Craven Herald was named Photographer of the Year for a remarkable portfolio which won unanimous praise from the judging panel.

Karl Hansell of the Whitby Gazette and Ruth Mosalski of the Halifax Courier won the Young Weekly and Young Daily Journalist of the Year categories respectively.

Yorkshire student and young filmmaker Sarah Whitehead picked up the O2 Think Big Media award for her work highlighting the plight of asylum seekers in the region.

This year’s judging panel was made up of senior editors and writers from weekly, regional daily and national newspaper titles, senior radio executives and editors from commercial and BBC television. A full list of the judging panel along with full comments on each of the finalists’ entries is available from O2. Contact Pam Clifford via Pamela.Clifford@O2.COM

The nominees and winners were:

Young Journalist of the Year – Weeklies
Karl Hansell of the Whitby Gazette

Runner Up
Andrew Trendell of the Gainsborough Standard

Young Journalist of the Year – Dailies
Ruth Mosalski – Halifax Courier
Runners Up

Toby Higgins – Halifax Courier
Laura Bowyer – Yorkshire Evening Post

Think Big Media Award
Sarah Whitehead

Scoop of the Year
Real Radio Yorkshire
Runners Up

ITV Yorkshire
Yorkshire Post

Radio Broadcaster of the Year
James Vincent – BBC Radio Sheffield
Runners Up

Mick Lunney,  BBC Radio Sheffield
Eleanor Noakes  Real Radio Yorkshire

TV Broadcast Journalist of the Year
Jon Hill, ITV Yorkshire
Runners Up

Nicola Rees, BBC Look North
Emma Glasbey, BBC Look North

Outstanding Contribution Award
George Robinson – Worksop Guardian and the Mansfield Observer
Hannah Postles – Pontefract and Castleford Express

Feature Writer of the Year
Martin Smith, The Star, Sheffield
Runners Up

Stephen Lewis, The Press, York
Rick Burin, Harrogate Advertiser
Digital Journalist of the Year
Graham Walker – The Star, Sheffield
Runners Up

David Behrens – Yorkshire Post
Rick Burrin – Harrogate Advertiser

Photographer of the Year
Stephen Garnett, Craven Herald
Runners Up
James Hardisty, Yorkshire Post
Andy Garbutt, Telegraph and Argus, Bradford

Business Journalist of the Year
Greg Wright, Yorkshire Post
Runners Up
Catherine Lea, Hull Daily Mail
Lizzie Murphy, Yorkshire Post

Sports Journalist of the Year
Richard Sutcliffe, Yorkshire Post
Runners Up
Paul Goodwin, Doncaster Free Press
Martin Smith, The Star, Sheffield

News Reporter of the Year
Nicola Rees, BBC Look North
Runners Up
Grace Melody Gardner, Real Radio
Kate Mason, Doncaster Free Press
Katie Baldwin, Yorkshire Evening Post

Editorial Team of the Year
BBC Radio Sheffield
Runners Up
BBC Look North
Whitby Gazette

Weekly Newspaper of the Year
Rotherham Advertiser
Runners Up
Wakefield Express
Gainsborough Standard

Daily Newspaper of the Year
Yorkshire Evening Post
Runners Up
Hull Daily Mail
Yorkshire Post

O2 Newspaper of the Year
Rotherham Advertiser

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