The Cumberland News walked away with the title of O2 Newspaper of the Year at the O2 North West Media Awards in Liverpool tonight (Thursday, November 4th, 2010).

The Carlise-based title also picked up the award for best weekly newspaper and staffer Sarah Newstead was named Feature Writer of the Year.

Judges described the News as ‘the best weekly newspaper in Britain today’.

‘Boy does it deliver. Great writers producing great material both in the newspaper and in its quality supplements,’ they said.

Granada Reports anchor Lucy Meacock was named TV Journalist of the Year for an outstanding portfolio of work including her exclusive interview with Denise Fergus, mother of murdered toddler James Bulger. Mrs Fergus attended the ceremony to present the award.

Granada colleague Chris Hall was named Sports Reporter of the Year for his portfolio which contained big fight features with boxer Amir Khan, and interviews with Premier League referee Mark Halsey on his fight against cancer.

In the Daily Newspaper category it was the Liverpool Echo which won the day. Judges described the paper as outstanding and great value ‘ ‘a fabulous read whether from the front to the back or back to the front.’

Echo news reporter Mark Johnson won Scoop of the Year for his story headlined ‘The Dead Baron’ ‘ which told of a couple’s failed attempt to smuggle a dead German pilot through the check in desk at Liverpool Airport.

Sky TV was named as the Team of the Year for their coverage of the Cumbrian flood disaster. The Lancashire Telegraph’s Sam Chadderton won News Reporter of the Year and there was double joy for Chorley Guardian writer Natalie Banks who added the North West Young Weekly Reporter of the Year to the O2 Manchester and Lancashire weekly journalist award she won last year.

The awards event was held at Liverpool’s Palm House and attracted more than 200 guests including celebrities from Coronation Street and Hollyoaks. Former Atomic Kitten band member Natasha Hamilton also sang live before presenting one of the awards.

Young actor Sam Aston, who plays Chesney Battersby Brown in Coronation Street, presented the Think Big Award which celebrated the work of teenagers working on community communication projects. The prize went to Respect and Reflect, a young group of filmmakers from Liverpool.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Tom Dowling, editor of All Together Now, a campaigning news magazine aimed at those with disabilities and long-term health problems.

Richard Catlow, of the Society of Editors, who chaired the judging panel, said the standard of entries was as good as anything he’d seen across all regional and national media awards.

More than 270 nominations were received across the 17 award categories.

O2’s Director of Communications, Reputation and Sustainability, Glenn Manoff, said the awards demonstrated that quality journalism was alive and kicking in the North West.

‘This is an event which celebrates the fantastic work of all regional journalists who keep their communities entertained and informed,’ he said.

The winners:

Feature Writer of the Year
Sarah Newstead, Cumberland News
Paddy Shennan, Liverpool Echo
Phil Coleman, News and Star
Roger Lytollis, Cumberland News
Mark Smith, Widnes Weekly News

Photographer of the Year
Ian Robinson, Lancashire Evening Post
Sean Hansford, Rochdale Observer
Vincent Cole, Rochdale Observer

Think Big award
Respect and Reflect
Alex Browning and James Mernagh from Ex:Ample
Megan Booth from Thomas Boteler Church of England High School and the Communication for Youth project
4Park High School Specialist Sports College in Prenton

Radio Broadcast Journalist of the Year
Jimmy McCracken, BBC Radio Merseyside
Katie Collins, Real Radio
Kelly O’Donnell, Wish and Tower FM
Lucy Ward, Rock FM

Digital Journalist of the Year
Will Watt, Blackpool Gazette
Granada Reports digital team
Key 103

TV Broadcast Journalist of the Year
Lucy Meacock, Granada Reports
Jacey Normand, BBC inside Out
Tessa Chapman, Sky TV

Young Journalist of the year Weeklies
Natalie Banks, Chorley Guardian
Naomi Dunning, Chester Chronicle
Miranda Newey, Warrington Guardian
John Siddle, Southport Visiter

Young Journalist of the Year – Dailies
Amanda Smith, Bolton News
Louise Martin, Radio City
Mark Tattersall, Granada Reports
Helen Steel, Blackpool Gazette

Scoop of the Year
Mark Johnson, Liverpool Echo
Chris Lynham, Oldham Chronicle
Natalie Banks, Chorley Guardian

Lifetime Achievement
Tom Dowling, All Together Now

Editorial Team of the Year
Sky TV
Workington Times and Star
Granada Reports

News Reporter of the Year
Sam Chadderton, Lancashire Telegraph
Chris Hall, Granada Reports
Ben Turner, Liverpool Echo

Business Journalist of the Year
Alistair Houghton, Liverpool Daily Post
Andy Gill, BBC North West Tonight
Chris Barry, Business Desk.Com
Chris Hopper, Lancashire Telegraph

Sports Journalist of the Year
Chris Hall, Granada Reports
Amanda Little, News and Star/Cumberland News
Andy Cryer, Lancashire Telegraph

Weekly newspaper of the year
Cumberland News
Widnes and Runcorn Weekly News
Whitehaven News
Saddleworth Independent
Chester Chronicle

Daily Newspaper of the Year
Liverpool Echo
Bolton News
North West Evening Mail
Blackpool Gazette

O2 Newspaper of the Year
Cumberland News


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