Journalists from Trinity Mirror’s Liverpool Daily Post and Liverpool Echo were celebrating last night (Thursday, July 2, 2009) after scooping eight awards at the second O2 Media Awards in Cheshire and Merseyside.

Newspapers, television and radio broadcasters and on-line publishers took part in the competition to find the cream of the crop in regional journalism.

In the print categories, the Warrington Guardian defended its title as Newspaper of the Year, beating both daily and weekly newspapers across the region. Shortlisted newspapers included the Liverpool Echo, the Southport Visiter, the Wirral Globe and the Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News.

The judging panel said the Warrington Guardian delivered news and sport stories that consistently set the agenda for national print and broadcast media.

They said: ‘Its news reporters weren’t afraid to stick their noses in where it hurts.’

Eight journalists from the Liverpool Echo and Liverpool Daily Post stables landed individual awards, including Luke Traynor who was crowned Reporter of the Year and Paddy Shennan who was named O2 Feature Writer for the second year running.

Judges described Paddy as a ‘class act’ who nailed every idea that was thrown at him.

The Daily Post’s Laura Davis picked up two awards, Digital Journalist of the Year and Entertainment Writer of the Year, a new category introduced this year to reflect 02’s work in the area of arts and entertainment and sponsorship of the O2 Arena and 02 Academy venues across the UK.

Laura shares the Entertainment Writer of the Year crown with Echo colleague Jade Wright. Judges described both as superb and talented writers.

BBC North West Tonight’s Jayne Barrett was named Broadcaster of the Year for her brilliant and comprehensive reporting on Liverpool’s year as Capital of Culture.

Judges said: ‘Over 12 months she got completely under the skin of the big events, generating interest with her own genuine enthusiasm.’

The news team from ITV’s Granada Reports won the overall Team of the Year crown in a fiercely contested battle with North West Tonight and newspaper teams from the Mid Cheshire Guardian and BBC Radio Merseyside.

Judges picked Granada Reports for its ‘all round ability to deliver news, features, sport and entertainment in ways that both informed and brought a smile or a tear.’

Granada Reports also picked up the award for sports journalism and reporter Caroline Hacking rounded off a successful night when she was presented with a Special Achievement Award in recognition of her talent and all-round ability.

Judges described her as ‘One of the brightest sparks in the region and a star in the making.’

The event, which was held at O2’s Customer Service Centre at Preston Brook in Cheshire, attracted more than 100 journalists.

Weekly newspaper writers were also honoured in a number of categories. The weekly Young Journalist of the Year award went to Miranda Newey from the Warrington Guardian.

The Southport Visiter won Scoop of the Year for their unusual story about a teenager, arrested on the little known charge of ‘stealing by finding’, after handing in a mobile phone he’d found in the street to his local police station.

In the radio categories, BBC Radio Merseyside won the award for Radio Broadcaster of the Year, beating individual shortlisted finalists Michelle Ponting from Key 103 and Laura Harmes from City Talk.

Judges included Paul Newman, Director of Communications at Media City; Paul Byrne of the Daily Mirror, Peter Charlton, editor of the Yorkshire Post; Jan Lever, Newsquest regional Managing Director and Richard Catlow, Chairman of the Society of Editors and former Editorial Director for Greater Manchester Weekly Newspapers.

O2 employ more than 1,700 people at its Centre in Preston Brook.

The Cheshire and Merseyside O2 Media Awards are part of a series of regional media contests launched by the communications company across the north of England.

Glenn Manoff, O2’s Director of Communications and Reputation, said the awards recognised outstanding media coverage of issues affecting communities across Cheshire and Merseyside.

‘The quality of entries from the region’s press was outstanding. We’re delighted to be able to celebrate the huge service local and regional journalists provide in our towns and cities,’ he said.

The winners and finalists were:

Scoop of the Year


Southport Visiter

Runners up:

Steve Hothersall – Radio City and City Talk

Liverpool Echo

Sports Journalist of the year


Granada Reports Sports Team

Runners up:

David Bettley – Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News

Chris Hall ‘ Granada Reports

Young Journalist of the year Dailies


Ben Schofield – Liverpool Daily Post

Runners up:

Liza Williams ‘ Liverpool Daily Post

Samantha Ann Parker ‘ Liverpool Daily Post and Echo

Young Journalist of the Year Weeklies


Miranda Newey ‘ Warrington Guardian

Runners up:

John Siddle ‘ Southport Visiter

Matthew Davis ‘ Stockport Express

Feature Writer of the Year


Paddy Shennan ‘ Liverpool Echo

Runners up:

Justin Dunn ‘ Wirral Globe

Nicola Davies ‘ Warrington Guardian

Emma Pinch- Liverpool Daily Post

Business Reporter of the Year


David Bartlett – Liverpool Daily Post

Runners up:

Alistair Houghton ‘ Liverpool Daily Post

Alex Turner ‘ Liverpool Daily Post

Photographer of the Year


Gareth Jones ‘ Liverpool Daily Post and Echo

Runners up:

Jason Roberts ‘ Liverpool Daily Post and Echo

Mike Boden ‘ Warrington Guardian

Entertainment Writer of the Year


Laura Davis – Liverpool Daily Post, Jade Wright – Liverpool Echo

Runner up:

Peter Grant – Liverpool Echo

Reporter of the Year


Luke Traynor – Liverpool Echo

Runners up:

Jennifer Williams – Stockport Express

Gemma Jaleel – Trinity Mrirror- Mediamix

Editorial Team of the Year


Granada Reports

Runners up:

BBC ‘ North West Tonight

BBC Radio Merseyside

Mid Cheshire Guardian Series

Newspaper of the Year


Warrington Guardian

Runners up:

Southport Visiter

Liverpool Echo

Wirral Globe

Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News

TV Broadcast Journalist of the Year


Jayne Barrett – BBC North West Tonight

Runner up

Andy Bonner – Granada Reports

Radio Broadcaster of the Year


BBC Radio Merseyside ‘ News Team

Runners up:

Laura Harmes ‘ Radio City and City Talk

Michelle Ponting – Key 103

Digital Journalist of the Year


Laura Davis – Daily Post

Runners up:

Richard Down ‘ Daily Post

David Bartlet’ Daily Post

Special Achievement Award

Caroline Hacking ‘ Granada Reports

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on: 01753 565656
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