The Cumberland News has retained its crown as the North West’s best newspaper.

The paper walked away with six awards at the O2 North West Media Awards in Blackpool last night.

The Carlisle-based title was named O2 Newspaper of the Year and Best Weekly Newspaper. Reporter Sarah Newstead won the title of Feature Writer of the Year for the second year running and Jon Colman was named the region’s top sports reporter. Judges described the News as ‘one of the outstanding newspapers in Britain today’.

‘You cannot fail to be impressed by this title. Totally comprehensive ‘ a paper to be applauded and admired for its content and design. It has the gravitas to rival any weekly newspaper and also any large regional daily in the UK.’

Other big winners were the Liverpool Post and Echo who landed a total of 11 awards. Crime Reporter Ben Rossington took the News Reporter of the Year crown while Colin Lane was named Photographer of the Year.

Granada Reports landed six awards including reporter Matt O’Donohue who was named TV Journalist of the Year. Staffer Adam McLean was named as the best digital reporter.

The Lancashire Evening Post was named best daily newspaper.

There was success for Manchester Evening News business writer Adam Jupp while the Key 103 newsroom and Rock FM’s Janine Bolton were also celebrating after landing the Team of the Year and Radio Broadcaster of the Year crowns.

Bolton News reporter Miranda Newey topped the poll for young daily journalists while the Southport Champion pipped its bigger rivals for the Scoop of the Year award for its story on a grandmother slipping into icy Norwegian seas while being lifted off a cruise ship. The story was followed up extensively by the Sun and Daily Mail.

An Outstanding Contribution Award went to former North West Tonight anchor man Gordon Burns. The award was presented by Gee Walker, mother of Anthony Walker, the teenager murdered by race hate thugs in Liverpool six years ago. In his final North West Tonight show Burns commented how Mrs Walker had been one of the most inspirational people he’d interviewed in his career.

The awards event was held at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and attracted more than 200 guests including celebrities from Coronation Street, Heartbeat and Shameless.

Olympic hopeful Beth Tweddle and Wigan Warriors’ skipper Sean O’Loughlin also joined the VIP line up.

Deborah Parkinson, wife of former professional football star Gary Parkinson, who remains paralysed with Locked In Syndrome after suffering a massive stroke last year, also presented an award with Gary’s son Luke. They thanked the region’s journalists for increasing awareness of stroke victims.

And Michael Brown, father of Clare Wood, the young Salford mum murdered in Greater Manchester by her partner, added his praise for the journalists who had helped his campaign to change laws relating to domestic violence.

Judges’ spokeswoman Nicola Megson said she’d been delighted by the standard of the entries.

‘A lot of people claim the regional press is on the decline but from what I’ve seen in these awards the standard of journalism is superb and the media in the North West is alive and kicking,’ she said.

Around 300 nominations from newspapers, radio stations and television news crews were received across the 16 award categories.

O2 Director of Communications, Reputation and Sustainability Glenn Manoff said once again the awards demonstrated the impact the regional press had within their communities.

‘Regional journalists are breaking the stories we then read about days later in the national press. But as well as their news and sport exclusives these reporters are also performing a vital role covering grass roots issues that cement communities together. O2 is a business that focuses heavily on community cohesion and we are delighted to see these awards grow in popularity and success each year,’ he said.

The winners:

O2 Business Journalist of the Year

Adam Jupp – Manchester Evening News

Runners Up

Peter Elson – Liverpool Daily Post

Alistair Houghton – Liverpool Daily Post & Liverpool Echo

Shelina Begum – Manchester Evening News

O2 Digital Journalist of the Year

Adam McClean – Granada Reports

Runners Up

Dan Kay – Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

Jo Kelly – Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

Peter Bainbridge – Manchester Evening News

O2 Young Journalist of the Year – Daily

Miranda Newey – Bolton News

Runners Up

Will Metcalfe – Northwest Evening Mail

Katie Robinson – Northwest Evening Mail

David Pickthall – Northwest Evening Mail

O2 Young Journalist of the Year – Weekly

Tom Bristow – Southport Visiter

Runners Up

Ellie Cullen – Crewe Chronicle

Natalie Banks – Chorley & Leyland Guardian

Matthew Hobbs – Warrington Guardian

O2 Feature Writer of the Year

Sarah Newstead – Cumberland News

Runners Up

Roger Lytollis – Cumberland News

Alistair Houghton – Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

Paddy Shennan – Liverpool Echo

O2 News Reporter of the Year

Ben Rossington – Liverpool Echo

Runners Up

Neal Keeling – Manchester Evening News

Liza Williams – Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

Vanessa Cornall – Lancashire Telegraph

O2 Photographer of the Year

Colin Lane – Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

Runners Up

Paul Heyes – Manchester Evening News

Vincent Cole – Manchester Evening News (Rochdale Observer)

Sean Hansford – Manchester Evening News (Rochdale Observer)

O2 Radio Broadcast Journalist of the Year

Janine Bolton – Rock FM

Runners Up

Michelle Ponting – Key 103

Jimmy McCracken – BBC Radio Merseyside

O2 Scoop of the Year

Champion Newspapers

Runners Up

Liverpool Echo

Lancashire Evening Post

O2 Sports Journalist of the Year

Jon Colman – Cumberland News

Runners Up

Amanda Little – Cumberland News

Chris Hall – Granada News

Kelly O’Donnell – Tower and Wish FM

O2 TV Broadcast Journalist of the Year

Matt O’Donoghue – Granada Reports

Runners Up

Andy Gill – BBC North West Tonight

Jacey Normand – BBC Inside Out

O2 Editorial Team of the Year

Key 103

Runners Up

Granada Reports

Saddleworth Independent

The Leader

O2 Daily Newspaper of the Year

Lancashire Evening Post

Runners Up

Bolton News

Lancashire Telegraph

Liverpool Echo

O2 Weekly Newspaper of the Year

Cumberland News

Runners Up

Chester Chronicle

Crosby Herald

Rossendale Free Press

Warrington Guardian

O2 Newspaper of the Year

Cumberland News

Outstanding Contribution Award

Gordon Burns – BBC North West Tonight


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