Echo retains daily crown in O2 Media Awards

…and newspaper boss honoured for ignoring ‘doom mongers’


The Liverpool Echo retained its crown as the North West’s top Daily Newspaper in this year’s O2 Media Awards.


The Echo also carried off the Team of the Year award for its Hillsborough coverage while staffers Joe Thomas and Jason Roberts added to the paper’s haul, picking up the titles of Young Journalist and Photographer of the Year respectively.


Echo editor Alastair Machray paid tribute to the hard work of his editorial team after the ceremony at Liverpool Cathedral last night.


Liverpool Football Club legend Alan Kennedy and Hillsborough Family Support Group chairwoman Margaret Aspinall presented the Team of the Year Award, praising the Echo for its unwavering support for the Hillsborough victims over 25 years.


In the Weekly Newspaper category the Westmorland Gazette pipped the Cumberland News and Liverpool Post to be named the best paid for title. Best free went to the Leigh Journal.


Addressing the audience of 180 journalists from TV, radio, print and internet operations Burnham said it was vital the regional press continued in its role as community watchdogs, investigating allegations of wrongdoing and defending their villages, towns and cities.


News reporter of the year was Aasma Day of the Lancashire Evening Post whose investigation into Lancashire’s twilight world of prostitution, homelessness and drug abuse wowed the judging panel. The Post landed a second award, for Community Journalism, with its coverage of the 2012 Preston Guild celebrations.


Granada Reports’ Dan Hewitt was named TV journalist of the Year and colleague Rachel Townsend won the Scoop of the Year with her exclusive report on Chancellor George Osborne’s travelling first class with a second class rail ticket. Townsend was on the London Euston bound train when she saw the commotion between a ticket inspector and Osborne’s aides. BBC North West Tonight’s Jayne McCubbin was named Specialist Writer of the Year.


Newspaper entrepreneurs Aldie Robarts, who set up one of the UK’s first free newspapers, as well as North West Auto Trader, together with former Newsquest boss Iain Aiken, made personal tributes to this year’s Outstanding Contribution winner Betty Drummond.


Guests heard how Drummond, a former Newsquest MD, launched her own newspaper The Champion after she discovered Newsquest were closing the weekly title she was running in Southport and making staff jobs redundant. Today the Champion group has eight titles and a national consumer magazine with Drummond challenging “doom mongers” who said print journalism was dead.


Radio City and City Talk’s Mick Coyle was named Radio Journalist of the Year by Woman’s Hour presenter Sheila McClennon. BBC Breakfast’s Steph McGovern announced Business Insider as the Specialist Publication of the year while ITN editor Richard Frediani praised all of this year’s entrants for submitting exceptional portfolios.


The Lancashire Telegraph’s Burnley football correspondent Suzanne Geldard was named Sports Journalist of the Year, the first woman to win the sports category in the six years since the O2 awards began.


Dubbed the Oscars of regional journalism this year’s North West awards attracted more than 300 entries and took judges three days to fully consider.


Nicola Green, Head of Communications and Reputation at O2 UK, said it had been an exceptional year for North West media. From the Hillsborough investigation through to the shocking police murder trial of Dale Cregan, the North West had regularly been at the forefront of the national and international news agenda.



“The media talent that’s in the North West is undeniable. Every year the judging panel finds it harder and harder to select an overall winner for each category. O2 is delighted to recognise that talent through these awards.”

Here’s the link to the photo’s


O2 Media Award Winners:


New Media Journalist of the Year

The Post, Liverpool

Runners Up

Andy Downton – Heart FM

John Scheerhout – Manchester Evening News

Feature Writer of the Year

Steve Canavan – The Gazette, Blackpool


Runners Up

Vickie Scullard – Bolton News

Roger Lytollis – News & Star/ Cumberland News



Photographer of the Year

Jason Roberts – Liverpool Echo & Post


Runners Up

Robert Binder – Lancashire Telegraph

Darren Robinson – Oldham Evening Chronicle

Gareth Jones – Liverpool Echo & Post

Phil Rigby – CN Magazines


Sports Journalist of the Year

Suzanne Geldard – Lancashire Telegraph


Runners Up

William Watt – The Gazette, Blackpool

Greg O’Keeffe – Liverpool Echo

David Chisnall – ITV Granada


Specialist Publication of the Year

Business Insider


Runners Up

Lancashire Life

All Together Now

Warrington Guardian Weekend Magazine


Radio Broadcast Journalist of the Year

Mick Coyle – City Talk 105.9

Runners Up

Mair Thomas – Heart North West

Steve Becker – BBC Radio Lancashire



Television Broadcast Journalist of the Year

Daniel Hewitt – ITV Granada


Runners Up

Sarah Rogers – ITV Granada

Dave Guest – BBC North West

Adam McLean – ITV Granada


Young Journalist of the Year

Joe Thomas – Liverpool Echo


Runners Up

Richard Wheatstone – Manchester Evening News

Adam McLean – ITV Granada

Rachel Flint – Chester Chronicle

Daniel Hewitt – ITV Granada


News Reporter of the Year

Aasma Day – Lancashire Evening Post


Runners Up

Sarah Collins – 2BR/The Bee

Jennifer Williams – Manchester Evening News

John Siddle – Liverpool Echo


Specialist Writer of the Year

Jayne McCubbin – BBC North West Tonight


Runners Up

Alistair Houghton – Liverpool Post & Echo

Ben Turner – Liverpool Echo


Scoop of the Year

Rachel Townsend – Granada Reports (George Osborne )


Runners Up

Radio City & City Talk – (Don’t Bet On It)

Jennifer Williams – Manchester Evening News (The Cavemen of 2013)


Emerging Talent Award

Emily Burgin – University of Salford


Runners Up

Anthony Sabanskis – University of Bolton

Ian O’Brien – Blackburn University College

Joshua Worrall – Cronton Sixth Form College


Community Journalism Award

Lancashire Evening Post (Preston Guild)


Editorial Team of the Year

Liverpool Echo (Hillsborough)


Runners Up

Lancashire Evening Post (Preston Guild)

The Farm (BBC Sport)


Free Distribution Publication of the Year

Leigh Journal


Runners Up

Saddleworth Independent

Wirral Globe

Champion Newspapers


Weekly Journalist of the Year

Rachel Flint – Chester Chronicle


Runners Up

Carmella De Lucia – Chester Chronicle

Ellis Butcher – Westmorland Gazette

Ellie Cullen – Crewe Chronicle

Oliver Clay – Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News



Weekly Paid For Newspaper of the Year

Westmorland Gazette


Runners Up

The Post, Liverpool

Cumberland News


Daily Newspaper of the Year

Liverpool Echo


Runners Up

Daily Post Wales

Bolton News


Outstanding Contribution

Betty Drummond, Champion newspapers


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