Hillsborough families praise ‘honesty’ of

North West media at O2 awards


FAMILIES who lost loved ones in the Hillsborough disaster paid tribute to the regional media’s reporting of the tragedy and their 27-year fight for justice.


Margaret Aspinall, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, praised print and broadcast journalists for their honesty and commitment to truth.


She told more than 200 journalists at this year’s O2 Media Awards for the North West that the families had drawn strength from the regional media’s backing of their campaign.


Aspinall, who lost her 18-year-old son James at Hillsborough, was joined by other victims’ families to present the Liverpool Echo with the O2 Daily Newspaper award.


“The media must learn lessons from this … and continue to tell the truth,” she added.


The Echo also won the award for Specialist Publication for its Hillsborough commemmorative edition ‘The 96’ which judges called “exemplary journalism”.


BBC Radio Merseyside’s coverage of the Hillsborough inquests was also described as “outstanding”. Royal Family and former Brookside actress Sue Johnston presented the station with the Broadcast Team of the Year award which was announced by Good Morning Britain presenter Ranvir Singh.


It was also an award winning night for Cumbrian Newspapers. The Cumberland News was named Best Weekly newspaper; Phil Coleman was named News Reporter of the Year for Print Journalists and Jon Colman took the sports reporter crown.


Radio broadcasters also featurered significantly. Michelle Livesey, chief reporter at Key 103 was named Radio Journalist of the Year and collected the Community Journalism award for her role in the station’s ‘Justice for Joseph’ campaign. The family involved in the campaign, Dawn and Ian Brown-Lartey, parents of Joseph Brown-Lartey who was killed by a speeding driver, presented the award, thanking Livesey and the station for their relentless support.


Radio City’s Mick Coyle pipped Granada Reports duo Lucy Meacock and Mike Hall to the Broadcast Presenter of the Year award. Clare Fallon, of BBC North West Tonight won TV Journalist of the Year, while Rob Smith of Granada Reports took the best broadcast news reporter title.


Lancashire Telegraph reporter Bill Jacobs was awarded the O2 Stand Out Award while posthumous awards were made to former Chester Chronicle editor in chief Eric Langton and BBC Radio Lancashire’s Steve Becker, who both died earlier in the year.


More than 30 working editors and executives from newspapers, magazines, broadcasters and on-line publications were involved in the judging process.

Award announcers included ITN news reader Mark Austin, senior programme editor at ITN Richard Frediani, Scott and Bailey TV producer Tom Sherry and Team GB Olympic dive heroes Chris Mears and Jack Laugher.


BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin again hosted the evening’s celebrations at Chester.


Nicola Green, Director of Communications and Reputation at O2 UK, said the year had seen some dramatic news events which had produced superb examples of regional journalism.


“Selecting overall winners from the shortlisted nominees was particularly difficult as the standards were so high. We’ve seen some superb journalism through the year which demonstrates the valuable role the regional media plays within its local communities.”


Here are the photos from the night: http://www.flickr.com/photos/o2ukofficial/albums/72157674900834372 

O2 Media Awards North West 2016 winners


Broadcast Presenter of the Year

Mick Coyle – Radio City

Highly Commended

Mike Hall – ITV News Granada Reports

Lucy Meacock – ITV News Granada Reports


Community Journalism Award

Michelle Livesey – Key 103

Highly Commended

Sarah Collins – 2BR

Westmorland Gazette


Daily Newspaper of the Year

Liverpool Echo

Highly Commended

Daily Post

News & Star

Lancashire Evening Post



Team of the Year (Broadcast)

BBC Radio Merseyside

Highly Commended

BBC Radio Cumbria

2 BR


Team of the Year (Print)

Lancashire Evening Post

Highly Commended

Liverpool Echo

Crewe Chronicle


Feature Writer of the Year

Richard Ault – The Sentinel Stoke

Highly Commended

Aasma Day – Lancashire Evening Post

Roger Lytollis – The Cumberland News


Free Distribution Newspaper

Midweek Visiter

Highly Commended

Tarporley News

Southport Champion


On-Line Media Award

ITV News Granada Reports

Highly Commended

Liverpool Echo (What’s On)

Warrington Guardian

Liverpool Echo (Hillsborough)



News Reporter of the Year (Print)

Phil Coleman – Cumberland News

Highly Commended

Catherine Musgrove – Lancashire Evening Post

Aasma Day – Lancashire Evening Post

Todd Fitzgerald – Manchester Evening News


News Reporter of the Year (Broadcast)

Rob Smith – ITV News Granada Reports

Highly Commended

Ben Schofield – BBC North West Tonight / BBC Radio Merseyside

Matt O’Donoghue – ITV News Granada Reports


Images of the Year

Peter Byrne – Press Association

Highly Commended

Darren Robinson – Oldham Chronicle

Ian Cooper – Liverpool Echo

Colin Lane  – Trinity Mirror


Radio Journalist of the Year

Michelle Livesey – Key 103

Highly Commended

Adam Phillips – Radio City

Richard Stead – BBC Radio Manchester

Emma Thomas – BBC Radio Stoke


Scoop of the Year

Tom Davidson – Daily Post

Highly Commended

Ben Schofield – BBC North West Tonight / BBC Radio Merseyside

Ken Bennett – Oldham Chronicle

Dale Haslam – Bolton News

Specialist Publication of the Year

Liverpool Echo – Hillsborough

Highly Commended

The Sentinel Stoke – The Way We Were

All Together Now

Tameside Reporter – School Newspapers


Best Website (Joint winners)

Liverpool Echo

Lancashire Telegraph

Highly Commended

North West Evening Mail

Southport Visiter


Specialist Reporter

Aasma Day  – Lancashire Evening Post

Highly Commended

Joe Thomas – Liverpool Echo

Andy Gill – BBC North West Tonight

Stefanie Hall – Lancashire Evening Post


Sports Journalist

Jon Colman – News & Star

Highly Commended

Mike Hall – ITV News Granada Reports

Chris Hall – ITV News Granada Reports

Dave Powell – Chester Chronicle



Television Journalist

Clare Fallon – BBC North West Tonight

Highly Commended

Arif Ansari – BBC North West Tonight

Dan Hewitt – ITV News Granada Reports

Matt O’Donoghue – ITV News Granada Reports


Weekly Newspaper Reporter

Oliver Clay – Runcorn Weekly News

Highly Commended

Lee Wild – Tameside Reporter

Dale Haslam – The Bolton News

Rachel Howarth – Knutsford & Northwich Guardians


Weekly Newspaper of the Year

Cumberland News

Highly Commended

Workington Times & Star

Tameside Reporter

Cumberland & Westmorland Herald

Crewe Chronicle


Magazine of the Year

CN Magazines – Cumbria Life

Highly Commended

Westmorland Gazette – Limited Edition

Oldham Chronicle – Oldham Business Edge

CN Magazines – Carlisle Living



Young Journalist

Sam Yarwood – Manchester Evening News

Highly Commended

Todd Fitzgerald – Manchester Evening News

Sarah Hodgson – Daily Post

Josh Parry – Liverpool Echo

Jonathan Robinson – North West Evening Mail


O2 Stand Out Award

Bill Jacobs – Lancashire Telegraph

Highly Commended

Tom Murphy – Westmorland Gazette

Dianne Gibbons – The Sentinel Stoke

Jim Sharpe – Southport Champion


O2 Lifetime Achievement Awards

Eric Langton – Trinity Mirror

Steve Becker – BBC Radio Lancashire




For more information, contact


Mark Rossiter

Rossiter Media


+44 (0)1829 741371


O2 Press Office contacts


t +44 (0)1753565656

e: pressoffice@o2.com

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
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