Trinity Mirror triumphs at O2 Media Awards


Judges praise Liverpool Echo and Crewe Chronicle while MEN scoops a double


THE Liverpool Echo was named the North West’s top daily newspaper at last night’s regional O2 Media Awards.


Echo journalists Paddy Shennan and Dan Kay were also named Feature Writer of the Year and Multi Media Journalist of the Year respectively as the paper collected a hat-trick of trophies.


Award judges praised the paper for “its fierce loyalty to its readers, its city and the wider Merseyside region.


“The Echo is one of those newspapers that stirs the emotions…it makes you smile, want to shout out in anger and then maybe have a good cry,” said the panel.


Hillsborough family victims spokesman Trevor Hicks, who lost two daughters in the 1989 football tragedy, presented editor Alistair Machray with the Newspaper of the Year award.


“The paper had faced a year of big stories, culminating in the revelations surrounding the Hillsborough tragedy. It handled every story brilliantly with great professionalism and style,” added the panel.


In a good night for Trinity Mirror, the Crewe Chronicle was also awarded the title of Weekly Newspaper of the Year, triumphing over three-times past winner the Cumberland News. The nation’s favourite fictional TV journalist, Coronation Street’s Ken Barlow, alias actor Bill Roache, presented the award.


The Chronicle was praised for being “bright, bold and fun, not afraid to campaign for its community and for delivering great value for money with a small, talented editorial team.” Free newspaper of the Year was Champion Newspapers, praised by judges for seeing new business opportunities and launching new titles across Merseyside.


The Manchester Evening News picked up an awards double, with long-serving reporter Neal Keeling crowned News Reporter of the Year and the paper’s Business Week publication named Specialist Publication of the Year. Keeling, who is currently undergoing cancer treatment, was presented with his award by a 74-year-old knife attack victim who had featured in one of his stories.


More than 160 journalists working across newspapers, television, radio and specialist publications attended this year’s awards ceremony at Lancashire Cricket Club in Manchester.


Seventeen awards were presented celebrating the work of the regional press in their communities.


ITV won the battle of the regional broadcast networks. Matt O’Donoghue was awarded the TV Journalist of the Year crown with his Granada Reports colleague Chris Hall voted the region’s top sports reporter. O’Donoghue’s chilling investigation into gun running scored with the judges while Hall took the honours with a portfolio that included reports of Manchester City’s journey to the Premier League title and boxer Amir Khan.


Real Radio was named Editorial Team of the Year with staffer Katie Collins picking up the Radio Journalist of the Year trophy announced by Radio Five Live’s Peter Allen.


BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin presented the Young Journalist of the Year award to North West Evening Mail Reporter Will Metcalfe. ITN anchorwoman Natasha Kaplinski announced the Emerging Talent Award, which in its first year went to media student Henna Saeed from Manchester Metropolitan University. Henna’s prize also includes a day work shadowing ITN Editor Richard Frediani.


Other guests included Casualty star Gillian Kearney and GB Olympic hockey medal winner Nicola White.


Football pundit and television personality Stuart Hall presented the Scoop of the Year Award to the Lancashire Evening Post for its expose on children as young as eight taking part in organised cage fights.


Former JJB sports boss and Wigan Football Club owner Dave Whelan named North West Business Insider journalist Chris Maguire as this year’s Business Journalist of the Year.


The award for Outstanding Contribution to the Media Industry this year went to John Pickford, Head of News at Bauer Radio’s News Centre in Manchester and responsible for the news, sport and showbiz output for stations such as Key 103, Rock FM, Kerrang, Kiss, Magic, Heat Radio, The Hits, Cool FM and Downtown Radio.


Pickford is celebrating three decades of working as a radio journalist in Manchester during which time he’s reported on some of the biggest stories in the region and trained many of the familiar broadcast voices and faces on radio and television today.


Nicola Green, head of Communications and Reputation for O2 UK, said: “The standard of entries this year was phenomenal. Every year interest in the O2 Awards grows which made the judging process even more difficult.


“The quality and breadth of submissions was exciting and encouraging for the future and we were delighted to introduce a further three new awards this year which reflect the developments taking place in the media industry and to recognise the new talent coming through,” she added.


O2 employs around 3,000 people at its Customer Service Centres in Bury in Greater Manchester and Runcorn in Cheshire and retail stores in the North West. The company launched the regional media awards in Cheshire five years ago. Since then the competition has grown and now covers Yorkshire and the whole of the North West.


O2 North West 2012 Media Awards winners:

Business Journalist of the Year

Chris Maguire – North West Business Insider

Runners Up

Rupert Cornford – North West Business Insider

Alistair Houghton – Liverpool Post


Multi Media Journalist of the Year

Dan Kay – Liverpool Echo

Runners Up

Andy Downton – Heart FM

Vanessa Cornall – Lancashire Telegraph


Young Journalist of the Year

Will Metcalfe – North West Evening Mail

Runners Up

David Raven – Crosby Champion

Ellie Cullen – Crewe Chronicle

Daniel Hewitt – ITV Granada


Feature Writer of the Year

Paddy Shennan – Liverpool Echo

Runners Up

Roger Lytollis – News & Star/ Cumberland News

Chris Maguire – North West Business Insider


News Reporter of the Year

Neal Keeling – Manchester Evening News

Runners Up

Vanessa Cornall – Lancashire Telegraph

Marc Waddington – Liverpool Echo


Photographer of the Year

Jon Granger – North West Evening Mail

Runners Up

Robert Binder – Lancashire Telegraph

Phil Rigby – CN Magazines


Radio Broadcast Journalist of the Year

Katie Collins – Real Radio

Runners Up

Sarah Poole – Real Radio

Alex Davies – Heart FM


Scoop of the Year

Lancashire Evening Post – Cage Fighting Kids

Runner Up

Liverpool Echo – BNP Mayoral candidate arrested


Specialist Publication of the Year

Business Week – Manchester Evening News

Runners Up

Post Culture – Liverpool Post

Saddleworth Independent

The Lancashire Magazine


Sports Journalist of the Year

Chris Hall – ITV Granada

Runners Up

Amanda Little – Cumberland News

Greg O’Keeffe – Liverpool Echo


TV Broadcast Journalist of the Year

Matt O’Donoghue – ITV Granada

Runners Up

Jacey Normand – BBC North West

Melissa Barham – ITV Granada


Editorial Team of the Year

Real Radio

Runners Up

Westmorland Gazette

CN Magazines

Champion Newspapers


Daily Newspaper of the Year

Liverpool Echo

Runners Up

Bolton News

News & Star

Blackpool Gazette


Weekly Newspaper of the Year

Crewe Chronicle

Runners Up

The Liverpool Post

Cumberland News

Macclesfield Express

Accrington Observer

Champion Newspapers


Free Newspaper of the Year

Champion Newspapers

Outstanding Contribution

John Pickford – Bauer Radio


Emerging Talent Award

Henna Saeed – Manchester Metropolitan University

Runners Up

Natasha Johansson – University of Salford

Amy Cookson – University of Bolton



For further information on the awards contact



Ann McCracken, O2 Communications Manager, North
M: 07850 708009 e:




Mark Rossiter, Rossiter Media

t: 01829 741371 m: 07976292464



O2 Press Office contacts


t +44 (0)1753565656



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