Leading journalists across Cheshire and Merseyside will be fighting for honours at this year’s O2 Media Awards.

O2, which employs more than 1,700 people at its Customer Service Centre in Preston Brook, plans to honour the region’s most talented writers and broadcasters in the awards competition which this year has expanded to cover two additional categories, Business Journalist of the Year and Entertainment Writer of the Year

Last year’s winners included the Liverpool Echo and Liverpool Daily Post, the Warrington Guardian, Radio City and the editorial team from ITV’s Granada Reports.

Photographers and journalists working on internet-based news sites will also be featured in the competition.

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

This year’s judges include Peter Charlton, editor of the Yorkshire Post; Paul Newman, Director of Communications at Media City; Paul Byrne of the Daily Mirror and Newsquest regional MD Jan Lever.

Glenn Manoff, O2’s Director of Communications and Reputation, said the awards would celebrate the important service provided by local and regional journalists.

“We are delighted to be staging the second O2 Media Awards in Cheshire and Merseyside. The quality of entries from the region’s press last year was outstanding and we’re hoping they’ll all be back to defend their titles this year,” he said.

The introduction of a new category for entertainment writers reflects O2’s work in the area of arts and entertainment including its sponsorship of The O2 arena and the O2 Academy venues across the UK.

“Journalists provide an integral service in keeping the community connected to the world around them. We have exactly the same objective here at O2 – we believe a connected community is a better community,” he added.

“The O2 Media Awards will honour individual writers and broadcasters as well as news teams who have worked together to bring their communities news and information that otherwise may have remained hidden.”

Individual and team awards ranging from Reporter of the Year to Newspaper of the Year are up for grabs.

The winners will be crowned at an awards ceremony at O2’s Preston Brook site in June.

Deadline for entry nominations is May 12th 2009.

Entry forms are available by contacting Chloe Ingham at Rossiter Media on 01925 576757 or by e-mail chloe.ingham@rossitermedia.co.uk

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