Cathryn Nicoll Award Winner To Be Revealed Tomorrow

The winner of the inaugural Cathryn Nicoll Award which has been set up to highlight and reward brilliant interviewing and feature writing by young journalists will be revealed tomorrow at the Regional Press Awards.

Run by the Society of Editors, the awards celebrate the best in daily and weekly local media journalism and include several new categories including the News Media Association’s Cathryn Nicoll Award. 

Three young journalists – The Oxford Times’ Harrison Jones, Holly Lennon, of the Evening Times, and Molly Williams from the Sheffield Star – have been shortlisted for the award which was launched in memory of regional press journalist Cathryn Nicoll who was known for her passionate belief in journalistic standards and training. The winner will scoop a £500 cash prize.

CN Nominees

(Harrison Jones, Holly Lennon and Molly Williams)

Holly Lennon was shortlisted for her sensitive interview with the brother of Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison who committed suicide. She said: “Grant spoke openly and honestly about the grief he, his family and bandmates were going through.

“Despite Scott’s death still being so raw, he gave an honest insight into his feelings, what he would do differently and how he would like to prevent other people going through what his brother did.”

Harrison Jones has been shortlisted for his interview with former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger in which he discussed some of the big stories broken by the paper during his tenure.

Harrison said: “The interview was difficult to get, because Alan Rusbridger is a well-known character in high demand. After a number of unanswered emails, he eventually replied, likely because I mentioned previously working at the Guardian.

“When we first met we had agreed it would not be an interview (it felt like he was sounding me out), but I persuaded him to do a follow-up interview in which we could discuss his forthcoming book.”

Molly Williams has been shortlisted for her in depth interview with the leader of Sheffield City Council who rarely spoke to the media. Molly said: “We managed to pencil in an hour which was quite a tight time frame.

“But around two hours in we had completely forgotten the clock and covered almost everything – from the hard decisions made to keep services going and harsh public criticism to caring for her son and rare nights in watching The Jungle Book.

At one point she even thanked me and said it had ‘been good to reflect on all that’s happened’.  Walking back to the newsroom I knew what I had in my notebook was something special and probably the best interview of my career so far. 

“My editor put it on the front page and readers were given a window into how decisions were made behind closed doors and the life of this leader who had been calling the shots on things that affected their everyday lives.” 

The award will be presented by NMA deputy chief executive Lynne Anderson at the ceremony at IET London, Savoy Place tomorrow, during Journalism Matters week.