Conference And Awards Announced For Local Democracy Reporters

A new awards scheme to highlight the best local public interest journalism produced by Local Democracy Reporters since the launch of the Local News Partnership has been launched. 

The BBC, working with local publishers and the News Media Association, is to hold the Local Democracy Reporter Awards during a one-day conference to be attended by many of the reporters.

The awards will be presented as part of conference on 25 June at the BBC’s MediaCity base in Salford, and comes 18 months after the first LDRs were appointed.

With almost 140 now in post, the reporters are generating more than 5,000 stories a month thanks to the LDR project, which is part of the Local News Partnership between the NMA and the BBC, Behind Local News reported.

The categories for the awards will be:

  • Broadcast or use of multimedia in LDR reporting;
  • Impact story of the year for stories which have resulted in local change;
  • Use of FOI for an LDR story;
  • The Spotlight award for an important story which would have otherwise gone untold; 
  • Scoop of the year;
  • LDR use of social media; 
  • An overall LDR of the year.

Matthew Barraclough, the BBC’s head of the Local News Partnerships, said: “This is the first opportunity to gather Local Democracy Reporters from all parts of the UK in one place, and an awards ceremony is the perfect way to celebrate their achievements and focus on the really important journalism they’re producing every day”.

Jeremy Clifford, who chairs the joint NMA/BBC Advisory Panel that oversees the running of the partnership, said: “This is a great opportunity to celebrate the success of this scheme and the fantastic work the reporters have been involved in since it began.

“The conference will bring together all the reporters for the first time in an environment where we can share successes and come up with great new ideas. The awards will recognise what this scheme has achieved individually and collectively.”

Nominations close on 25 May. To enter the awards LDRS must:

  • Complete this form supporting statement of up to 200 words)
  • Use the Dropbox link provided on the form to submit visuals of your work — this may be pdfs of print or web pages, multimedia, social media screen grabs etc
  • Ensure files uploaded to the Dropbox file follow the naming convention set out in the form (e.g. JoannebloggsSCOOPdailies.jpg or joebloggsBROADCAST.mp4) for ease of identification. For multiple uploads use a numeric system — jpg, JoannebloggsSCOOP2.jpg etc etc)

The conference will be livestreamed on the Behind Local News website, which will also report live on the event as well.