Entries Open For Regional Press Awards

Entries have opened for the Society of Editors’ Regional Press Awards, celebrating the best of UK regional and local newspaper journalism and including the News Media Association’s Cathryn Nicoll Award for young journalists.

Society of Editors executive director and chair of the judges Ian Murray, said: “In any year the regional press in the UK performs an important and vital service in binding communities together and policing local democracy, however during 2020 it stepped up to the mark to play an even more significant role.

“The regional and local press has performed magnificently and under extremely difficult circumstances to perform its duties and keep communities well informed during what has surely been the greatest challenge to us all in modern times.

“The fact the crisis is not over should not and will not prevent us from recognising the amazing professionalism and sheer determination shown by local journalists and their publications during last year.”

The awards, organised by the Society of Editors, will this year include a Chairman’s Special 2020 Award to recognise individual journalists, teams and support staff who have gone that extra, extra mile to ensure their publications/websites continued to function during the crisis. And the Society will be collating and reporting on these stories during the countdown to the awards which will take place in May of this year.

This category will be free to enter.

Ian Murray added: “We know that it has taken Herculean efforts to keep the presses rolling, the news reported, the IT running and newsrooms to function during these times. We want to acknowledge this tremendous work by the industry at this time, so such stories are not lost.”

New categories for this year include Special Supplement of the Year and a separate category for Sunday Newspaper of the Year to acknowledge the work of Sunday teams as a distinctly unique offering to that of existing categories celebrating Weekly Newspaper and Daily Newspaper of the Year.

Once again in some established categories, awards have been split to ensure that journalists working on smaller titles with less resources are recognised without having to compete with larger, better-funded regional daily newsrooms.

The Cathryn Nicoll Interviewer of the Year Award will run for its third consecutive year at the Regional Press Awards. The award, set up by the News Media Association, was launched in 2019 in memory of Cathryn Nicoll who held the position of news editor at the Croydon Advertiser during her career as a journalist.

The award is open to any journalist working for a weekly or daily local or regional newspaper published in the UK, who is aged between 18 and 25 and rewards a £500 cash prize to its winner.

Paul Sinker, NMA head of communications, said: “Since its launch, the Cathryn Nicoll Award has gone from strength to strength, highlighting the brilliant work of young journalists across the UK. Local and regional journalism continues to play a critical role in keeping communities informed during the coronavirus pandemic and the Regional Press Awards will shine a spotlight upon this brilliant work.”

To celebrate the sterling campaigns produced across regional and local journalism, entries for the Campaign of the Year categories will also be included in the Making a Difference People’s Choice public vote organised by the NMA, and announced as part of Journalism Matters later in the year.

Entries will be open until 23:59 on 5 March 2021 and early entries are encouraged. The entry price has been kept at the same level as last year.

A shortlist will be announced in April 2021.

The awards are planned to be announced at a virtual awards ceremony to be staged in late May. The Society of Editors will monitor the situation with regards to coronavirus and re-evaluate the circumstances closer to the date.

The Regional Press Awards are made possible due the support of headline sponsor Facebook Journalism Project, and Camelot which has supported the Society since 2001. With thanks to Amazon, Cision, HoldTheFrontPage and Journalists’ Charity.