Young Journalist Scoops Cathyrn Nicoll Award For Doctor Interview

A local journalist whose interview with a frontline doctor and politician laid bare some of the key challenges of the coronavirus crisis early in the pandemic has been named this year’s winner of the News Media Association’s Cathryn Nicoll Award.

Sian Bayley, formerly a Local Democracy Reporter working for MyLondon and now senior reporter at The Bookseller, has been announced as the winner today as part of the Regional Press Awards which showcase the very best in regional and local journalism from across the UK.

The judges said Sian’s entry was a “thoughtful piece” which highlighted key issues relating to the initial response to the pandemic and was “a fine example of local reporting in the public interest.”

Sian scoops the £500 prize for the award which was set up by the NMA in 2019 in memory of Cathryn Nicoll who held the position of news editor at the Croydon Advertiser during her career as a journalist and was known for her passionate belief in journalistic standards and training.

Organised by the Society of Editors, the awards attracted almost 700 entries with the winners and highly commended announced today in a special online event.

Essex Live won campaign of the year for their ‘Death in care’ campaign which highlighted families fighting for justice for their loved ones. The judges also commended the BrumWish campaign by, Birmingham Mail/Birmingham Live, which aimed to give every homeless child in the city a Christmas gift. Cambridgeshire News’ Coronavirus Fund campaign also received high commendation. 

Daily newspaper of the year above 400,000 monthly reach was scooped by the Liverpool Echo while daily newspaper of the year below 400,000 monthly reach was won by the Jersey Evening Post.

The Warrington Guardian took the paid for weekly/Sunday newspaper of the year above 50,000 monthly reach title and The Hexham Courant took paid for weekly/Sunday newspaper of the year below 50,000 monthly reach.

Free weekly newspapers of the year was won by the Jewish News and Camden New Journal while website of the year award went to the Manchester Evening News.

Dawn Alford, executive director of the Society of Editors commented: “The work done by the journalists, photographers, designers and editors showcased in these awards is inspiring. In such a difficult period of time, their work has been essential in keeping the public informed, campaigning on issues, making us laugh and making us cry.”

A full list of award winners can be found here