Regional Press Awards to Issue Entries Invite after being Handed More Certain Future

Journalists working on local newspapers are being invited to enter their UK-wide press awards competition, which has been given a more certain future, following a couple of years of uncertainty.

The Society of Editors and the Newspaper Society are jointly taking over the running of the Regional Press Awards, with entries being invited from a week on Monday until the eighth of next month. Journalists working on websites are also able to enter the competition.

The new awards are to be known as The Society of Editors Regional Press Awards.

Last year, the National Union of Journalists stepped in to stage a scaled-down version of the awards, which had previously been run by the Press Gazette until an ownership change resulted in the awards no longer taking place.

Media website, Holdthefrontpage, and the Press Association are also supporting the awards which will culminate in a lunchtime ceremony in London on May 11, to coincide with the Newspaper Society's Local Newspaper Week 2011 (May 9-15).

A dedicated website, www.regionalpressawards.org.uk, is soon to be set up to provide entry information.

In a statement issued by the Society of Editors, Robin Esser, president of the SoE and executive managing editor of the Daily Mail, is quoted saying: “We are glad to help recognise the tremendous skills and achievements of regional newspapers that report tirelessly on behalf the communities they serve.”

The statement also quotes Georgina Harvey, president of the Newspaper Society and managing director of Trinity Mirror Regionals, saying: “It's more important today than ever to celebrate the unique strengths of our industry. The regional and local press has a long and proud history of journalistic excellence and photographic prowess and I’m delighted we’ll have the chance to pay tribute to our best journalists and photographers with these new awards.”

Bob Satchwell, executive director of the SoE, will oversee the awards in consultation with Lynne Anderson, communications director of the NS. The scheme will be reviewed after the first year.

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