THE Rotherham Advertiser has been named Newspaper of the Year in the O2 Yorkshire and Humber Media Awards.
The paper was also crowned O2 Weekly Newspaper of the Year in a triumphant night for Editor Doug Melloy and his team.
Judges said the Advertiser was “an excellent weekly paper and fantastic value for money.”
“Stunning pictures, cracking reproduction. Totally comprehensive … a paper to be applauded and admired,” they added.
The Advertiser beat the Yorkshire Evening Post, which won the title of Daily Newspaper of the Year, in a head-to-head battle for the overall newspaper crown.
Advertiser editor Doug Melloy said: “The Rotherham Advertiser, like newspapers up and down the country, has gone through a challenging period because of reduced revenues in difficult economic times.
“But unlike the major groups, we have avoided the ‘R’ word, redundancy, among journalists and instead vowed to maintain editorial standards and content.
“These awards are a well-deserved recognition of the fantastic output of our whole editorial team, who week after week turn out fantastic newspapers any editor would be proud of.
“These awards, which acknowledge their dedication and professionalism, belong to them and they should feel very proud.”
More than 200 journalists and guests celebrated the 2011 awards at York Racecourse last night. A total of 17 awards were presented to media teams working on newspapers, radio, television and on-line publications.
Now in their third year, the O2 awards are a celebration of excellence in regional journalism.
Awards supporter Sir Michael Parkinson, who worked on local newspapers in Yorkshire as a cub reporter, commended regional journalists for their work in keeping communities informed and entertained.
Introducing the awards he told guests: “Journalism is a job that’s hard work and far from glamorous, but it is a job that can be extremely rewarding.”
Another famous son of Yorkshire, Peter Stringfellow, also congratulated writers and broadcasters.
“As someone who’s enjoyed his fair share of headlines I know the tremendous impact the regional press can have. All of the nominees should feel proud of their achievements,” he said.
This year’s awards attracted more than 250 individual entries across a range of categories covering print and broadcast journalism, photography, teamwork and digital media.
Glenn Manoff, Director of Communications, Reputation and Sustainability at O2, said: “As a company we focus heavily on schemes and initiatives which help to build better communities so we were also delighted to recognise the impact regional journalism has on local life.
“This year’s record number of entries didn't disappoint both in the variety of nominations we received and in the quality of the submissions.”
This year’s judging panel was made up of senior editors and writers from weekly, regional daily and national newspaper titles, senior radio executives and editors from commercial and BBC television.
Of the Advertiser the panel added: “This is a newspaper packed with news in spite of difficult economic times. This is an excellent weekly paper. With 20 pages of sport, 30-odd pages of news, a good leisure section and loads of readers letters. What more could anyone ask for?”
In awarding the overall O2 Newspaper of the Year crown they also said: “With two great papers it’s always difficult to select one overall winner particularly when comparing a local weekly to a regional daily newspaper.
“Based on all round appeal and excellence in news sport and features; the way this paper interacts with readers while providing a superb package at a value for money price, the winner is the Advertiser.”
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