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07 February 2019

NMA Launches New Award For Young Journalists

The News Media Association has launched a new award for young journalists as part of the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards.

The Cathryn Nicoll Award has been set up by the NMA in memory of Cathryn Nicoll who held the position of news editor at the Croydon Advertiser during her career as a journalist and carries a £500 prize.

Cathryn was known for her passionate belief in journalistic standards and training, and the new award will highlight and reward brilliant interviewing and feature writing by young journalists.

The award, announced as part of the Regional Press Awards call for entries, 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.

Also in the programme is Local Media Works' Making a Difference online public vote for the best  campaign.

Entries are now open here for the Regional Press Awards for 2018, where this year there is renewed focus on digital journalism excellence.

Organised by the Society of Editors, the awards will celebrate the best of British regional and local newspaper journalism in 2018 and journalists have until 5 March to submit their entries. 

This year, the awards have been revised to further recognise the role of digital and innovation in regional newsrooms as well as including new categories that reflect the growing strength of free local newspapers and regional publishers’ magazine output.

New categories include ‘Digital Live News Reporter of the Year’ and ‘Data Journalist of the Year’ as well as ‘Magazine of the Year’, ‘Magazine Designer of the Year’ and ‘Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year’.

Ian Murray, Society of Editors executive director and chairman of the judges said that, after careful consultation, the awards had been revised to better reflect the new skills and platforms used by the regional media.

He said: “Anyone who works in a regional newsroom knows that the emphasis is now firmly on digital journalism and after addressing this with some new categories for last year’s awards we have gone further this year to reflect those changes.

“It is also important to recognise the diversity of products now produced in local newsrooms and so we have included two awards recognising the superb magazines now created by regional newspaper publishers.

"Another reality is the strength of many free weekly papers and again we have introduced a new category that recognises the tremendous publications that exist in that field.”

The Society of Editors, supported by Camelot since 2001, organises the awards on behalf of the industry and they are made possible by the support of several sponsors including Cision, Foot Anstey, Holdthefrontpage, the NMA and the Press Association.

Early registration and entries are encouraged so that any issues can be attended to in advance of the deadline. The entry price has been kept at the same level as last year.

Shortlists will be published in mid-April with the awards ceremony and celebratory lunch taking place at IET London, Savoy Place on Friday 17 May. Full details of the new awards and guidance on how to register and enter is available here.

The awards will be presented by LBC presenter Nick Ferrari. Revenue generated by entry fees, table sales and sponsorship will pay for the not-for-profit awards programme and help to support the Journalists’ Charity.