WHFP leads shortlisted Scottish contingent at Regional Press Awards

THE UK’s only employee-owned newspaper has gleaned two shortlist nominations in a competition celebrating the best of regional newspaper journalism.

The West Highland Free Press – owned by the West Highland Publishing Company – heads the Scottish contingent in the NUJ Regional Press Awards, with Michael Russell and Keith MacKenzie nominated for the weekly Feature Writer of the Year and Sports Journalist of the Year, respectively.

Speaking to allmediascotland, Russell said: “I am delighted with the nomination. This is a national award and it is very important local journalism is recognised for its efforts.”

Added MacKenzie: “I was surprised to be shortlisted having entered on the hope of getting something but knowing how competitive it would be. It is nice recognition for the West Highland Free Press and the hard work all of the staff put in.”

Joining MacKenzie in the category of Sports Journalist of the Year for a weekly title is Eric Mackinnon of the West Lothian Courier.

Mackinnon features on the shortlist for the third year running. Having failed to pick up the top prize on the last two occasions, he told allmediascotland “fingers crossed” it’ll be third time lucky.

The awards are being run by the NUJ, which chose to step in when the previous organisers decided to no longer stage the competition. The winners will be announced a week tomorrow.

Elsewhere, the Edinburgh Evening News’ Victoria Raimes has been nominated for the Scoop of the Year award – for her tale about the death of a pensioner whose body lay undiscovered in her Edinburgh flat for five years.

She told allmediascotland.com: “I’m obviously pleased to have been nominated for the award and am looking forward to the event on Tuesday. I’m up against some big regional names so the competition is tough, but I’m happy to be shortlisted.

“The Isabella Purves story was my first ever scoop when I joined the Evening News a year ago, and I hope I’ll keep uncovering original stories.”

The Caledonian Mercury, meanwhile, launched by allmediascotland blogger and former Scotsman.com editor, Stewart Kirkpatrick, has been nominated for the Multimedia Publisher of the Year award.

Gail Milne of the Glenrothes Gazette has been included in the Multimedia Journalist of the Year nominations, while Martin Shields of The Herald and Marc Turner of the Herald and Times Group will compete in the Daily/Sunday Photographer of the Year category. The Galloway Gazette’s Peter Foster is one of five nominees for the Photographer of the Year for a Weekly title.

This year’s Regional Press Awards will be the first time the NUJ have hosted the event, after former organisers, Wilmington Group, announced it would not be doing so due to a lack of support from the industry.

Said Jeremy Dear, NUJ general secretary: “I’d like to record my thanks to all entrants in the awards this year for the dedication they’ve shown in producing outstanding regional journalism in an era dominated by neglect and cost-cutting on the part of so many regional news publishers.”

NUJ Regional Press Awards 2010 Shortlist

Reporter of the year daily/Sunday

Gavin Aitchinson, The Press, York

Bimpe Archer, Irish News

Ciaran Barnes, Sunday Life

Phil Coleman, The News and Star

Allison Morris, Irish News

Reporter of the year weekly

Katie Davis, Ham & High Express

Eleanor Harding, Wandsworth Guardian

Kate Mason, Doncaster Free Press

Phil Turner, Rotherham Post

Cherry Wilson, Croydon Advertiser & Rotherham Advertiser

Multimedia journalist of the year

Sion Donovan, The News – Portsmouth

Gail Milne, Glenrothes Gazette

Nick Stylianou, The Orbital

William Watt, Blackpool Gazette

Joseph Watts, Nottingham Post

Feature writer of the year daily/Sunday

Jayne Dawson, Yorkshire Evening Post

Jim Entwistle, Northern Echo

Viv Groskop, Evening Standard, London

Rowan Mantell, Eastern Daily Press & Evening News

Keiron Pim, Eastern Daily Press

Lee Marlow, Leicestershire Mercury

Feature writer of the year weekly

Roger Lytollis, Cumberland News

Lucy Purdy, Haringey Advertiser

Michael Russell, West Highland Free Press

Audrey Watson, Belfast Telegraph (Weekend)

Sports journalist of the year daily/Sunday

Neil Allen, The News, Portsmouth

Jon Colman, News and Star

Amanda Little, News and Star

Martin Smith, The Star, Sheffield

Scott Wilson, Northern Echo

Sports journalist of the year weekly

Jon Colman, The Cumberland News

Amanda Little, The Cumberland News

Chris McNulty, The Donegal News

Keith MacKenzie, West Highland Free Press

Eric Mackinnon, West Lothian Courier

Specialist writer of the year

Katie Baldwin, Yorkshire Post

Carl Eve, The Plymouth Herald

Keiron Pim, Eastern Daily Press

Susanna Wilkey, Ham & High Express

Columnist of the year

Stacia Briggs, Norwich Evening News

Barry Gibson, Huddersfield Examiner

Rod McPhee, Yorkshire Evening Post

Erik Petersen, Nottingham Post

Paul Taylor, Manchester Evening News

Student journalist of the year

Jennie Agg, Student Direct

Mark Duell, Forge Press

Andy Halls, Pluto

Rosie Taylor, Forge Press

Nick Stylianou, The Orbital

Designer of the year

James Young, NWN Media

Alan Cooper, The News, Portsmouth

Alan Formby-Jackson, Evening Gazette

Graeme Windell, The News, Portsmouth

Photographer of the year daily/Sunday

Mark Bickerdike, Yorkshire Evening Post

Stuart Boulton, Northern Echo

Simon Dack, The Argus

Martin Shields, The Herald

Marc Turner, Herald and Times

Photographer of the year weekly

Stephen Garnett, Craven Herald

Peter Foster, Galloway Gazette

Mark Soanes, Waltham Forest Guardian

Alistair Wilson, Surrey Advertiser

Chris Whiteoak, Surrey Advertiser

Sports photographer of the year daily/Sunday

Mark Bickerdike, Yorkshire Post

Chris Booth, Northern Echo

Stuart Harrison, Swindon Advertiser

Lucy Ray, Bradford and Telegraph Argus

Chris Vaughan, Lincolnshire Echo

Sports photographer of the year weekly

Marie Caley, Doncaster Today

Stephen Garnett, Craven Herald

Liz Mockler, Doncaster Free Press

Anne-Marie Sanderson, Enfield Today

Chris Whiteoak, Aldershot News

Scoop of the year

Gavin Aitchinson, The Press, York

Bimpe Archer, Irish News

Ciaran Barnes, Sunday Life

Victoria Raimes, Edinburgh Evening News

Cherry Wilson, Rotherham Advertiser

Campaign of the year

Robert Pattison, Sunday Sun

Lucy Purdy, Haringey Advertiser

Cara Simpson, Coventry Telegraph

Kathryn Torney, Belfast Telegraph

Kirsty Whalley, Croydon Guardian

Multimedia publisher of the year

Stuart Kirkpatrick, Caledonian Mercury

Paul Bradshaw, Help Me Investigate

Peter Raven, PinkUn.com

Jo Wood, thisiscornwall.co.uk

The Felix Dearden Reporting on Race Award

Mary Griffin

Nick Tarver

Tinashe Mushakavanhu