Two of Archant’s daily papers are celebrating after scooping top national awards at the Press Gazette regional press 2002 awards on July 5.
Star leads Archant awards double
The Evening Star was named Britain's Evening Newspaper of the Year at the glittering awards ceremony at The Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, London. And the Eastern Daily Press won the Front Page of the Year category with a stunning image of a lamb caked in mud at the height of the foot-and-mouth crisis and the headline “Enough”.
The Evening Star beat off challenges from more than 80 evening newspapers across the UK and Ireland, including finalists The Belfast Telegraph and The Manchester Evening News. Star editor Nigel Pickover collected the much-coveted trophy from BBC royal correspondent Jenni Bond.
The accolade completes a unique 2002 hat-trick for the paper of being short listed for every national and regional award in 2002. In June, the Star was named BT Regional Newspaper of the Year and its on-line operation, www.eveningstar.co.uk was named Website of the year, for the South and South East.
Judges said: "The Evening Star was a clear winner in the voting and praised for its great news values and brilliant presentation. It is brimming with confidence, full of passion and doing a great job for its community.”
Its “superhuman effort" in getting out an edition immediately after the attacks on the World Trade Center was singled out for praise.
Editor Nigel Pickover said: “I was immensely surprised and honoured when called upon to collect the award. It means a lot to our staff who, without doubt, are the darlings of the regional press.”
In awarding the EDP the Front Page of the Year category, judges praised the paper for taking a "heart-rending image of a lamb covered in mud and turning it into a symbol of the misery caused by the foot-and-mouth disaster" and creating an "unforgettable front page".
Noting that the photograph, by EDP photographer Simon Finlay, was subsequently copied by the Daily Mail, the judges continued: "It was a stunning image coupled with a provocative headline."
Delighted EDP editor Peter Franzen praised Simon: "We would have nothing without his brilliant picture." The photograph was taken at Pat Key's farm on the Halvergate Marshes and its publication forced the Government to recognise the appalling plight of hundreds of thousands of farm animals and make a major U-turn on welfare policy. It also led to a reprieve for what became known as Lucky the Lamb.
The EDP was nominated for four other categories – Supplement of the Year for the Event listings magazine, Scoop of the Year for the Issa Kamara story by Caroline Culot, Team of the Year for coverage of the Lauren Wright cruelty case and Website of the Year for EDP24.
Archant Hertfordshire’s The Comet was short listed as Free Newspaper of the Year, the Evening Star’s Simon Parker was short listed as sports photographer of the year and Jonathon Hartley, of the Evening News, was short listed as Specialist reporter of the Year.