Two Archant editorial campaigns have been nominated for an award recognising the power of regional newspapers to lobby for positive change.
Both the Mental Health Watch and the Contaminated Blood Scandal campaigns, run by Archant's Investigations Unit, have been shortlisted for the 'Making a Difference' award at the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards, which will be decided by a public vote.
The mental health campaign was launched in October last year in the Eastern Daily Press (EDP) and Norwich Evening News to try and increase awareness of the problem, reduce the stigma and fight for improved services. Since then more than 100 stories have been produced and Archant's 'We Mind' campaign recently helped ensure the resurrection of a vital phone line.
Archant has also called for justice for victims of the contaminated blood scandal. Over the last year Archant’s daily and weekly newspapers – including the EDP, Ham&High, Barking and Dagenham Post, Newham Recorder, Brent and Kilburn Times, and Kent on Sunday - have reported on the stories of local people who were infected with HIV and hepatitis C (hep C) in the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.
The Archant campaign has backed calls for a fairer system of support for the 7,500 people nationwide whose health has been ruined and compensation for the families of the 2,000 who have died.
Sue Threakall, of the campaign group Tainted Blood, said: “The dedication and compassion you have shown in your coverage of the contaminated blood scandal has been outstanding, and truly has made a difference to the lives of victims who feel that they now have a voice.”
The polls opened yesterday (Monday) and voting will close at 5pm on Wednesday, May 18.
The winner will be announced at the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards this Friday.
To vote for either campaign, click here.
© Archant Ltd 2013