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Friday, 09 November 2012 (3032446)
Champion triumphs at 02 Media Awards
by David Simister


THE Champion has triumphed at a prestigious media awards for the second year running.

In the Special Award category, the Champion was named as the best free newspaper at this year's O2 North West Media Awards, held at Lancashire County Cricket ground, Old Trafford.

The Champion was also awarded a string of coveted ‘Highly Commended' accolades in the Weekly Newspaper of The Year category; the Editorial Team of The Year category, and the Young Reporter of her Year category where Champ reporter David Raven narowly missed out on the top award after impressing the judges with a series of exclusive stories.

Judges praised the Champion’s editorial team for producing so many titles to a consistently high standard. They were also impressed by the paper’s willingness to exploit business opportunities and launch new editions into areas being vacated by some of the larger publishing groups.

They said: “This award is to honour a newspaper that is leading by example. Despite economic uncertainty it was investing in growth and encouraging quality community journalism. Readers loved its bright and breezy approach and commitment to community life.”

The judging panel, made up media representatives from across the the country, added: “This was a paper that believed in its staff and as a result they were achieving remarkable results. A clear example of what can be done with commitment and a willingness to deliver.”

It is the second year running The Champion has won an O2 Award, after David Simister, one of our West Lancashire reporters, collected the Scoop of The Year prize at last year's awards.

Nicola Green, head of Communications and Reputation for O2 UK, said: “The standard of entries this year was phenomenal. Every year interest in the O2 Awards grows which made the judging process even more difficult.

”The quality and breadth of submissions was exciting and encouraging for the future and we were delighted to introduce a further three new awards this year which reflect the developments taking place in the media industry and to recognise the new talent coming through.“

Guests at the awards included Coronation Street actor Bill Roache, BBC Breakfast anchor Louise Minchin and TV personality Stuart Hall. ITN newsreader Natasha Kaplinski, Wigan businessman Dave Whelan and Radio 5 Live presenter Peter Allen were among other personalities who took part in the awards ceremony along with Hillsborough campaigner Trevor Hicks who received a long standing ovation when he came on stage to present an award.

Other guests included Casualty star Gillian Kearney and GB Olympic hockey medal winner Nicola White.

More than 160 journalists working across newspapers, television, radio and specialist publications attended this year’s awards ceremony.






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