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Friday, 04 November 2011 (3020325)
by Stephanie O'Connor

THE CHAMPION has beaten off stiff competition to win a prestigious award for a scoop which was later picked up by the national and international media.

At the O2 Media Awards ceremony in Blackpool, reporter David Simister won the Scoop of the Year Award for an exclusive which appeared in our Ormskirk and West Lancashire edition, which revealed a dramatic cruise ship rescue which went tragically wrong in the freezing seas off the coast of Norway.

The incident was photographed by Burscough residents and Champion readers Colin and Sheila Prescott.

An O2 spokesperson said of the award during the presentation at Blackpool Pleasure Beach:

“Judges said The Champion landed the scoop every print and broadcast organisation wanted when reporter David Simister broke the story of how an elderly grandmother was dropped into icy seas while being lifted from a Norwegian cruise ship into a lifeboat after being taken ill on board.

“The exclusive was later used extensively across national newspapers and television. One judge said ‘a scoop we all wished we'd had!'”

Former Coronation Street actress, Nikki Sanderson, presented The Champion with the award, at an award which saw journalists from across the region recognised for their achievements and hard work over the past year.

Champion reporter David Simister said:

“I'm absolutely elated to have won this award, which really does show that The Champion and regional journalism as a whole are going strong and leading the nationals to some great stories.

“The award is a credit to everyone at The Champion and highlights our commitment to our readers, both in the Sefton and West Lancashire areas, and to quality regional journalism.”

Malcolm Hindle, group editor at Champion Newspapers, said: “David's reward is a tremendous honour not only for himself, but for the Champion editorial team, whose excellence has once again been recognised.

“David's scoop stood out out as a worthy winner and to beat opposition from daily newspapers, the broadcast media and other weekly newspapers, proves just what a great story David revealed. As the judges commented, it was the scoop they all wished they had.”


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