East of England Media Awards

Trainee journalist Sam Smith, who received a bursary from the Journalism Diversity Fund in 2009, was yesterday part of the Brentwood Gazette reporting team recognised at the East of England Media Awards.

His title was awarded the Paid for Weekly Newspaper of the Year prize by the judges for its strong front-page exclusives, high news count and good entertainment and sports sections.

The judges also praised the paper’s wide-reaching coverage of the area: “From hard-hitting news stories to pages of community news, the Brentwood Gazette really is a comprehensive low down of Brentwood life. Its pages were busy and pleasing to the eye. Readers’ contributions were also impressive.”

Speaking about the winning the prize, editor-in-chief of the Brentwood Gazette Alan Geere said: “Our award demonstrates that community journalism is alive and kicking and long may it last.”

The 2010 EDF Energy Media Awards brought together the very best local talent from across the east of England to Trinity Park in Suffolk. Other awards presented at the annual ceremony included: Daily Print Journalist of the Year; Radio Journalist of the Year; Newcomer of the Year; and Daily Newspaper of the Year.

Head of news at ITV Anglia, Catherine Houlihan, who is the NCTJ’s broadcast journalism chairman and chief examiner, also collected the Television News Programme of the Year Award on behalf of ITV Tonight.

All prize winners were presented with a commemorative trophy by EDF Energy representative Jim Crawford and 2012 Paralympics equestrian hopeful Natasha Baker. Individual victors also received a cheque for £100 from EDF Energy.

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