It was a perfect 10 for the Belfast Telegraph as it dominated the Coca-Cola CIPR Northern Ireland Media Awards.
In an unprecedented night of success, our editorial team won 10 gold awards, including the title of Daily Newspaper of the Year.
The awards spanned every aspect of the paper’s output — news, digital, business, sports, design, features, photography and our special supplements. The awards ceremony, held at the Mac Theatre on Friday, received its highest ever number of entries from print, broadcast and digital media.
Our sister paper, the Sunday Life, also had a successful evening winning the overall Newspaper of the Year title. Reporter Ciaran Barnes was named Journalist of the Year.
Belfast Telegraph Editor Gail Walker, who was named Columnist of the Year, said: “It was wonderful to see the Belfast Telegraph’s team of journalists sweep the board at the CIPR awards on Friday night, as well as lift the highly coveted Daily Newspaper of the Year title.
“Our tally of wins — our biggest ever number on a single night — is a recognition not only of the great and diverse talent of our individual journalists, but also of the immense team effort that goes into producing the best possible newspaper for our readers every day.
“The fact that our awards went right across news, features, sport, and both our print and digital platforms was a further endorsement of all that hard work.
“Our readers — people across Northern Ireland — are at the heart of every single story we write and we are looking forward to bringing them more exclusive news stories, engaging and entertaining features and, of course, sports coverage that is always first past the post both in paper and online.”
Gail was described by the judges as “a superb columnist — perceptive, provocative, passionate and blessed with a style very much her own”.
The paper’s extensive coverage of former First Minister Rev Ian’s Paisley death on September 12, 2014 won the Front Page of the Year Award.
The judges said that the paper “summed up the loss of a giant character who played a huge part in the wider UK and world stage. The image and headline did the talking. A simple tribute ‘Goodbye big man’.
The Belfast Telegraph website won the Digital News Platform of the Year award, with our use of live public reaction to stories particularly praised by the judges.
Writer Ivan Little won Feature Journalist of the Year award. Judges said his “fine writing, sharp observation, perceptive analysis all shone through in this impressive and versatile portfolio”. Environment Correspondent Linda Stewart was highly commended in this category.
John Mulgrew won Business Journalist of the Year award for “producing an engaging mix of stories all presented in a comprehensive way that has the key facts at the heart”.
David Kelly won Sports Journalist of the Year and was praised for his varied portfolio showing “excellent writing, passion and breadth of subject matter”. Sports Editor Jim Gracey was highly commended.
The Specialist Journalist of the Year award went to Maureen Coleman who judges described as “a delightful writer”.
The popular Tele Recommends supplement, compiled by Kerry McKittrick, won the gold award for Supplement of the Year.
Heather Byrne won Production Journalist of the Year for her “innovative use of design”.
Digital reporter Claire Williamson won a silver award in the Newcomer of the Year category while photographer Kevin Scott won silver in the Photographer of the Year category. Freelancer Margaret McLaughlin, who contributes to the Belfast Telegraph, won the gold award.
Ivan Little and Adrian Rutherford won silver and a highly commended citation respectively in the Newspaper Journalist of the Year category.
Daily Newspaper of the Year
Digital News Platform of the Year
Front Page of the Year
Columnist of the Year- Gail Walker
Business Journalist of the Year - John Mulgrew
Sports Journalist of the Year - David Kelly
Feature Journalist of the Year - Ivan Little
Specialist Journalist of the Year - Maureen Coleman
Production Journalist of the Year - Heather Byrne
Supplement of the Year, Tele Recommends - compiled by Kerry McKittrick