Belfast Telegraph scoops top prizes at press awards
Tele wins Media Website of the Year
The Belfast Telegraph enjoyed fantastic success at the 18th Coca Cola CIPR NI Media Awards, scooping six major prizes and numerous commendations and runners-up places.
Journalists, editors and programme makers from across print, broadcast and online media gathered at Belfast’s Europa Hotel on Friday night for the prestigious annual black-tie event, hosted by BBC Royal Correspondent, Nicholas Witchell.
As hundreds of assembled media professionals sat nervously awaiting their fate, Gillian Shields, PR executive for the main event sponsor, Coca-Cola, paid tribute to the high standards of journalism displayed in Northern Ireland. Belfast Telegraph deputy editor Gail Walker won Feature Journalist of the Year, was commended as Columnist of the Year and was runner-up as Journalist of the Year.
Political Journalist of the Year went to political editor Liam Clarke.
Environmental Journalist of the Year was awarded to environment correspondent Linda Stewart, while Scoop of the Year went to reporter Anne Madden for her coverage of the sex for access scandal involving former Stormont special adviser, Brian Crowe.
The Martin O'Hagan Memorial Bursary and Newcomer of the Year award was won by reporter Amanda Poole, while feature writer Kerry McKittrick and reporter Patrice Dougan received commendations in the same category.
The Belfast Telegraph then won Media Website of the Year, while production journalist Heather Byrne was commended in the Production Journalist of the Year category. Claire McNeilly was commended in the Print News Journalist category. The newspaper’s Weekend magazine was also commended in the Magazine/Supplement of the Year division.
Belfast Telegraph editor Mike Gilson said: “It was a fantastic night for the Belfast Telegraph.
“The breadth and number of awards shows that we have the best news team in Northern Ireland.”
Chartered Institute of Public Relations Northern Ireland chairman, Ross Williamson, added: “The awards represent our collective gratitude on behalf of all readers, viewers and listeners as our world would be less colourful, less informed and a smaller place without our local print, online and broadcast media.”
The Belfast Telegraph’s sister paper Sunday Life also had a good night winning the Sunday Newspaper of the Year title while Photographer of the Year went to picture editor Mark McCormick. Group sports editor Jim Gracey was highly commended in the Sports Journalist of the year category.
During the event, First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness paid tribute to their “friend”, the late John Harrison, one of Northern Ireland’s most distinguished press photographers. They then presented a Special Recognition Award to his family.