The Hull Daily Mail and the Ipswich Evening Star were named daily newspapers of the year at an extraordinary Regional Press Awards event on Friday which saw multimedia journalist of the year Adrian Sudbury given a moving standing ovation.
The Evening Star was named the daily or Sunday newspaper of the year in the below 40,000 circulation category for a second year running – the sixth time it has won the award in the past 12 years.
Editor Nigel Pickover said: ‘To win it the second time when you’ve got to show you’re doing other stuff as well is outright remarkable.”
The paper, described as ‘a model way to run an evening newspaper’by judges, was praised as ‘a ballsy paper from back to front’and said its 32-page supplement on the trial of Suffolk murderer Steven Wright, who killed five prostitutes in 2006, would ‘grace any newspaper of any size anywhere in the world”.
Pickover said his paper’s victory was more notable since many other daily papers do not compete against other daily papers in their town – the Evening Star shares a building with its Archant sister title the East Anglian Daily Times.
‘So we have to work twice as hard to achieve our success, and that’s down to the quality of a very small team and the drive and enthusiasm that they give to their jobs,’he said.
The Hull Daily Mail team picked up three awards – best daily/Sunday newspaper with a circulation above 40,000, front page of the year and multimedia publisher.
Editor John Meehan said the prizes were a great award for the city – which has just seen its football team Hull City promoted to the Premier League for the first time.
He said: ‘It is Hull’s award. Our football club has been promoted for the first time and we have won the big prize at the Press Gazette for the first time.
‘We have engaged with multimedia and understood that print is still terribly important.
‘To win both the multimedia award and daily newspaper award is a magnificent achievement which demonstrates that our staff produce brilliant results for print and digital.”
The front page award was for a dramatic wrap-around front showing an aerial photograph of a Hull neighbourhood under metres of water following last summer’s floods.
The Evening Star’s Jonathan Elsey won the award for best designer, for a vivid and detailed graphic of the interior of Suffolk murderer Steven Wright’s home.