The Sun and the News of the World, the country’s top-selling daily and Sunday newspapers, will re-enter the fray at next year’s British Press Awards, ending a one-year boycott.
New judging safeguards introduced by the chairman of the judges, Donald Trelford, have persuaded editors Rebekah Wade and Andy Coulson to give their support to the 2004 event, which will open for entries at the start of November.
After making significant changes to the final judging process last year, Trelford has made further amendments to the shortlisting process.
“Some editors from the tabloids felt there was an in-built disadvantage for their entries,” he said. He has rectified that by increasing the number of shortlist judges from two to three for each category, and by appointing two “assessors” – one from a broadsheet background, one from a tabloid background – who will give guidance to Trelford and the judges at every stage.
The assessors will be announced shortly. The Newspaper of the Year category, as last year, will be judged by a completely independent panel of eight non-partisan, highly regarded journalists.
“I’m absolutely delighted to welcome back the two most popular newspapers in the country to the awards,” Trelford said. “They can only add to the credibility of this hugely important event in the national journalism calendar.”
Sun editor Wade, who was NoW editor when it pulled out of last year’s event, said: “It’s important that all the entries to such important awards are judged fairly and I’m glad to see new safeguards in place that should make sure that happens.”
Quantum Business Media’s head of media events, Diana Heald, said: “We are delighted that Donald has agreed to become more actively involved to ensure that the shortlisting for the awards – the ‘Oscars’ of British journalism – is more rigorous and transparent than ever before.”