Mary Murtagh of the Liverpool Echo was named news reporter of the year in the first regional O2 Media Awards for newspapers, broadcasters and online journalists across Cheshire and Merseyside.
Murtagh, who the judges described as a ‘terrier-like reporter when fronting up rogue tradesmen, but sensitive enough to land great human-interest stories”, was joined by two of her Echo colleagues on the winner’s podium.
The Echo’s Paddy Shennan scooped the award for feature writer of the year and Colin Lane, who also works on the Echo’s Trinity Mirror stablemate the Liverpool Daily Post, was named photographer of the year.
Young journalist of the year was a tie between the Post’s David Bartlett, and Natasha Robson of the Southport Champion, and the Post was awarded scoop of the year for its coverage of Liverpool’s Matthew Street Festival fiasco.
Granada Reports’ editorial team was named team of the year and Granada’s Tessa Chapman was also named TV broadcast journalist of the year.
The Warrington Guardian was named newspaper of the year, and judge Paul Horrocks, editor of the Manchester Evening News said: ‘The Guardian had a great mixture of stories, with great layout and great pictures. The editorial team didn’t settle for just reporting the news, they created the next instalment and put themselves at the heart of everything that happened in their community.”
Hosting the ceremony at O2’s headquarters in Preston Brook, Halton, were Glenn Manoff, head of communications, O2 UK; and Dave Massey, head of communications strategy.
Manoff said the awards would recognise outstanding media coverage of issues affecting communities across Cheshire and Merseyside. ‘It is high time we celebrated the huge service local and regional journalists provide in our towns and cities.”