EDF Energy awards for the East of England

The Norwich Evening News’s radical redesign has paid off according to judges at the EDF Energy East of England Awards who crowned the title newspaper of the year.

Its “innovative” presentation and design was described as “bold and brave” and judges said the paper “clearly identified the readership it is going after.”

The redesign led by editor David Bourn incorporated snapshots of news at the start of stories, for those with little time to spare, more positive news as well as in depth analysis grouped with a better use of the website. Sales have continued to drop since the relaunch. They fell from 28,420 in 2004 to 26,942 in 2005.

The Hoddeson and Cheshunt Mercury Series picked up best weekly newspaper which also went through a relaunch. It was commended for its coverage of the Dave King murder trial, a woman’s threat to jump from a block of flats and TV star Gillian Taylforth’s fiftieth birthday party being ruined by a fight.

Mercury editor Ian Rogerson, said he was “extremely proud to win the award and praised the efforts of his small, but dedicated team. It is a tremendous honour to win such a major award against such strong opposition, but it really is a deserved reward for a wonderful team effort.”

The Cambridge Evening News won in the front page category for its “Exposed” edition about a paedophile getting as job as a school cleaner.

Eastern Daily Press reporter Mark Nicholls, who was named print journalist of the year, was commended for his “good contacts” and “belting stories”.

The full list of winners :

Daily Newspaper: Norwich Evening News.
Weekly Newspaper: Hoddesdon and Cheshunt Mercury Series.
Front Page of the Year: Cambridge Evening News.
Print Journalist (Daily): Mark Nicholls, Eastern Daily Press.
Print Journalist (Weekly): John Elworthy, Cambs Times.
Radio Journalist: Mark Murphy, BBC Radio Suffolk.
Television Journalist: Simon Newton, Anglia News East.
Television News/Current Affairs Programme: Surrey Beddows, Editor at Anglia News West.
Newcomer: Katy Evans, East Anglian Daily Times.
Website: The Pink ‘Un.
Feature Writer: James Marston, Evening Star, Ipswich.
News Photographer: James Fletcher, East Anglian Daily Times.
Sports Journalist: Aaron Mason, Cambridge Evening News.
Business Journalist: Chris Starkie, Eastern Daily Press.
Environmental Journalist: Hugh Bowring, Norwich Evening News.
Community Campaign: Cambridge Evening News (Keep the Piece).

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