Midlands Media Awards: Panel chaired by Sky News Managing Editor

Peter Lowe (pictured), Managing Editor of Sky News, is to be chairman of the judging panel for this year’s Midlands Media Awards, shortlisted nominations for which will be announced on Monday, May 13.

Peter Lowe, Managing Editor of Sky NewsPeter, who has been in his present position since September 2011, is responsible for people and performance management as well as recruitment across Sky News. He is also tasked with ensuring greater synergy across multiple platforms at the channel, including TV, radio, online, mobile and iPad.

With Sky since 1998, he was formerly Assistant Editor and previous to that was Sky’s Executive Producer at Westminster through the 2001 and 2005 General Elections.

Peter set out in journalism working with Birmingham-based Caters News Agency. He then joined the Birmingham Post & Mail before going on to pursue a successful career in the Midlands region with the BBC.

‘When I started at Caters – working above a chemist’s shop in Corporation Street – it was quickly apparent that the Midlands region was rich in really important news stories. Today, that fact hasn’t changed one little bit – though the media landscape most certainly has.

“Back then, there was no digital world for news provision. So evening newspapers ruled the roost around the region and local commercial radio was only just starting to proliferate.  In those days, broadcasting and newspapers were totally separate entities.  Nowadays, the power of the digital explosion has thrust them together in a battle for eyeballs in the digital world online, on mobile and connected through social media.”

“So it’s interesting to survey a world in which newspaper and online journalists and broadcasters are adapting, learning and using each other’s skills and constantly innovating.  For this year’s Midlands Media Awards I will be really interested in how those who enter have been able to cover their stories in imaginative ways using the multi-media world.

“But above all, I will be looking for the best journalism, the best writing and the best use of pictures.  And I will be setting a great deal of store by original journalism that brings to public attention stories which might otherwise never have been known,” said Peter.

Joining Peter on the judging panel will be Alma Aganovic, Executive Director, Bournville College; Llewela Bailey, broadcaster and Director of Birmingham Press Club; Dan Barton, Head of Corporate Communications, West Midlands Police; Peter Brookes, Senior Lecturer, Staffordshire University, Richard Butler, Regional Director CBI West Midlands and Sue Heseltine, Programme Director, Birmingham City University.

Also on the panel are Francis Ingham, CEO, Public Relations Consultancies Association; John James, of John James Photographic; David Lavender, Press & Social Media Manager, Birmingham Airport; Paul Linford, Editor, Hold The Front Page; Chris Morley, Northern & Midlands Organiser, National Union of Journalists and Justice Williams MBE, Editor in Chief, City & Style Magazine.

This year, for the first time, judging is being conducted on a two-stage system. The first stage of judging of almost 250 entries was completed by over 75 leading media and business professionals, and consisted of a rigorous process of analysis for each category, with the exception of the Public Choice category. Votes for the region’s favourite media outlet have been pouring in from members of the public, using a variety of social media outlets to nominate entrants including newspapers, blog sites and radio stations.