Judging day looms for Midlands Media Awards

Record number of entries compete for accolade.

A record number of 35 journalists are competing for the prestigious title of News Reporter of the Year (Daily) – one of the top accolades at this year’s Midlands Media Awards. And, despite redundancies and current uncertainties in the print sector, the total number of entries received for the 22 awards on offer has matched last year’s best-ever figure of 300.

“Such an impressive response from the region’s broadcasters, photographers and journalists is, I believe, a clear indication of their professionalism – and speaks volumes for their commitment towards maintaining a healthy and vibrant media sector in the Midlands,” said Ed James, chairman of Birmingham Press Club.

The awards, to be held at Villa Park on Thursday September 10th, are being organised by Cloud 9 Event Management on behalf of the Press Club as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations. Headline sponsor for the awards, now in their 14th year, is Birmingham Airport.

Entries in each of the categories are being assessed by leading PR consultants, communications specialists, broadcasters and writers as part of a thorough two-stage process that sees shortlisted entries go forward to a final judging panel chaired by Peter Lowe (pictured), managing editor at Sky News.

The shortlist will be announced on July 31st.

First stage judges include radio and television presenter Marverine Cole, University of Wolverhampton media & communications lecturer Dorothy Hobson, Steve Dann, former regional chairman of The Journalists Charity, ex-newspaper editors Fiona Alexander, Chris Mair and Tony Lennox, former Press Club chairman Jerry Johns and magazine editor Joanne Goodwin.

Joining Peter Lowe – himself a former Midlands journalist – on the final judging panel will be:

• Alma Aganovic, Executive Director, Marketing & Student Services, Bournville College
• Chris Morley, Northern & Midlands regional organiser, National Union of Journalists
• Dan Barton, Head of Corporate Communications, West Midlands Police
• Geraldine Sheridan, Director, Real People Communications
• Justice Williams MBE, Editor-in-Chief, City & Style Magazine
• Llewela Bailey, Director, Birmingham Press Club
• Peter Brookes, Senior lecturer in Sports Journalism, Staffordshire University
• Phil Brown, Editor of community newspaper HEM Life
• Sue Heseltine, Programme director for BA (Hons) Media & Communication and award leader for MA Freelancing and Journalism Enterprise, Birmingham City University’s School of Media

The Derby Telegraph was the 2014 winner of the Newspaper of the Year Award, while its Education Correspondent Zena Hawley won Scoop of the Year and Journalist of the Year.

Full details of the awards, which acknowledge the achievements of those working in the regional media, together with a list of all the judges, are on the website www.midlandsmediaawards.co.uk

For further enquiries, and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Paula Kelsey at Cloud 9 Event Management. Tel: 0115 933 3811 or email paula@cloud9em.co.uk