A wretched year for Portsmouth Football Club turned out to be an outstanding year for the city’s local newspaper, The News, as it took Newspaper of the Year and saw its reporter Neil Allen named as the Sportswriter of the Year at the NUJ Regional Press Awards, announced yesterday.
The Johnston Press-owned paper was chosen from a shortlist that included the Cumberland News, the Hampstead & Highgate Express, the Irish News, the Nottingham Post, the Press, York, and the Yorkshire Evening Post.
As well as Allen (not to be confused with the former Times and Evening Standard sportswriter of the same name) taking the Daily/Sunday sports award, The News also won another two individual awards.
Winner of the sports journalist award for weekly papers was Eric Mackinnon, from the West Lothian Courier.
The sports photographer prizes went to Lucy Ray (Bradford and Telegraph Argus) and Stephen Garnett (from the weekly Craven Herald).
The NUJ stepped in to host the awards after Wilmington, which kept the rights to the awards event after selling off the Press Gazette, pulled out.
“The industry itself should recognise the talent of the local and regional press awards. But if they don’t, we will continue,” Jeremy Dear, the NUJ’s general secretary, said.