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Kentish Gazette reporter Katie Alston scoops top accolade

Multi-media reporter Katie Alston shows how a journalist's role has changed on local newspapers
Multi-media reporter Katie Alston shows how a journalist's role has changed on local newspapers

Kentish Gazette reporter Katie Alston has scooped the title of WF Deedes Young Journalist of the Year.

Katie, 23, who has been with the Gazette since April 2009, was presented with the accolade at the Shepherd Neame Journalist of the Year Awards ceremony on Friday.

The judges described Katie as persistent, determined and meticulous, with an excellent understanding of multimedia reporting, and a proactive approach to sourcing stories.

They said: “From handling the sensitive issue of a random attack on a young girl, to revealing the use of illegal workers in Herne Bay and Canterbury, she shows considerable tact and works well under pressure.”

It was a successful year overall for the KM, with Simon Tulett of the Gravesend Messenger highly commended in the same category as Katie, and KM Group political editor Paul Francis named Kent Journalist of the Year for the third time.

The Gravesend & Dartford Messenger won the Canterbury Jack Campaign of the Year Award for its Everyone Counts campaign, which raised £200,000 in two months to save the Ellenor Lions Hospice.

KMG managing editor Ron Green, from Canterbury, who worked for the Group for 30 years and recently took early retirement, also received a Shepherd Neame Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jonathan Neame, chief executive of Shepherd Neame, said: “We have been sponsoring these awards for more than 20 years and we’re proud to be able to reward the achievements of Kent’s best journalists and the valuable news service they provide the county. It has been a tough time for media groups but we’re very encouraged by the dedication and quality of the entries we received.”

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