TRIBUTES were paid to the late Lord Deedes at the 20th Shepherd Neame Kent Journalist of the Year Awards held at the Shepherd Neame brewery.
Lord Deedes, who died last year, was chairman of the judging panel of the awards for 17 years, and the W F (Bill) Deedes' Kent Young Journalist of the Year Award, presented by Deedes’ daughter Lucy, has been renamed in his memory.
The award went to Kent Messenger Group reporter Danny Boyle, who works for the Bromley and Bexley Extra - which won the News Service of the Year award.
Editor Julia Walsh said: "In Bromley and Bexley the reporters are encouraged to drive the content of the paper and take responsibility for stories, from finding them in the first place to how they appear on the page.
"We believe that it gives greater job satisfaction and at the rate that they turn out stories and the quality of them, it appears to work.
"Each member of the current team, except the chief reporter, started with us as a trainee and each has less than two years' experience. These awards are a tribute to their energy and enthusiasm and is well deserved."
The judges praised Danny Boyle's intelligent writing and dilgence.
The KM Group's Kentish Express paper won the Campaign of the Year award for reporter Nick Cullen's articles which helped stop the closure of a school farm.
An audience of more than 90 journalists and editors from Kent’s media heard a speech by Lord Deedes’ biographer, Stephen Robinson, in which he said the former Daily Telegraph editor and peer had always worked hard to encourage and support young people starting out in the profession.
This year’s awards attracted a record 120 entries and were judged by a panel comprising former BBC Radio Kent broadcaster Barbara Sturgeon; Kim Fletcher, former editorial director of the Telegraph Group and chairman of the NCTJ; Tim Luckhurst, professor of journalism at the University of Kent and a former editor of The Scotsman; and Justin Allen, from the sports desk of The Sun and the News of the World.
Kent Journalist of the Year 2007
Young Journalist of the Year: Danny Boyle, Bromley and Bexley Extra
Highly commended: Dominique Taylor, Bromley and Bexley Extra
Campaign of the Year: Nick Cullen, Kentish Express
Highly commended: Jenni Horn / Peter Cook / Lynn Cox, Medway Messenger
Sports Journalist of the Year: Matt Davison, BBC Radio Kent
Highly commended: Glenn Garrett, Courier Media Group
Feature Journalist of the Year: Derek Johnson, ITV Meridian
Broadcast Journalist of the Year: Colin Campbell, BBC South East Today
Highly commended: Sarah Green, ITV Meridian
Newspaper/Online Journalist of the Year: Jamie McGinnes, Kent on Sunday
Highly commended: Robert Leslie, BBC Kent
Kent Journalist of the Year: Colin Campbell, BBC South East TodayNews Service of the Year: Bromley and Bexley Extra
PR agency Edwards Harvey conceived and designed the Kent Journalist of the Year Awards in 1987 to recognise excellence in journalism.