Less than three years after its birth, Bristol24-7 was last night honoured at the national Online Media Awards – receiving a commendation in the Best Local News Website category.
The Online Media Awards, which seeks to recognise the best in online news and journalism, announced its award winners at a ceremony held at Arsenal FC’s Emirates Stadium in London.
The event attracted entries from some of the world’s leading websites, including The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Times, BBC, Sunday Times, Mail Online, Reuters and Wall Street Journal.
The Belfast Telegraph won the Best Local/Regional News Site category, following its Newspaper of the Year award success last month.
But Bristol24-7 received a Commendation, alongside Wales Online and the Lancashire Telegraph.
Also nominated were Liverpool Echo, South Wales Argus, The Lincolnite, thisiscornwall.co.uk, The Business Desk – Yorkshire, Leedsstudent.org and the Manchester Evening News.
HoldtheFrontPage publisher Paul Linford helped judge the award and presented it at last night’s ceremony.
“This was an incredibly strong category and the number of nominees demonstrates the growing degree of creativity and innovation in regional digital journalism,” he said.
The awards, organised by The Drum, were by the Press Association, Society of Editors, NUJ, Holdthefrontpage.co.uk and IE School of Communication.
Online Media Awards Founder Gordon Young added it was “encouraging” to see smaller sites reaping the rewards for their efforts.
“Now in their second year, the Online Media Awards have very quickly become established among the world’s top online media owners and editors as an important benchmark for the work that they are doing to build strong online brands,” he told the audience last night.
“This year’s awards attracted many major national and international media brands all of whom are really pushing the boundaries of online journalism.
“What is also encouraging to see is that not only the major media brands are winning these awards, but smaller brands are also proving that when it comes to great online journalism it is not always who has the deepest pockets that wins.”
Named as Website of the Year was The Guardian. The judges said it won because it was not losing its news sense and judgment just because the distribution of the stories is digital.
Meanwhile, the Chairman’s Award, chosen by Noel Young of ReportBoston.com, went to MailOnline to recognise its success in terms of increasing its monthly users and global reach.
Winning the Online Editor of the Year category was Carla Buzasi Editor-in-chief and The Huffington Post UK for successfully launching into the UK.
What can I say? I’m really proud that Bristol24-7 has been mentioned in the same breath as some of the world’s greatest news websites, and the work that has gone into it has been recognised by industry leaders from around the world.
My good friend and Bristol24-7 Ents Editor Laura Williams was rightly there to share in the success last night, but the site would be nothing without the support of everyone who contributes to the site and those who read it, tweet about it and look to support it.
There is still a huge amount of work to do to keep building it and improving it, but Bristol24-7 is here to stay. Thank you to all of you, and I look forward to working with you in the future.