The Isle of Thanet News has scooped the Best Kent News Website 2018 honour at this year’s Kent Press and Broadcast Awards.
The awards are organised by Kent PR agency Maxim, and were this year hosted by the BBC’s Simon McCoy at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, Canterbury.
The entries were judged by an expert panel consisting of: Susie Boniface, a national journalist known as Fleet Street Fox; PA photographer Gareth Fuller; digital consultant Patrick Fuller; Gillian Hargreaves, who spent 25 years with BBC news; journalist and lecturer Dr Sarah Lonsdale; sports journalist and lecturer Paul Majendie; Rebecca Smith, former senior editor for Kent Regional News and Media; and Leo Whitlock, a local newspaper journalist for more than 20 years, much of which was spent at the KM Media Group.
Awarding the news website prize to The Isle of Thanet News owner/editor Kathy Bailes, Simon McCoy said judges had praised it for being “the place to share local stories,” adding: “The quality of stories was high with copy we genuinely wanted to read.”
The Isle of Thanet News writer Seb Reilly was shortlisted for Kent Columnist of the Year and Thanet photographer Frank Leppard won highly commended for Kent Photographer of the Year. Isle magazine also scooped highly commended for Kent Magazine of the Year.
Kathy said of the win: “I am delighted to win this award and want to thank the readers, columnists, contributors and advertisers who all make the website possible.
“My thanks also to Maxim, the judges and LKM Recycling who sponsored this award category.”
Maxim’s Rachel Knight said: “Working in local media can be a challenging and often thankless task, which is why we feel it is so important to recognise the efforts of our county’s journalists. This year was our most popular ever with 148 entries, which we believe shows that the media finds these awards as important as we do.
“Those entries came in as audio, film, print and online examples, which really shows how diverse the reporter’s role has become – as was shown by the variety of winners on the day.”
In memory of the only triple KPBA winner, the KPBA sports award has been renamed as a tribute to BBC sports journalist Neil Bell, who died earlier this year.