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What are the judges looking for?

Think about what will make your entry stand out. Make the best use of the supporting notes to persuade the judges that your entry is better than the one they've just read and choose your examples of work carefully.

Primarily, the judges are looking for high standards of journalism but please think about the following:


  • Please try to avoid submitting identical entries for different categories. You’ll have a better chance of winning if you modify your entry form and examples of work to suit the criteria for each category.

  • Think about how you have innovated over the last year. What different stories have you tackled? How did you engage with your audience in  new ways? If you entered last year, highlight how you have improved.  

  • Use of social media/digital media should be included wherever relevant.


  • Please make sure your examples of work have a Kent focus


  • Please submit three samples of work for each entry unless otherwise stated.

  • If you have figures to support your entry e.g. growth in sales/circulation, digital performance metrics or anything else that demonstrates business success, please include them.


  • If you want to submit samples of work that have a joint byline, it must be a joint entry. Work with joint bylines submitted by one person will be discounted.

Sponsored by

Le Shuttle

Kent Broadcast Journalist of the Year


Local reporting to a national standard will be key to winning this award – but your stories must have a Kent focus. Whether on radio, television or online, this journalist will have produced high quality, well-presented news that’s appropriate for their audience and subject.

Kent Broadcast Presenter of the Year


New for 2024 and similar to broadcast journalist – but not the same (i.e. please don’t submit identical entries for both categories as it will make our judges cross!). Presenters aren’t always the ones out and about gathering news, but that doesn’t mean they’re not doing an important job. Perhaps you’re a journalist who works hard to present in a different style to attract particular audiences? Or you present a show that covers gardening, music or politics?  


This category covers those working in TV, radio, podcasts, and digital media. Examples of work can include anything from light-hearted features to hard news.

Sponsored by

CPL Films

Kent Design(er) of the Year

Whether in print or online, design can be large pictures, bold graphics and bold use of colour. Equally it can be a striking balance of headline, image, white space and text to draw a reader into a page. This award is about making the most of the tools and story elements available to individual designers, showing consideration for the tone in relation to the time available before a deadline. This can apply to magazines, newspapers, websites or television.


Entrants are asked to list resources available (ie choice of images/software) and state the frequency of deadlines as a rough gauge of time available.

Supported by charity partner

Folkestone Leas Lift Company Charity

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Kent Feature Journalist of the Year – Broadcast


These spoken or visual features will approach their subjects in an interesting way. You’ll need to demonstrate how sound, images and presentation skills are used to engage the audience and encourage them to watch or listen until the end.


This award applies to TV, radio and podcasts.

Sponsored by

Shepherd Neame

Kent Feature Journalist of the Year – Print & Online


The luxury of a feature is time, the danger is a failure to engage with your audience. How does this printed feature approach its subject in an interesting way? Is it sensitive to the subject? Informative? Does it encourage the audience to take an interest when they might perhaps have otherwise moved on? 

Sponsored by


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Kent Investigation of the Year


New for this year, the Kent Investigation of the Year could cover stories including business, politics, crime, education, or anything else that warrants media scrutiny in order to inform the public and hold power to account. You’ll need to demonstrate how you/the organisation has investigated the story and include the outcome, as well as any public reaction.

Please only submit one investigation, with up to three samples of supporting work/evidence.

Kent Magazine of the Year


This category is open to all periodical magazines published in Kent and focusing on life in the county, whether the subject matter is lifestyle, entertainment, business or general interest. The judges will be looking for consistently high standards in content and presentation that engages the audience.

Sponsored by

Stagecoach South East

Kent Making it Happen Award

New for 2024, this award is for those working hard behind the scenes to make the news happen. Perhaps you’re a sub-editor, a producer, news editor or a camera operator who is a vital part of the newsroom, but you don’t necessarily appear on screen or get a byline?


One of the three examples of work should be a testimonial from a senior colleague explaining why you should win the award.

Sponsored by

Gallagher Group

Supported by

Kent Cricket

The Neil Bell Kent Sports Journalist of the Year

From live coverage of fixtures to round-ups of the latest results, how does this journalist meet the needs of diverse sports fans? This winner will understand the benefits and limits of their medium, tailoring their work according to the various opportunities of print or broadcast while appreciating the different requirements of fans of different sports.

Kent New Journalist of the Year

Open to journalists of any age in their first two years in the profession (so they must have begun work on or after 22 April 2022) in print, broadcast or online, the winner of this award will be able to show they can identify and successfully follow up strong off-diary stories as well as working to news desk briefs, producing a broad portfolio of stories told in a compelling and engaging way. They will also be able to demonstrate how they have successfully used social media as part of their day-to-day work.

Sponsored by

EKC Group

Kent News Website of the Year

Entries will be accepted from standalone websites or sites complementary to print publications and covering the whole range of local journalism in Kent, from news, sport and current affairs, to lifestyle and entertainment. How have you innovated over the last year? What different stories have you tackled? How did you engage with readers in new ways?

Please include relevant statistics in your entry including audience growth, dwell time etc.

Sponsored by

Port of Dover

Kent Newspaper of the Year

In a world of instant news alerts how does the newspaper maintain readership? How have you innovated over the last year? What different stories have you tackled? How did you engage with readers in new ways? This award recognises the need for trusted, local journalism that serves its community and takes in everything from council issues to crime, local personalities to family activities, campaigns and other interesting articles. This newspaper is the whole package. 


Ideally, the judges will receive hard copies of the newspaper, but we know back copies can be hard to get hold of. Links to full editions are fine, as are PDFs. 

Kent Print & Online Journalist of the Year

Whether in printed publications or on Kent websites, this award is all about the written word and is for staff and freelance journalists filing for newspapers, magazines and websites published in Kent. Our Print Journalist of the Year will demonstrate a high degree of excellence in their field through a portfolio of written work reflecting the continuing importance and relevance of local journalism to the people of Kent.

Sponsored by


Kent Programme of the Year

From breaking news to chat shows to features, this category is open to all Kent television and radio programmes, including internet broadcasts such as Facebook Lives and podcasts. What makes this programme special? Does it address local issues? Are the presenters particularly engaging? How does the show make appropriate use of sound and/or image to appeal to its audience? How have you innovated over the last year? What different stories have you tackled? How did you engage with viewers in new ways?

We want to recognise the best broadcast of the year so please only submit one sample of work. 

Kent Story of the Year

This could be a scoop, a fun story, something political, or maybe it was overlooked by other journalists, but it was a story that really needed to be told. This award covers print, online and broadcast.


Please only submit one sample of work.

Sponsored by

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce

Kent Voices Award

This award is for those journalists and news outlets going the extra mile to serve their local community, demonstrate inclusivity and diversity, amplify voices that struggle to be heard and shine a light on underrepresented groups. The judges believe media that serves the community should be rewarded so you need to demonstrate the impact you’ve made.

Supported by charity partner


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