CATEGORIES & JUDGING CRITERIA

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:

 

  • If you have figures to support your entry e.g. growth in sales/circulation or anything else that demonstrates business success, particularly for Kent Newspaper of the Year and Kent Magazine of the Year, please include them.
     

  • 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.
     

  • 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.

Kent Broadcast Journalist of the Year, sponsored by Eurotunnel

Local reporting to a national standard will be key to winning this award. 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 Columnist of the Year, sponsored by Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce

Whether challenging authority, providing thought-provoking insight into the issues their readers are talking about or simply reflecting day-to-day life in the county in an entertaining and engaging way, Kent’s columnists add depth and variety to the news menu. This award reflects the difficult skill of keeping regular columns relevant, timely and entertaining, all the while demonstrating journalism of the highest quality.

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.

Best Use of Digital Media, sponsored by Discovery Park

The judges want to see a range of digital techniques being employed to attract, inform and retain readers, listeners or viewers. These could include innovative ways of telling stories and bringing them to the audience’s attention, direct engagement, use of animation, integrated multimedia packages or new ways of increasing website traffic. The judges want to see more than simply an adept use of Twitter and Facebook.
 

Kent Feature Journalist of the Year – Broadcast, sponsored by Digitom Video Production Agency

The luxury of a feature is time, the danger is a failure to engage with your audience. How does this spoken or visual 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? 

Kent Feature Journalist of the Year – Print & Online, sponsored by MHA MacIntyre Hudson

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?

 

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.

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

 

Kent New Journalist of the Year, sponsored by EKC Group

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 2020) 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.

Kent News Website of the Year, sponsored by Port of Dover

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. Please include statistics in your entry.

Kent Newspaper of the Year, sponsored by Southeastern

In a world of instant news alerts how does the newspaper maintain readership? 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.

Kent Photographer of the Year

​Whether a staff press photographer or a freelancer working for a lifestyle magazine – or anything in between – this photographer could enter an example of investigative journalism, reflecting the significance of hard news; something more cheery to draw readers into the features section; or perhaps it’s sport in action. Whichever style the lens zooms in on, it’s important the picture captures the story perfectly. The images must have been published in print or online in Kent, providing the website is part of a media group (i.e. not your friend’s blog!)

Kent Print & Online Journalist of the Year, sponsored by Ashford Designer Outlet

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 and magazines 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.

Kent Programme of the Year, sponsored by NIAB

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

Kent Scoop of the Year, sponsored by Panattoni

New for 2022, Kent Scoop of the Year is open to reporters, editors, producers, podcasters and anyone else who believes they managed to get the exclusive of the year. The judges want to see big stories that you or your news outlet broke first and were then picked up by other media and possibly fed into the nationals. Please include evidence of when the content was first published or broadcast.

The Neil Bell Kent Sports Journalist of the Year, supported by Kent Cricket

​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 Voices Award, sponsored by BAE Systems

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.