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. 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.
Kent Newspaper of the Year
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.
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 but if you don't publish online, you may only be able to submit specific features or front pages etc. Do what you think will show the publication in the best possible light.
Kent Photographer of the Year, sponsored by Brachers
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 Feature Journalist of the Year, 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, 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? Broadcast and print (including online) will be judged separately.
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 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.
Kent New Journalist of the Year, sponsored by EKC Group
Open for journalists in their first two years in the profession (so they must have begun work on or after 5 April 2017) 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 newsdesk 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.
Programme of the Year, sponsored by Digitom Video Production
From breaking news to chat shows to features, this category is open to all Kent television and radio programmes, including internet broadcast 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?
Best Use of Digital Media, sponsored by Eurotunnel
Formerly the Best Use of Social Media, this category has been broadened this year as the judges wanted to see more than simply an adept use of Twitter and Facebook – although these remain important. The judges will want to see a range of digital techniques being employed to attract, inform and retain readers, listeners or viewers. These could include direct engagement, use of animation, integrated multimedia packages or new ways of increasing website traffic. The award is open to individuals and organisations.
Kent Magazine of the Year, sponsored by Stagecoach South East
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.
Kent Columnist of the Year
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 Print Journalist of the Year
Whether in printed publications or on related 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 Broadcast Journalist of the Year, sponsored by DFDS
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 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 Media Innovation of the Year, sponsored by BAE Systems
The criteria for this award are about as broad as they can be – examples of how news organisations are innovating to meet the challenges of a fast-moving media environment. These could be the way resources and staff are deployed, measures to cut costs without a correlating loss of quality, deployment of new technology, innovative ways of telling stories and bringing them to the public’s attention, or new ways of raising revenue.
Commitment to the Community, sponsored by Saga
Many of the Kent Press & Broadcast Awards categories focus on excellence in news reporting, but this award goes beyond the newsroom and is for those journalists and news outlets going the extra mile to serve their local community. This could be through encouraging aspiring journalists, getting involved in community events, judging or sponsoring awards, giving talks to local groups and schools or mounting a sustained campaign to help improve residents’ lives. The judges will be looking for people or organisations that can demonstrate how they have provided added value for their local community.