Each category in the Kent Press & Broadcast Awards will be assessed by an independent panel of judges – all with Kent connections. Together, their expertise covers print journalism, online, design, broadcast, blogging and social media. The judges see every entry submitted – there is no shortlisting process beforehand.
Former newspaper journalist, former lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University
Leo was a local newspaper journalist for more than 20 years, with much of that time spent at the KM Media Group.
After originally joining the production desk of the group’s former evening newspaper Kent Today, the last 13 years of his time at the KM were spent editing various titles in east Kent, including the Kentish Express, Kentish Gazette, Dover and Deal Mercury and Thanet Extra.
He has a long-standing commitment to training and mentoring young journalists, having lectured in law and ethics, and public affairs to journalism students at Canterbury Christ Church University and acting as an examiner for the NCTJ.
In February 2017 he embarked on a new career as Head of Communications at Canterbury City Council.
Strategic Digital Consultant and former Group Publishing Director at Haymarket
Strategic digital consultant Patrick Fuller was, until recently, responsible for Haymarket Consumer Media brands across automotive and consumer electronics, with award-winning products such as What Car?, Autocar, Pistonheads, Stuff, and What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision generating a print and online audience of more than 10 million consumers a month. He also oversaw digital development in the consumer media division.
Patrick was a digital publisher for 14 years, working in Haymarket’s motoring and motorsport businesses, and sits on the executive board of the AOP, the body which represents publishers of quality digital content. He was appointed to Haymarket’s international leadership team board in 2009.
Patrick graduated with an English degree from Cambridge University and spent six months selling classified advertising space before training as a journalist in Kent, where he gained his NCTJ qualification and subsequently worked as a sub-editor at the Kent Messenger Group.
Former local online and newspaper editor
Formerly senior editor for Kent Regional News and Media, Rebecca worked in news publishing for nearly 20 years.
Kent-based, and with in-depth knowledge of the Kent media – including the opportunities and challenges it faces – she has worked across areas as diverse as Medway, Canterbury, Whitstable, Dover, Faversham, Canterbury, Folkestone, Thanet and Maidstone.
Her career has spanned all levels of journalism with roles from trainee reporter, news editor and editor, giving her an overview of the news process from start to finish in both print and online.
Working on the development of online platforms was a significant part of her role in KRN while the group was owned by Local World.
Now at the University of Kent, Rebecca works in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation and responsible enterprise.
Dr Sarah Lonsdale
Journalist and lecturer at the Department of Journalism, City University, London
Dr Sarah Lonsdale has been a journalist for 25 years, training on the Reading Chronicle before joining the Observer newspaper in 1990 as a general reporter. During her time on the Observer she specialised in stories concerning social justice.
Living in Whitstable, she is now freelance and has written for a wide variety of publications including: Observer, Financial Times, Evening Standard, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Daily Mail, Independent on Sunday, Country Homes and Interiors Magazine, Observer Food Monthly, National Geographic Green and the Sunday Times.
She was a weekly columnist for the Sunday Telegraph writing about environmental issues from 2006 – 2014, particularly the threat of climate change. She now writes for the Sunday Times on similar issues. Dr Lonsdale recently completed her PhD, 'The Representation of Journalists and the Newspaper Press in British Literature 1900 - 1939' at the University of Kent, and her book 'The journalist in British fiction and film' was published in 2016.
She joined City University London in 2013 after six years as a lecturer at the University of Kent, teaching at the School of English and the Centre for Journalism there.
Susie Boniface aka Fleet Street Fox
National journalist, blogger and lecturer in journalism
Fleet Street Fox is the pseudonym of Kent-based Susie Boniface, a newspaper reporter for 22 years on local and national titles including the Guardian, the Sun, Daily Mail and Sunday Mirror.
In 2009 Susie began an anonymous blog telling the true story of life in her trade, later published as The Diaries of a Fleet Street Fox. She began a second, award-winning news comment blog at which had 2m readers in 18 months and was marketed via Facebook and Twitter.
Susie outed herself in The Times in February 2012 and is now a regular columnist for Mirror Online. She also writes for the Sunday People, Daily Express, Mail on Sunday, Sunday Mirror and the Sun and appears as a commentator on the BBC, Sky, ITN, Channel 4, and LBC. She also lectures in journalism at universities around the country.
Born and raised in Kent, Susie's first job was at the Kent & Sussex Courier, where she spent three years, eventually becoming chief reporter at the age of 20.