Irn Announces Shortlist For Annual Journalism Awards

IRN today announces the shortlist for the annual IRN Awards, the UK’s only national journalism awards for commercial radio. This year IRN received a record number of entries for what is fast becoming one of the most talked about events in the radio industry’s calendar. The IRN News Awards were launched five years ago to celebrate the high quality of journalism in UK commercial radio and is backed by all the key UK radio groups. This year the IRN judges will launch a new award category to recognise an individual’s outstanding contribution to commercial radio journalism.

The other categories are; News Reader of the Year, News Reporter of the Year, Best News Coverage, Scoop of the Year, Young Journalist of the Year, Best Funny Story, Best Sports Coverage and the IRN Contribution Award.

The most hotly contested categories this year are Best News Reporter and Scoop of the Year.

Scoop of the Year rewards radio stations for distinctive and agenda setting journalism. This year Kiss 101 is in the running for its story on Racial Inclusion up against Mercury FM’s account on the Gatwick Airport Parking scam, Radio Forth’s scoop on Jack McConnell’s refusal to support England in the World Cup and TFM’s Boro in Bother story.

Colin Mackay from Radio Forth, John Pickford at Key 103, James Webster from Real RadioYorkshire and Viking FM’s Siobhan Robbins will all be fighting it out for the News Reporter of the year title.

The Newsreader of the Year category sees a mix of old and new names breaking through. In the running this year are Jason Beck at Wave 105, Radio City’s Giulia Bould, Howard Hughes from 102.2 Smooth FM and BRMB’s Kevin Pashby.

Four stations are short listed for the News Coverage gongs this year – SGR FM, Key 103, Rother FM and Kiss 101.

In the Sports category there are nominations for GCAP Sport’s coverage of the Champions League’s final, Key 103 ‘s look at Fergie’s Years at Manchester United, Radio City’s coverage of the FA Cup Final and homecoming and finally Real Radio Yorkshire’s reporting of Sheffield United’s path to the Premiership.

The IRN awards honor new recruits who have joined the reporting ranks and delivered quality journalism in the past 12 months. Invicta’s Will Barkway is facing stiff competition from Hannah Barnes at Mercury, Jim Pusey at Brunel and Ray Sardi from Beacon radio.

The Contribution Award is bestowed to the station that has sent the most stories to the IRN network for use nationally. This year Clyde FM, Key 103, Real Radio Scotland and Rock FM are all competing for the distinction.

A cash prize and trophy will be awarded in each of the categories at a special ceremony in London on April 12th, 2007.

IRN Editor Jon Godel said: ‘This year has seen a huge rise in the number of entries for the UK’s only radio Journalism awards. It once again proves that quality journalism is alive and well in commercial radio. It’s been tough boiling down the categories and it will be even harder to select the winners.’

The full shortlist is;

Best Sports Coverage GCAP Sport – 2006 Champions League Final Key 103 – Fergie’s Years Radio City – FA Cup final 2006, FA Cup homecoming Real Radio Yorkshire – Sheffield United’s path to the Premiership

Best Funny Story Hallam FM – T.C. The Amazing Cat Radio Forth – Pigeons in Parliament Real Radio Yorkshire – Crazy Italian Woman XFM – My Bare Lady

Scoop of the Year Kiss 101 – Racial Inclusion Mercury FM – Rogue Gatwick Airport Parking Radio Forth – Jack McConnell refuses to support England in the World Cup TFM – Boro in Bother

Young Journalist of the Year Will Barkway – Invicta FM Hannah Barnes – Mercury FM Jim Pusey – Brunel FM Ray Sadri – Beacon Radio

News Reporter of the Year Colin Mackay- Radio Forth John Pickford – Key 103 James Webster – Real Radio Yorkshire Siobhan Robbins – Viking FM

Best News Programme Radio City – Magic at 6 Real Radio Wales – 40th anniversary of Aberfan Real Radio Yorkshire – Websafe Town 102, Ipswich – The Suffolk murders

Best News Coverage SGR FM Key 103 / Magic 1152 Rother FM Kiss 101

News reader of the Year Jason Beck Wave 105 Giulia Bould – Radio City Howard Hughes 102.2 Smooth FM Kevin Pashby – BRMB

IRN Contribution Award Clyde FM Key 103 Real Radio Scotland Rock FM

For further information please contact John Nolan in the ITN press office 020 7430 4216

Note to editors:

About IRN

IRN is the major news and content provider to commercial radio in the UK supplying over 270radio stations with a combined audience of 26 million listeners. IRN also distributes a range of other programming to commercial radio stations including the three commercial chart shows – Hit 40 UK, ‘A’ list and Fresh 40.

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