Gary Cullum recycles some quality newspapers, applauds newsawards 2015 winners and looks forward to Local Newspaper Week

I AM just back from recycling 1,000 newspapers, probably 300 or more different titles from around the world, although most were from the UK and Ireland.

I’m not sure what will become of them since the demise of Aylesford Newsprintreduced the annual recycling of newspapers by around half a million tonnes, but I do hope they will find their way back to UPM Shotton in Wales or to Palm Paper on the Norfolk coast.

They deserve to be turned into a quality web of newsprint and also deserve the chance of more success at newsawards 2016.

Seriously, we had some fantastic newspapers and newsbrands entered in this year’s awards – the 19th annual event organised by the team.

The strength of the entries gave 22 industry expert judges a tough three days of deliberations – two days for printed newspapers and a further day for the new digital and business categories, which early feedback suggests gave the awards a more rounded focus.

I have to say, yet again, that the UK and Ireland produces some of the very best newspapers produced anywhere in the world – both printed papers and digital products.

The most successful, as this year’s judges found, are those that draw their lifeblood from quality content, that cater for the needs of the community – be that a business community, a Metropolitan city community, a niche community or the smallest village.

As I said in my welcoming speech to more than 500 newsawards attendees at London’s Lancaster Hotel, generally declining print profits are still funding digital growth for many publishers, although of course the industry is focusing more than ever on increasing digital revenues while exploring innovation that sustains profitable print.

And we saw some great print innovation this year in entries that came in from around the globe, as this was an international category.

Well done

Congratulations, however, to the Newbury Weekly News for a winning entry that used digital innovation to drive print innovation.

Newbury was not the only regional press business to be successful in a category open to all news media brands.

As reported on the front page of this edition of PJ, the Eastern Daily Press outgunned all others to win the Fujifilm Grand Prix – the total package award, providing the most compelling print-digital-business offering.

Among some major national brands, It was a clear winner demonstrating real print and digital success.

A huge well done to Archant, to editor-in-chief Nigel Pickover, managing editor Tim Williams and all the EDP staff, pictured on page one of this edition of printed  PJ.

The newsawards 2015 proved that news publishing is tough and robust and has the resilience to move forward after the recent hugely difficult years of trading.

Content remains king of course, and in terms of output, via print, tablet and online, many of our news brands – both national and regional and local – have never been stronger.

Day in, day out, newspapers and news media make a difference on the international, national, regional and local stage.

Indeed, the local newspaper industry’s Local Newspaper Week’s Making A Differencecampaign this month highlights the power of local newspapers in campaigning for positive change in the communities they serve.

This year’s initiative from Local Media Works, part of the , news media a,, and running between May 11-17, will showcase some of the strongest editorial campaigns across the UK that have been shortlisted for this year’s award; an award that will be presented at the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards on 15 May in London.

Good luck to all contenders.