Local Ireland, the organisation which represents 42 print and online news publishers, has launched its annual media awards to celebrate regional journalism around the country.
The awards recognise the contribution that regional news organisations make to journalism and their communities.
This will be the sixth year of the awards and the fourth to be sponsored by the National Lottery.
President of Local Ireland, Declan McGuire, said: “I am delighted to launch the call for entries for the Local Ireland Media Awards.
“The awards celebrate the best in local journalism and news publishing, both in print and online.
“Local news publishers are vital to our communities and to our democratic processes and accountability. They provide trusted, professional coverage of news, sport, entertainment and culture at a hyperlocal level unequalled by any other media.
“As a special feature this year, we will be increasing our digital awards categories to include Best Use of Digital and Best Use of Social Media.
“We will also be introducing a new award for Best Innovation, which will be open to print and online initiatives, while digital content and journalism will also qualify for several other categories.”
CEO of the National Lottery Andrew Algeo said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Local Ireland Media Awards, which reflect the importance of local news publishers in supporting their communities by delivering quality news and information week-in week-out. Never has this been more acutely valued than in the current COVID pandemic.
“Community spirit is vital to the well-being of people throughout Ireland. Just like local media, the National Lottery is embedded in communities through our players, our retail partners and of course through the Good Causes Fund and the community groups that it supports. On an average day in 2020, the players of National Lottery games provided over €694,000 of funding to Good Causes, just by playing. At a time when charitable groups and projects needed funding the most, our players raised €254 million last year and have now raised more than €6 billion for Good Causes since the inception of the National Lottery in 1987.
“This is our fourth year of sponsorship for the event and we are particularly honoured to be judging our own special award for the Best Community Story.”
Executive Director of Local Ireland Bob Hughes said the awards ceremony would be held on November 11 at the Bloomfield House Hotel in Mullingar hosted by journalist, broadcaster and sports personality, Marty Morrissey.
He added: “We have a very strong team of judges, which this year will be chaired for the first time by journalist and broadcaster Áine Kerr, Chief Operating Officer of Kinzen, former Manager of Global Journalism Partnerships with Facebook and former Managing Editor of Storyful. Áine previously worked in national and local journalism in Ireland and is the presenter of Reignite on RTÉ Radio One, which begins a new series on Saturday, July 31 at 10am.
“Our other judges are Emeritus Professor at TUD Michael Foley, Dawn Wheatley of DCU School of Communications, Managing Director of Kinetic Ireland Andrew Sinclair, photographer and former Irish Times Picture Editor Frank Miller, broadcaster and writer Valerie Cox and journalist and author PJ Cunningham.”
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