Comet wins Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year award

Comet news editor Nick Gill picks up the Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year award from EDF Energy com

Comet news editor Nick Gill picks up the Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year award from EDF Energy communications manager Tom McGarry and double Paralympic gold medalist Natasha Baker. Credit: EDF Energy - Credit: Archant

The Comet has been named Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year this afternoon (Thursday) in the EDF Energy East of England Media Awards 2013.

Editorial and advertising staff gather at the Comet's offices in Primett Road, Stevenage

Editorial and advertising staff gather at the Comet's offices in Primett Road, Stevenage - Credit: Archant

Our newspaper received the accolade at an awards ceremony at the Radisson Blu Hotel at London Stansted Airport.

The Comet has been named Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year at an award ceremony held today

The Comet has been named Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year at an award ceremony held today - Credit: Archant

Up against three other shortlisted newspapers, including Archant sister titles the Cambs Times and Hunts Post, a nine-strong judging panel crowned the Comet the winner of the category.

The winners of the East of England EDF Energy Awards 2013, including Comet photographer Harry Hubbar

The winners of the East of England EDF Energy Awards 2013, including Comet photographer Harry Hubbard news editor Nick Gill and Stevenage reporter Martin Dunne. Credit: EDF Energy - Credit: Archant

The panel said: “Great stories, breaking news and a string of stand-out front pages were hallmarks of the Comet in 2013. Covering North Hertfordshire and mid Bedfordshire, the paper takes the lead on local campaigns and causes, and consistently holds those in authority to account.”

Reacting to the news, Comet editor Darren Isted said: “Winning the EDF Energy Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year award is testament to the team we have here in all departments at the Comet. Our reporters are always first with the news that matters in Comet country across all platforms, while our advertising executives always offer the very best way for local people and businesses to get their message across.


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“Times may still be tough and some people may say that local media is struggling. But one look at the effort that goes into making our award-winning product every week and more importantly the esteem in which the title is held by the public, shows that while we are a winner today, the Comet also has a very bright future.”

Publishing director Jonathan Cropley added: “This award recognises the investment and hard work our teams have put into the Comet across North Hertfordshire to make it the area’s most widely-read newspaper both online and in print.

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“Recent figures prove that our readership is increasing at a dramatic rate, and that we now distribute more printed copies across Herts than any other title. We would all like to thank our readers and advertisers for their continued loyalty and support and for helping to make us number one across the area.”

The annual awards, in association with journalism website HoldtheFrontPage, saw 20 prizes handed out by double Paralympic gold medalist Natasha Baker during the afternoon.

Seven of the categories, open to newspapers, radio and television broadcasters across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridge, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, were won by Archant East titles or journalists.

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