Hallam FM is celebrating an IRN Awards double after winning two of the main prizes.
The Sheffield-based station was named News Team of the Year in the ‘Over 1 million TSA’ category while its chief journalist Laura Pennington picked up the award for ‘Reporter of the Year’.
The judges said the Hallam team is “on top of its game” and “stood out for delivering brilliant and creative exclusives.”
Laura was described as a “deserving winner” for reporting with “personality, refreshing clarity and empathy.”
The coveted IRN Gold Award was presented to Sean Dunderdale (pictured above) for his outstanding contribution to the commercial radio industry.
Sean has been at the forefront of the Lincs FM Group’s output for more than 20 years as a broadcaster, journalist and manager. He joined the group shortly after its launch in 1992 to help out with sports results on a Saturday afternoon and started to present the show eight years later. He progressed to Group News Editor and became Director of Programming six years ago.
Sean has led the development of newly qualified journalists with many of his protégés being heard and seen across radio and TV today, both commercially and with the BBC.
BOB fm Hertfordshire was named ‘News Team of the Year’ with a TSA of under 1 million. According to the judges, the team “delivers an impressive range of stories” and is “brimming with ideas on how to make radio news rich in sound and creativity.”
The IRN Awards 2016 in association with Sky News were held at London’s Century Club and hosted by the Sky News and Sky Sports presenter Sarah-Jane Mee.
Stray FM won the most popular category – Best News Special or Feature – with a reporter’s personal account of the issue of people being taken into police custody under the Mental Health Act. Ailsa Rochester’s “brave and candid piece” was praised as a “fine piece of reporting.”
Gillian Wheelan from Global’s Newsroom Scotland was the winner of the Best Interview category for a “frighteningly honest interview” with the victim of domestic abuse. The judges described it as “extraordinary” with “strong and emotive content.”
Global’s Newsroom Wales secured victory in the Best Sports Coverage category with a feature about the Welsh football team’s progression to Euro 2016. The judging panel though it was an “engaging and compelling listen.”
The Newsreaders of the Year were Naomi Holland from Downtown and Cool FM in the ‘Over 1 million TSA’ category and Spire FM’s Henrietta Creasey in the ‘under 1 million’ alternative.
Judges said Holland – a runner up last year – had “a wonderful, engaging voice” while Creasey was commended for her “polished, professional style” and her “understanding of her craft.”
The winner of the Newcomer of the Year was LBC’s Charlotte Wright who impressed judges with her “considerable reporting skills combined with a flair for good storytelling.”
The Student Journalist of the Year Award supported by the BJTC went to Rukiyah Khatun from Bauer Academy/NBS, and Bauer Media’s Entertainment hub picked up the Best Entertainment Coverage award because it showed “real appetite for getting original and exclusive news lines”.
Commenting on the awards, IRN and Sky News Radio Editor Dave Terris said: “It’s been another hugely successful year for commercial radio news teams as they keep listeners up to date with the news agenda and, crucially, deliver their own distinctive exclusives. With the modern media landscape so diverse, it’s vital our industry keeps ahead of the game and these Awards prove that our journalists are ambitious and full of ideas to make first class content.”
IRN Managing Director, Tim Molloy said: “The awards are now very competitive with one category attracting over sixty entries this year and as always the standard of journalism is extremely high and in particular it’s fantastic to see so much young talent coming into the industry.”
The winners in full:
IRN Gold Award
News Team of the Year (Over 1m TSA)
News Team of the Year (Under 1m TSA)
BOB fm Hertfordshire
Best News Special or Feature
Police Custody under the Mental Health Act: My Experiences – Stray FM
Reporter of the Year
Laura Pennington – Hallam FM
Best Sports Coverage
Euro 2016: The Rise of the Dragon – Global’s Newsroom Wales
Best Entertainment Coverage
Bauer Media Entertainment Hub
Survivor: A Domestic Abuse Story – Gillian Wheelan from Global’s Newsroom Scotland
Newsreader of the Year (Over 1m TSA)
Naomi Holland – Downtown and Cool FM
Newsreader of the Year (Under 1m TSA)
Henrietta Creasey – Spire FM
Newcomer of the Year
Charlotte Wright – LBC
Student Journalist of the Year – Supported by the BJTC
Rukiyah Khatun – Bauer Academy/NBS