Over 330 guests were present at The Royal Lancaster in London on Thursday night for a glamorous awards ceremony, hosted by TV’s Mark Durden-Smith.
Island Echo was shortlisted alongside a number of great publications including Dorset Biz News, Cornwall Reports, Hackney Citizen, Lyme Online and Thurrock Nub News. But it was Island Echo that picked up the prestigious title on the night, just 12 months after receiving a highly commended – which this year went to Dorset Biz News.
This latest award comes just 2 years after Island Echo was named Micro Business of the Year at the IW Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards 2019.
It was in 2012 that Island Echo first launched onto your screens, bringing about a significant change in how news is reported on the Isle of Wight. Up to 340,000 visitors now consume up to 2.7 million pages each month making Island Echo one of the largest websites locally. Almost 32,000 stories have been published over the past 9-and-a-half years.
The judges said of Island Echo:
“Last year’s runner-up took top spot in 2021. It’s a clear well-designed website featuring engaging journalism.
“It is wonderful to see a small team delivering quality journalism while doing the simple digital things right and putting the reader at the heart of its strategy”.
Darren Toogood, Editor and Publisher, has said:
“To win a national award is incredible and makes me very proud of what we have achieved in a relatively short space of time. I could never have imagined almost a decade ago that Island Echo would grow to what it has become today, not only providing a leading news source locally (against much larger publishers) but on a national scale too.
“I must say a big thank you to every reader, advertiser, contributor and tipper – your support means a lot and it’s that support that has enabled Island Echo to become a multi-award-winning news website.
“As the judges noted, we put the reader at the heart of our strategy and we remain committed to ensuring Islanders – and those further afield – have free access to an independent, locally-owned news service that provides factual journalism 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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“The past 18 months have been tough. The demand and expectation for fast, accurate news throughout the pandemic has been intense but it’s what we do. Our readership has grown by over 40% in 2 years and we are now publishing in excess of 500 stories a month.
“A final thank you to the award sponsors Google News Initiative, as well as Emma Meese and Matt Abbott at the ICNN and of course the organisers of newsawards 2021”.
newsawards was first established in 1997 and are the only such awards dedicated to celebrating the best in news media print, digital, technology and business innovation across the country. The calibre of entry is high with other winners on the night including The Sun, Financial Times, The Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Mirror.
The Independent Community News Network (ICNN) is a group of around 300 independent community news publications in the UK and Ireland. The majority of these titles, including Island Echo, are run by individuals or small teams producing news content of important community value whilst uploading high professional standards.
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