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L-R: Penny Richter from Google News Initiative, Darren Toogood of Island Echo and host Mark Durden-Smith

NATIONAL HONOURS AS ISLAND ECHO IS NAMED ICNN COMMUNITY WEBSITE OF THE YEAR 2021

Newsawards2021logowithgoogle;Island Echo has picked up its first national award after being named the Independent Community News Network (ICNN) Community Website of the Year at newsawards 2021.

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.

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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.

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Photos thanks to Julia Gregory

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”.

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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”.

Winners 2021
Darren Togoood (C) with the other winners 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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The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
8 Comments
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David
David
15 days ago

Congratulations Darren and all the team. Well done.

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
15 days ago

Well done Island Echo!

fred
fred
15 days ago

Well done. Island echo is the only news I read.

National news is just a voice for the rich and famous. They peddle the establishments narrative.

Tleaf
Tleaf
15 days ago

Congratulations well deserved win

Sharon
Sharon
15 days ago

Well done
It’s the first place we come to read the news from the island.

Mandy
Mandy
15 days ago

Fantastic news, literally lol. Big congratulations to the team. Great publication, informative and current. Well done.

Jamie
Jamie
15 days ago

1st place I go to read the gossip. The comments annoy me when you get the pen pushers started but for the news it’s nice to be informed. The only suggestion I have is the weekends seem to be forgotten

Darren Toogood
Darren Toogood
Admin
Reply to  Jamie
15 days ago

Hi Jamie, thanks for your comments. We always have at least 5 stories a day scheduled for publication on both a Saturday and a Sunday. Furthermore, our 24/7 state of readiness continues over the weekend for any breaking news that may occur.

It has been very quiet on the weekends since the beginning of October, in terms of breaking news.

Last edited 15 days ago by Darren Toogood
 

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