Julia George is Shepherd Neame Kent Journalist of the year

Posted: 27 January 2012

Blog category: News

BBC Radio Kent presenter Julia George was named Shepherd Neame Kent Journalist of the Year at the Kent Media Awards lunch held at the Faversham brewery.

Julia, who also won the Bishops Finger Broadcast Journalist of the Year category, was described as very talented broadcaster who has built a relationship of trust with her listeners.

Chair of judges Barbara Sturgeon commented: “Her sensitive approach to addressing the issue of rape with one of her callers was phenomenal. She has also proved herself able to deal with aggressive callers tactfully and effectively and, as such, her radio show has taken off. In live broadcasting, there is no room for error.”

BBC Radio Kent also won the Shepherd Neame News Service of the Year Award, earning particular praise for its quick response and extensive coverage of Pfizer’s decision to close its research facility in Kent in February 2011. Barbara Sturgeon said: “As a whole, this radio station provides insightful and relevant news to its listeners and is unafraid to tackle sensitive issues.”

Other winners included:
Kent’s Best Newspaper or Online Journalist of the Year – Alan Watkins, Gravesend Messenger
Master Brew Kent Feature Journalist of the Year – Nashreen Issa, ITV Meridian 
Spitfire Kent Sports Journalist of the Year Award – Neil Bell, BBC South East Today 
WF Deedes Kent Young Journalist of the Year – Mike Sims, Folkestone Herald
The Sevenoaks Chronicle won the Canterbury Jack Campaign of the Year Award for launching and running a local loyalty card initiative, encouraging shoppers to spend their money in the town. The scheme is ongoing and is supported by more than 4,000 customers and 100 stores.

This year’s awards were judged by a panel comprising former BBC Radio Kent broadcaster Barbara Sturgeon; Kim Fletcher, former editorial director of the Telegraph Group and chairman of the NCTJ; Tim Luckhurst, professor of journalism at the University of Kent and a former editor of The Scotsman; and Justin Allen, from the sports desk of The Sun.

The event was held in Shepherd Neame’s new live entertainment venue, The Old Brewery Store. Jonathan Neame, chief executive of Shepherd Neame, paid tribute to veteran broadcaster Bob Holness, a former judge on the Kent Media Awards, then known as the Kent Journalist of the Year Awards, who died early this year.