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Magazine of the Year accolade for JEP in Regional Press Awards

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ECOJERSEY – the JEP’s environmental magazine – has been crowned Magazine of the Year in the prestigious Regional Press Awards run by the Society of Editors.

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The JEP was also, for the second year in a row, shortlisted in the Newspaper of the Year category and deputy editor Richard Heath was shortlisted in the feature/long-form journalism section. Last year, the JEP came second as a highly commended finalist.

Part of this year’s entry was the JEP’s successful campaign to remove VAT from Sky subscriptions, which collectively saved Islanders tens of thousands of pounds.

Of the newspaper this year, the judges said: ‘For winning their battle with Sky TV alone, the JEP surely wins the hearts and support of its tight community readership. And where others might be tempted to sit back and take their community for granted, the JEP puts heart and soul into its coverage.’

Ecojersey was launched in 2019 in response to an explosion of interest in and engagement with environmental issues.

The JEP’s statement supporting the ecoJersey entry said: ‘We felt it was important to take our coverage of environmental issues further and deeper. With the JEP already “at the heart of Island life”, it seemed obvious that we should now put ourselves at the heart of the most important challenge facing our own generation, and of many to come.

‘Putting a special focus on matters eco, we soon discovered that whilst there were many committed activist groups and individuals, experts within the civil service and businesses committed to greater sustainability, there was little communication or collaboration.

‘As the Island’s primary media voice, reaching a greater proportion of Islanders than ever across print, digital and social-media channels, we set out with a clear aim – to engage, to inform and to encourage action.’

In addition to launching the magazine and publishing a series of environmental exclusives in the newspaper during 2019, the JEP also organised two mass-participation community events, Cleaning our Coast and Countryside, and recognised the achievements of many Island environmentalists in the Environmental Champion of the Year category of the annual Pride of Jersey Awards.

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The judges said of ecoJersey: ‘An imaginative, original concept, brought to fruition in style by identifying a new audience... while at the same time creating an important voice for the community in the battle to protect the environment.’

JEP editor Andy Sibcy said: ‘To have our work recognised across the three categories is a huge achievement in such important national industry awards, which celebrate excellence in the regional press.

‘The icing on the cake was obviously winning the Magazine of the Year category. I would like to congratulate and thank all members of the JEP team who contributed to its success, from ecoJersey launch editor Charles Troy to members of the creative, editorial and advertising teams. It was a superb team effort.

‘I would also like to thank the many businesses, charities, NGOs, activists and other members of the community who contribute in a host of ways and who are all essential to the ongoing success of the collaborative ecoJersey magazine and allied initiatives. To be able to bring so many people together to promote such a positive and worthwhile cause is one of the great privileges of working for the JEP.’

In the feature/long-form journalism section, Richard submitted three pieces: interviews with paedophile-hunter Cheyenne O’Connor, Jersey Lifeboat Association coxswain Andy Hibbs and Islander Alison Barrington, who told the extraordinary story of how she survived after being swept around the Island following a yacht tragedy which claimed the lives of four friends 55 years ago.

Of the entry, the judges said: ‘An interview with Cheyenne O’Connor nicely set out the complicated nature of her relationship with the law. The highlight of this submission, however, was the retelling of the Mariecelia disaster: gripping feature journalism told with real flair and local knowledge.’

Andy Sibcy

By Andy Sibcy
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