Star steps up its pledge to you

YOUR Evening Star today followed up its Britain's Daily Newspaper of the Year accolade with a seven-part pledge to readers.

YOUR Evening Star today followed up its Britain's Daily Newspaper of the Year accolade with a seven-part pledge to readers.

The Star won its top industry gong at a glittering awards ceremony in London - and today it was back to work fighting the causes of readers in the Ipswich area.

It's the second year running that The Star has been recognised by industry experts as the best paper in the country*, a great double honour for Britain's most successful campaigning daily and its team.

In a second major triumph, staff man Jonathan Elsey was declared Designer of the Year, judges describing his work - including graphics of the interior of serial killer Steve Wright's Ipswich home, as outstanding.

The Press Gazette awards, the newspaper industry's “Oscars”, took place at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, Lancaster Gate, London, where judges said the title stood out head and shoulders above the rest.

They said the paper was “ballsy from front to back” and a model for how evening newspapers everywhere should be run in the multi-media age.

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The judges heaped praise on the Star's coverage of the trial and sentence of Ipswich killer Steve Wright, saying its 32-page background supplement was world-class.

Evening Star editor Nigel Pickover said today that his team would find time for celebration in the future - but today it was back to work on the campaign trail. He listed seven areas for immediate and ongoing attention.

1) Hospital Watch. "Foremost in our mind is the illogical, baffling and simply ridiculous decision to close the Head and Neck Cancer Unit at Ipswich Hospital. The Star unearthed this scandal, the disgraceful consultation process which has been a sham from first to last, the conflict of interests at senior levels and the fact that the NHS at strategic levels has lost the plot.

“Our fight will be stepped up and we invite readers to help us re-double the effort which has seen more than 3,000 petition forms flood in.”

2) Council Watch - aimed at all our local authorities but, immediately at Suffolk County Council, which hugely damaged its reputation by awarding its new chief executive a salary of £218, - £70,000 more than that of the outgoing boss. We believe if the authority and its politicians is so out of touch with public opinion and common sense then it should be watched at every angle, every minute of the day.

3) Air Fair - keeping the pressure on the undemocratic authorities who control the airpsace above Ipswich and Suffolk - who aim to send thousands more noisy jets our way in the future.

4) Somebody's Daughter - the fight to open a safe haven and educational centre for drug-trapped sex workers.

5) Golden Years - fighting to represent the interests and concerns of our older generation, who can often be forgotten in the profit-driven and fast-moving world of the 21st century.

6) Fighting for Terri - the ongoing crusade to help Ipswich burns victim Terri Calvesbert and ...

7) A pledge to renew the battle to take up readers' causes ... from concerns over petrol prices to the shocking state of our county's roads.

“We are stepping up our various crusades, challenging in bright and dynamic multi-media ways those in authority when things are mishandled and when no-one else shouts up,” said the editor.

Can The Evening Star help you in any way - do you want to tell us a story, or launch an investigation on your behalf? Contact our newsdesk on 01473 324788, e-mail or write to The Evening Star, Press House, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

The Star has now scooped seven newspaper of the year awards on the national stage in the past 12 years - and 15 top newspaper of the year gongs in total.

Judges were thrilled with The Star's Shining Lights initiative, when positive stories about young Suffolk people appeared on every page of the paper. They also praised the 13 news pages and 32-page backgrounder on serial killer Steve Wright, noting it was of the quality expected by a national newspaper.

They were also impressed by the paper's repeated revelations on the takeover of Ipswich Town by magnate Marcus Evans.

Designer of the Year Jonathan Elsey is on holiday in France and his award was collected by chief reporter/deputy news editor Grant Sherlock, who spearheaded the coverage of the Steve Wright case and the court case earlier this year.

* The Star's honour was in the 40,000 circulation and under category.

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