A BIG community paper, full of news, with a number of good sections, including a great eight-page sports supplement."

That's how judges described The Watford Observer before naming it BT's Weekly Newspaper of the Year for the South and South East of England on Friday last week.

The BT awards have run for seven years and aim to reward the cream of Britain's print, broadcast and new media industries.

Editorial manager Frazer Ansell, accompanied by chief reporter Caroline Graham, collected the award from BT's head of regional media relations, Mr Eric Barr, during a ceremony at London's Tate Modern gallery.

The newspaper had been short-listed with two tabloids, the Lynn Times, from Kings Lynn, and the previous year's winner, The South London Press from Streatham Hill.

But, as BT's Emma Littlejohn pointed out: "A good big 'un always beat a good little 'un."

Part of the newspaper's prize as regional winner was a £500 charitable donation, which will be presented to the Herts Children's Crohns and Colitis Support Trust.

The charity aims to raise £70,000 to buy endoscopy equipment for Watford General Hospital's paediatric department.

The Watford Observer now goes on to be judged against BT's five other regional winners the overall Newspaper of the Year being announced at a reception at London's BT Tower next month.

May 24, 2002 14:00