Mediahuis Ireland COO Ian Keogh, CEO Peter Vandermeersch and Mediahuis Group CEO Gert Ysebaert accepting the award from INMA president Maribel Perez Wadsworth at the event in New York.
Mediahuis Ireland’s regional newsrooms won the prestigious “Best Innovation in Newsroom Transformation (Regional Brands)” award at the International News Media Association (INMA) Global Media Awards in New York last night.
The first place award was presented to Mediahuis Ireland CEO Peter Vandermeersch, COO Ian Keogh and Mediahuis Group CEO Gert Ysebaert at the event.
It is the third time the project has been recognised, following on from claiming the Best Innovation award at the Local Ireland Media Awards in October 2022 and again at the Newsbrands Awards last year winning the Best Digital Innovation award.
The initiative involved moving local newsrooms and brands from a digital model that followed the weekly print cycle to a fully-fledged online local news service with daily breaking news. The ultimate aim is to have a targeted local news service for all 32 counties on the island of Ireland.
The project has also involved the recruitment of new journalists to establish a ‘Dublin desk’ which focuses on local news in the capital.
The INMA Global Media Awards competition honours excellence in energizing news brands, creating new products, growing and engaging audiences, increasing reader and advertising revenue.
During the awards ceremony at New York’s Harvard Club, 40 first-place winners were unveiled across 20 categories aimed at surfacing innovation and best practices in news brands, optimising the use of media features, subscriptions, advertising, data and insights, product, and newsroom innovation.
Norwegian newspaper Bergens Tidende’s “Journey Around the World” won the highest award, “Best in Show” at the ceremony,
This year marked the 87th year in which INMA has shined a light on how publishers smartly connect with customers. This year’s competition this year attracted 775 entries from 239 market-leading news media brands in 40 countries.
Fifty-four (54) executives in the media and advertising communities from 19 countries judged the competition.
Editor-in-chief of Mediahuis Ireland Cormac Bourke said: “We are delighted that our local news project has been recognised at such a prestigious international awards ceremony. The winning project is a perfect example of how Mediahuis is using our existing resources to best serve our growing audience. We have managed to bring our regional journalists to a national audience, with the added positive of bringing all of our newsrooms around the country closer together.”
Mediahuis Regionals Editor-In-Chief Jim Hayes said: “This global recognition of local innovation is the icing on the cake for small teams of editors and journalists who have worked together to completely transform our local online offering through the Irish Independent. Local journalism gives local communities a voice they can trust and the success of this pioneering project gives us the confidence to push ahead with even more ambition.”
Mediahuis Ireland Regionals is home to some of the country’s top local news brands, including the Wexford People, Kerryman, Sligo Champion, Wicklow People, Argus (Dundalk), Drogheda Independent, Corkman, New Ross Standard, Gorey Guardian, Enniscorthy Guardian and Bray People.