The not-for-profit scheme, organised by Kent PR and marketing agency Maxim, is designed to recognise and celebrate both regional and local journalism and will culminate in an awards ceremony held on Friday 12 July.
This year KPBA received 149 entries across 15 categories, the most in its five-year history.
Maxim’s Rachel Knight said: “In consultation with the judges, we’ve changed a few categories this year so they better reflect the day-to-day work that takes place in Kent’s newsrooms. As ever, the entrants proved that journalists love a deadline with more than half of them leaving it until the last few hours to submit their entries. We were really pleased to see so many people entering for the first time, proving local media in Kent is thriving.”
This year’s awards ceremony, which is being held at The Spitfire Ground St Lawrence, Canterbury, will be hosted by award-winning journalist Nina Hossain who presents the ITV Lunchtime News, is the main anchor for ITV News London and also presents News at Ten.
For 2019, a new judge joined the independent panel that reviews every entry. Graham Jones is a former national sports journalist, and now works as a lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, specialising in online journalism, and as a sessional sports journalism lecturer at the University of East London.
He joins Gillian Hargreaves, who spent 25 years with BBC News; Rebecca Smith, former senior editor for Kent Regional News and Media; Leo Whitlock, a local newspaper journalist for more than 20 years, much of which was spent at the KM Media Group; Susie Boniface, a national journalist known as Fleet Street Fox; PA photographer Gareth Fuller; digital consultant Patrick Fuller; and journalist and lecturer Dr Sarah Lonsdale.
The full list of finalists are below:
Best Use of Digital Media, sponsored by Eurotunnel
Kent Broadcast Journalist of the Year, sponsored by Westwood Cross Shopping Centre
Kent Columnist of the Year, sponsored by Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce
Commitment to the Community, sponsored by Saga
Kent Design(er) of the Year, sponsored by The Historic Dockyard Chatham
Kent Feature Journalist of the Year, sponsored by MHA MacIntyre Hudson
Kent Magazine of the Year, sponsored by Stagecoach South East
Kent Media Innovation of the Year, sponsored by Port of Dover
Kent New Journalist of the Year, sponsored by EKC Group
Kent News Website of the Year, sponsored by LKM Recycling
Kent Newspaper of the Year, sponsored by Southeastern
Kent Photographer of the Year, sponsored by Brachers
Kent Print Journalist of the Year, sponsored by Benenden Hospital Trust
Kent Programme of the Year, sponsored by Digitom Video Production
The Neil Bell Kent Sports Journalist of the Year, supported by Kent Cricket
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