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Finalists announced for Kent Press & Broadcast Awards 2020

September, 2020

After reviewing almost 140 entries, the judges for the Kent Press & Broadcast Awards (KPBA) have decided on the 2020 finalists, declaring ‘a high level of journalism across the board’. 

The not-for-profit awards, organised by Kent PR and marketing agency Maxim, are designed to recognise and celebrate both regional and local journalism and will culminate in a virtual awards ceremony on Friday 20 November. 

Maxim’s Rachel Knight said: “Obviously Covid-19 has changed everything this year, including KPBA. We held off for as long as possible in the hope of holding a physical ceremony but clearly it’s not to be. That said, we were determined to keep the awards on track and the fantastic feedback from finalists has proved that was the right thing to do. It’s obviously been a very difficult year for many in the media industry and it’s been a pleasure to be able to raise some spirits with the announcement of the finalists. 

“We couldn’t run KPBA without our sponsors so we are more grateful than ever to those that have been able to support the scheme during such a difficult year. Like most organisations, we are having to make cutbacks but thanks to the sponsors the winners will still receive their trophies and every finalist will get a certificate, as well as a hand delivered goody bag prior to the virtual ceremony.”  

The independent judging panel reviewed every entry and met virtually to decide on the finalists. They are Gillian Hargreaves, who spent 25 years with BBC News; Rebecca Smith, former senior editor for Kent Regional News and Media; Leo Whitlock, a former editor at the KM Media Group; Susie Boniface, a national journalist known as Fleet Street Fox; PA photographer Gareth Fuller; digital consultant Patrick Fuller; journalist and lecturer Dr Sarah Lonsdale and lecturer and former national sports journalist Graham Jones. 

The judges gathered via Zoom with Maxim's Philip Jones and Rachel Knight playing an administrative role.

Rachel continued: “This year the judges wanted to make some changes so we have split the feature category into broadcast and print, which includes online writing. They have also decided on two additional awards – the golden pen and the golden microphone – for those entries that really stood out but perhaps didn’t quite fit into a category. You’ll need to watch until the end of the ceremony to find out who will be the recipients of these special awards.

“The Kent Press & Broadcast Awards is now in its sixth year but we’ve never organised a virtual ceremony before so I hope everyone will bear with us as we do our best to celebrate the local media. We’ll be releasing details of how to watch the ceremony nearer the time.”

The full list of finalists is below:

Best Use of Digital Media, sponsored by Eurotunnel 

  • Andy Robinson, Kent Live
  • KentOnline
  • Lizzie Massey, BBC South East (Digital)
  • Stuart Maisner, BBC South East (Digital)

Kent Broadcast Journalist of the Year 

  • Josie Hannett, BBC South East Today
  • Sarah Saunders, ITV News Meridian
  • Yetunde Yusuf, BBC South East Today / BBC Radio Kent
  • Zoie O’Brien, BBC South East Today

Kent Columnist of the Year 

  • Jane Wenham-Jones, The Isle of Thanet News
  • Mary Harris, Kent and Sussex Courier
  • Melissa Todd, The Isle of Thanet News
  • Seb Reilly, The Isle of Thanet News

Commitment to the Community, sponsored by Saga 

  • kmfm – Project Kent
  • Sevenoaks Sport & Wellbeing Magazine
  • The Isle of Thanet News

Kent Designer of the Year 

  • Anna Hamer, BBC South East Today
  • Dave Hobday, Medway Messenger
  • Jim Lyons, ‘cene Magazine
  • Jonathan Brewer, BBC South East Today

Kent Feature Journalist of the Year (Broadcast), sponsored by MHA MacIntyre Hudson

  • Claudia Sermbezis, BBC South East Today
  • Joe Coshan, KMTV
  • Piers Hopkirk, BBC South East Today
  • Samuel Supple, Inside Out South East 
  • Yvette Austin, BBC South East Today

Kent Feature Journalist of the Year (Print), sponsored by MHA MacIntyre Hudson 

  • Jack Dyson, Kentish Gazette
  • Lauren MacDougall, Kent Live
  • Lydia Chantler-Hicks, Kentish Gazette
  • Marijke Hall, Thanet Extra
  • Mike Gunnill, Bygone Kent

Kent Magazine of the Year 

  • Bygone Kent
  • ‘cene Magazine
  • Isle Magazine
  • The Margate Mercury

Kent New Journalist of the Year, sponsored by EKC Group

  • Brad Harper, Kentish Gazette
  • Brittany Tijou-Smith, Kent & Sussex Courier Newspaper Series
  • Isabelle Miller, Kent Tonight
  • Katya Fowler, Kent Tonight
  • Megan Carr, Gravesend Messenger / Dartford Messenger / Medway Messenger

Kent News Website of the Year, sponsored by Port of Dover

  • Kent Live
  • Kent Online
  • Shepway Vox
  • The Isle of Thanet News

Kent Newspaper of the Year, sponsored by Southeastern

  • East Kent Mercury
  • Kent Messenger
  • Kentish Gazette
  • The Isle of Thanet News

Kent Photographer of the Year, sponsored by Brachers

  • Andy Aitchison, freelance
  • Andy Jones, freelance 
  • Frank Leppard, freelance
  • Lewis Durham, freelance

Kent Print Journalist of the Year 

  • Chloe Holmwood, Sheerness Times Guardian / Sittingbourne News
  • Jack Dyson, Kentish Gazette
  • Lydia Chantler-Hicks, Kentish Gazette
  • Marijke Hall, Thanet Extra
  • Simon Finlay, Downs Mail 

Kent Programme of the Year, sponsored by Digitom Video Production

  • BBC South East Today
  • ITV News Meridian
  • Kent Non-League Podcast
  • KMTV – Kent Decides

The Neil Bell Kent Sports Journalist of the Year, supported by Kent Cricket 

  • Ben Watts, BBC Radio Kent
  • Joe Coshan, KMTV
  • Juliette Parkin, BBC South East Today
  • Matthew Panting, KM Media Group

Kent Media Innovation of the Year, sponsored by BAE Systems

  • James Dunham, ITV Meridian
  • Jo Burn, BBC Radio Kent 
  • Mark Simmonite, KMTV    

To find out more about the Kent Press & Broadcast awards, visit

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