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Finalists announced for Kent Press & Broadcast Awards 2021

July, 2021

A panel of media experts has selected the finalists for this year’s Kent Press & Broadcast Awards (KPBA). 

The not-for-profit awards, organised by Kent PR and marketing agency Maxim, are designed to recognise and reward both regional and local journalism and will culminate in a virtual awards ceremony on Friday 10 September. 

Maxim’s Rachel Knight said: “Although the number of categories was reduced this year due to Covid-19, we were determined to go ahead with the awards in some form. We know the local media has been very important to people during the pandemic so we feel it’s more important than ever to celebrate the excellent work taking place across the county.

“We couldn’t run KPBA without our sponsors so we would like to say a huge thank you to those organisations that continue to back the scheme, especially during such a difficult economic period."    

The independent judging panel reviewed every entry and met virtually to decide on the finalists. They are 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; digital consultant Patrick Fuller; and journalist and lecturer Dr Sarah Lonsdale. 

The full list of finalists is below:

Kent Broadcast Journalist of the Year, sponsored by Eurotunnel

  • Amanda Akass, BBC South East
  • Claire Starr, BBC South East
  • Josie Hannett, BBC South East
  • Zoie O’Brien, BBC South East

Kent Columnist of the Year, sponsored by Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce

  • Jane Wenham-Jones, The Isle of Thanet News
  • Melissa Todd, The Isle of Thanet News 
  • Seb Reilly, The Isle of Thanet News
  • Simon Finlay, Downs Mail

Kent Designer of the Year

  • Ashley Austen, KM Media Group 
  • Jonathan Brewer, BBC South East
  • MMM Magazine 
  • Paul Acres, KM Media Group

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

  • Colin Campbell, BBC South East
  • Derek Johnson, ITV Meridian
  • Joe Coshan, KMTV
  • Phil Wellbrook, KMTV

Kent Feature Journalist of the Year (Print), sponsored by Digitom Video Production

  • Jack Dyson, Kentish Gazette
  • Lydia Chantler-Hicks, Kentish Gazette
  • Rhys Griffiths, Kent Messenger / KentOnline
  • Seb Reilly, The Isle of Thanet News 

Kent New Journalist of the Year, sponsored by EKC Group 

  • Katya Fowler, KMTV
  • Ollie Collins, KMTV
  • Sean Delaney, Dartford Messenger / Gravesend Messenger
  • Tommaso Dimiddio, KMTV

Kent Print Journalist of the Year, sponsored by Southeastern 

  • Jack Dyson, Kentish Gazette
  • Katie Heslop, Kent Messenger
  • Lydia Chantler Hicks, Kentish Gazette
  • Marijke Hall, Thanet Extra

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
  • Ollie Collins, KMTV

The 2020 Award, sponsored by BAE Systems

  • Downs Mail
  • KMTV
  • MMM Magazine – NHS Edition 
  • The Isle of Thanet News 

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

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