An Iliffe Media “newsroom hero” has won a national honour for his commitment to helping new reporters with their training.
Paul Derrick, head of multimedia news at the Bury Free Press and Suffolk News, was presented with the NCTJ’s Chairman’s Award at the charity’s annual Awards for Excellence ceremony this week.
Paul had been nominated for the prize by trainee reporter Tamika Green, while his editor Barry Peters has praised him for “giving his trainees time, support and feedback so they can flourish”.
He was presented with the award by John Ryley, head of Sky News, in the absence of NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher.
John said: “This year’s Chairman’s Award winner is a representative of the hundreds of unsung heroes and heroines in the newsroom.
“These are the people who go above and beyond to support their trainees, often quietly, providing encouragement, a sounding board and reinforcement of what’s really important in the day-to-day, bread and butter of news gathering and reporting.
“It’s not usually in the job description. There’s no reward or recognition. But there is pride in seeing rookies transformed into professional senior journalists who go on to achieve great things in their careers.
“Paul Derrick is our newsroom hero.”
Nominating Paul for the award, Tamika said: “I am nominating Paul for this award because he is a key figure in the newsroom, taking on a mentoring role for all the trainees on the team, whilst also carrying out his job as head of multimedia news for Suffolk News and the Bury Free Press.
“Paul is always patient and finds time to answer anyone’s questions. He often stops what he’s doing to read through stories that me or the other trainees are unsure about and give feedback both for the story at hand and beyond.
“Paul genuinely wants all the trainees to be the best they possibly can, and tries to instil self-confidence in us.
“I would like him to see that his hard work has been recognised and that we are grateful for his help and support.
“Everyone is in awe of how Paul balances all the demands of the newsroom whilst taking a major role in the training of journalists.”
Paul picked up his award at a ceremony at Twickenham Stadium alongside his Suffolk News colleagues, Tamika Green and Sam Harrison, who had been shortlisted for the Apprentice of the Year and Trainee Podcast of the Year.
Bartholomew Hall, who works at KMTV, which runs in association with Iliffe Media in Kent, also picked up a prize for Student Scoop of the Year.