THE editor of All Together Now, Tom Dowling, received a Lifetime Achievement award for journalism at this year’s O2 North West Media Awards.
Award judges felt that the title of Tom’s regular column in the Liverpool Echo sums up the reason why he won the award.
“I Can Do It is as much about Tom’s persistence and focus as anything else. When the old I Can Do That! magazine closed, he took up the challenge to find a new way to keep it going.
“That was six years ago and All Together Now is a well-read and highly valued publication, read by more than 240,000 people. Aimed at people with a disability and those affected by it, All Together Now compares to the best in the market,” said judges.
Judges also recognised how Tom has to overcome physical difficulties on a daily basis to be successful in a challenging market. At a time when many print outlets are closing due to struggling advertising and sponsorship, he had been tremendously successful. He did not have a big company behind him or large amounts of investment. Everything had been achieved by sheer hard graft. Judges had the greatest respect for him as an individual and a pioneering and campaigning editor.
The O2 awards event was held at Liverpool’s Palm House and attracted more than 200 guests including celebrities from Coronation Street and Hollyoaks. Former Atomic Kitten band member Natasha Hamilton also sang live before presenting one of the awards.
Young actor Sam Aston, who plays Chesney Battersby Brown in Coronation Street, presented the O2 Think Big Award which celebrated the work of teenagers working on community communication projects.
Richard Catlow, of the Society of Editors, who chaired the judging panel said the standard of entries was as good as anything he’d seen across all regional and national media awards.
More than 270 nominations were received across the 17 award categories.
O2 Director of Communications, Reputation and Sustainability, Glenn Manoff, said the awards demonstrated that quality journalism was alive and kicking in the North West.
“This is an event which celebrates the fantastic work of all regional journalists who keep their communities entertained and informed,” he said.
Feature Writer of the Year
Sarah Newstead, Cumberland News
Paddy Shennan, Liverpool Echo
Phil Coleman, News and Star
Roger Lytollis, Cumberland News
Mark Smith, Widnes Weekly News