'The Independent' wins another prestigious award in year of triumph

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The Independent Online

The Independent yesterday completed a clean sweep of the most prestigious prizes in British print journalism when it was named Daily Newspaper of the Year at the London Press Club awards.

In a glowing citation, a distinguished panel of judges said the honour had been given not just because of the paper's "bravery" in transforming its format but also because of the quality of the journalism that accompanied the change.

"It is the way they did it and the impact that it has had that won them the accolade," the judges said.

The prize follows the runaway success of The Independent at all the major newspaper awards this year and completes a unanimous industry-wide verdict that the paper is the outstanding product on the news-stands.

The Independent has already been named National Newspaper of the Year in the British Press Awards, where the judges in March praised the paper's "outstanding breakthrough in news presentation".

Simon Kelner, the editor-in-chief of The Independent , was named Editor of the Year at the What The Papers Say Awards in December.

The Independent won the Innovation of the Year special prize at the Newspaper Awards last month. It was named National Newspaper of The Year for circulation excellence last month at the Association of Circulation Executive awards, where it also won the team award for circulation innovation.

The London Press Club award was accepted by Mr Kelner yesterday at a ceremony at the Savoy Hotel in London.

Andrew Marr, the political editor of the BBC and a former editor of The Independent , read out a citation from the judges which said: "The sheer courage of becoming the first broadsheet to 'go tabloid' was never going to be enough to win a title of Daily Newspaper of the Year. The fact that The Independent did it first did indeed show bravery, but it is the way they did it and the impact that it has had that won them the accolade.

"The launch of the 'compact' has given the paper its biggest share of the market since 1996, but more than that, it has reinvigorated its journalists and made ' The Indy' a serious player once more. The Times followed suit shortly afterwards and The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph have been agonising ever since."

Mr Marr described the recent fortunes of the paper as "one of the most remarkable recoveries" in British newspapers. "Everybody interested in British journalism must salute that," he said.

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