More readers, more awards

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The Independent Online
The Independent has won two major awards in the prestigious What the Papers Say awards, announced yesterday.

Simon Kelner, Editor of The Independent, was named Editor of the Year by a panel of media experts. (Kelner is pictured above receiving his award from Gerald Kaufman.) David McKittrick, the newspaper's Ireland correspondent, was named Correspondent of the Year.

In announcing the awards, the judges said of Kelner's achievements: "The paper suddenly recovered itself, starting to look and read much more like the publication which had initially enjoyed such terrific success after its launch in 1986.

"He stabilised the paper's circulation figures, and other journalists have greatly admired the way he so swiftly stopped the rot."

Northern Ireland was back in the headlines in 1998, said the judges, for the right and the wrong reasons. They added: "We felt nothing could be more appropriate in the year of the peace agreement than that the Correspondent of the Year award should go to Ireland correspondent David McKittrick - a second award winner for The Independent." McKittrick (below) has covered Irish affairs for 26 years and this is his fourth major award.

These awards come at a time of renewed success for The Independent. Circulation has increased steadily over the past year and February's monthly figure will indicate a year-on-year increase. Five journalists from The Independent and The Independent on Sunday have also been shortlisted in the forthcoming British Press Awards.

Full story, page 2

The What the Papers Say Award ceremony will be broadcast on BBC2 tonight at 7.35pm