TWO young journalists at the Halifax Courier have been named the cream of the crop in Yorkshire and the Humber at the 02 Media Awards.
Trainee reporter Ruth Mosalski was named daily newspaper Young Journalist of the Year at the glittering ceremony at York Racecourse.
Her newsroom colleague Toby Higgins finished runner-up in the same category.
The Courier was also praised for its approach to gathering and reporting on local news.
Judges commended Ruth’s portfolio of stories, including her quirky report on the marzipan bomb scare in Todmorden when dustmen discovered what appeared to be bundles of C4 explosives – but was actually a fake made from marzipan.
They also praised her in-depth series of reports on anti-social behaviour in the community.
Judges said: “She has a good spread of stories written with the authority and style that many more senior writers would struggle to produce.
“She is a journalist who in a short period of time has clearly developed a strong list of contacts. A dedicated and diligent reporter who, despite still being a trainee, has a mature writing style and keen nose for a story.”
The panel praised fellow Courier reporter Toby Higgins as a “star in the making”.
They said: “Toby is a reporter with great initiative, demonstrated by his portfolio.
“When time was tight and a deadline fast approaching Toby had the presence of mind to file his copy from his location via his mobile telephone.
“And when he realised he’d never be able to get a photographer to a breaking news story he grabbed his own pictures too.
“A reporter with great foresight but also someone with the ability to research and follow up on his stories.”
Commenting on the quality of the Courier overall, judges said: “It’s nice to see a newspaper with a commitment to producing hard news stories and a news team who obviously enjoy keeping their community fully informed.”
More than 200 journalists and guests celebrated the 2011 awards on Thursday night, with a total of 17 awards presented to media teams working on newspapers, radio, television and on-line publications.
The judging panel was made up of senior editors and writers from weekly, regional daily and national newspaper titles, senior radio executives and editors from commercial and BBC television.