Winner of the Women In Local News Awards – outstanding journalist of the year –  sponsored by Women in Journalism

Awards judges described Lucy’s outstanding work and contribution to local journalism as recognising “the power of journalism as a force for good, using that power highly effectively”

This award carries a prize of £500 provided by Women in Journalism.

Chair, Alison Phillips, editor of The Mirror, said: “It was hugely encouraging to see so many entries of such an extremely high standard. The work being produced by women journalists across the UK during these past months of the pandemic has been truly outstanding. But we were particularly impressed by Lucy Leeson — not only for breaking stories about crime on her patch but also campaigning on the issues beneath that crime. This is the first time Women In Journalism has sponsored this award and we are delighted Lucy is the winner”.

From the list of worthy winners above, judges were hard pressed to pick on single overall winner. Indeed, from apprentice to editor, each of the nominees and ultimate winners had standout qualities that show what a thriving, important industry local journalism really is

SPECIALIST REPORTER

Lucy Leeson, Crime reporter Yorkshire Post 

While working for the Yorkshire Post, Lucy covered not only breaking news incidents, but also in-depth coverage of topics such as gun crime, sexual assaults, child exploitation and County Lines drug dealing. Part of her work includes lobbying the Government for change and through this she helped grieving Yorkshire mother with her campaign for tougher gun licensing laws following the death of her six-year-old son

Her remit extended to both magistrate and crown court hearings where she provided live coverage of major trials such as the Libby Squire rape and murder trial

After interviewing a North Yorkshire war veteran who had his life-savings stolen during a burglary at his home, while he was in hospital, Lucy set up a Just Giving fundraising account to help raise £4,000. The final total raised was more than  £25,000 for him

For all the winners click HERE