O2 Media Awards: Top honours for The Star’s Graham Walker and Martin Smith

Award winners: Star writers Martin Smith and Graham Walker, right.
Award winners: Star writers Martin Smith and Graham Walker, right.

THE Star had a triple celebration at the O2 Media Awards for Yorkshire and The Humber with honours going to Features Editor Martin Smith and Digital Editor Graham Walker.

Martin was named Feature Writer of the Year and he was also highly commended in the Sports Reporter of the Year category.

Graham was crowned Digital Journalist of the Year.

Best-selling novelist GP Taylor presented Martin’s features award. Judges said his entry showed a diverse range of writing skills.

“It really didn’t matter what or who the subject matter was. Give the germ of an idea to Martin Smith and you suddenly had a readable feature.

“As comfortable with hard news as he is with humour this was not just a creative writer but someone who squeezed and teased every last drop of information out of his subjects.”

And of his sports reports they added: “His reporting of Sheffield Wednesday was top notch and he did what every good sport journalist should do … land the exclusives that get the fans talking,”

Judges said Graham, who was presented with his award by GB Olympic fencing medal hopeful Hannah Lawrence, richly deserved his prize.

They added: “Any journalist who finds time to update Sheffield Wednesday match reports while on assignment in New York at the headquarters of DC Comics deserves this award!

“His package about homelessness in Sheffield, for which he endured 24 hours on the streets, had everything - video, courtesy of his iPhone, photos, print exclusives, an audio blog and a touch of celebrity courtesy of Take That songwriter Eliot Kennedy, who wanted to experience life for the homeless.”