2017 BSME TALENT AWARDS - WHAT THE JUDGES SAID

 

AWARD 1 - BEST PRINT WRITER

This category led to a lengthy and formidable debate about long form versus short-form content and how both lengths engage their audience in very different ways.  With this in mind (and after finally agreeing) the judges decided on a highly commended award in addition to the winner.

The highly commended award goes to a writer whose body of work is spot on for its audience and is as diverse as it is entertaining. His remarkable writing skills include an exclusive interview with grime star Skepta to a post-Brexit open letter to London to those all-important reviews of Christmas lunch sandwiches.  It goes to Alexi Duggins from Time Out.

Of the winner the judges said: There is nothing quite like the lean-back experience magazines offer and this writer is the master of the long form article. Such is his storytelling skill that in his hands, complex subjects are vividly brought to life that may otherwise become too challenging to grasp – from the medical horror story that is Ebola to the politics of high tech in his tales from Hyper Loop. His fantastic use of language to create compelling reads makes this talented writer a great reason to buy his title.

The winner of the best print writer is OLIVER FRANKLIN-WALLIS for WIRED

 

AWARD 2 - BEST DIGITAL WRITER

The judges commented that: Digital writers have to not only be able to craft lively copy for their audiences, they must possess the additional ability to be able to ensure their readers can find it amongst the masses of content on the internet.

They were impressed with this writer’s outstanding knowledge of cutting through to get her content viewed and the impact this has had on the site she works for.  Her stand-out piece of work was filing a six-hour blog about the epic event that is the Victoria’s Secret fashion show – all from her iPhone. Not only was it incredibly engaging content, when paired with her SEO skills, she ensured her content ranked top of page one on Google and pulled in over 1 million page views for her site.

This winner of this year’s best digital writer is BETHAN HOLT, DIGITAL FASHION EDITOR AT THE TELEGRAPH.

 

AWARD 3 - BEST FEATURE IDEA – PRINT

In another emotive category, the judges again felt compelled to give a highly commended award to a writer whose work combined dogged investigative reporting with a stunning narrative style. This feature was so good his editor asking him to restore his 4,000 word article to its original 6,500 words – and ran it over 12 pages in his title.

This writer illustrates the dramatic power of words in his article about the UK’s largest ever cocaine haul in his article White Cargo for Wired magazine.  The highly commended award goes to Greg Williams.

Of the winner the judges said: While some titles seems to get all the access to celebrities, what made this winning entry stand out was how the writer chose to make use of their contacts.  This idea was an innovative new spin on a well-known subject that was perfect for this title’s information-thirsty hard-to-please audience.

On their entering this feature idea, this title described the idea as ‘barking mad’ or at best an ‘ambitious high-concept idea.’  Well through bravery, sheer hard work and lots of chasing this tenacious writer made it happen.

For getting each one of the Lord of the Rings stars to interview each other for a unique take of the film’s 15th anniversary, the winner of this year’s best feature idea is NICK DE SEMLYEN from EMPIRE MAGAZINE.

 

AWARD 4 - BEST CONTENT IDEA – DIGITAL

The judges said: In a break from the norm, we have chosen TWO winners in this category not just because of their brilliance, but also their marked differences.

There is so much digital content that can and should be celebrated, but these two entries were so consistently excellent in their own areas the judges felt they both had to be recognised.

First up is an idea that may not be unique, but its execution was new and very effective – in fact a game changer in its market.  Using audience data to inform its creation, crunching site search returns and page views layered with other metrics, this brand launched a microsite that generated almost 400,000 page views in three months and grew unique visitors by 11% to over 20 million. This outstanding project was executed by 14 writers, researchers, developers and designers – all led by one woman with one vision.

The JOINT WINNER of the best digital content idea is The Hot List by OLIVIA MULL of architecture and design website Dezeen.

In contrast, the judges just couldn’t ignore this other contender for the best digital content award.  Created by just two people with next to no budget and just a simple idea, executed perfectly – this piece of content went viral, and then some!  The judges loved the simplicity and clean execution of this content that alongside the staggeringly impressive numbers – this video achieved 48 million views and reached over 101 million people on Facebook.

The JOINT WINNER for best digital content idea is the #MumWins Calm Down Jar video by ELEANOR JONES at lifestyle site goodtoknow.co.uk from Time Inc.

 

AWARD 5 - BEST PICTURE EDITOR / RESEARCHER

The judges said: In these days of shrinking budgets and even less staff, it takes someone really creative to come up with more for less – and this picture editor’s skill and originality really stood out.  Their aptitude to go over-and-above what was required has raised their title’s industry profile even further and has made it a go-to destination for sheer creativity and outstanding vision.

From exclusive photo shoots, idea generation and commissioning of illustrators the breadth of talent this picture editor possesses is even more remarkable when the judges discovered she is a one-woman department.

For making a fantastic impact in her role, we are delighted to reveal the picture editor of the year is JOANNA MORAN from EMPIRE magazine.

 

 

AWARD 6 - BEST SCOOP

The judges said: In a closely contended category, the type of scoops varied from breaking TV news to politics to consumer shock stories,that made them all the harder to judge.

However, after drilling down through the construction of the stories, the sources and the ideas behind them, a clear winner emerged.

Tireless investigative journalism, paired with tenacity to drive out tangible actions and a nose for a great story, made this shortlisted entry stand out from the rest.

Any brand willing to take on the might of the world’s biggest retailer, Amazon would always attract attention, but this time there was so much more at stake.

Not many scoops can claim to save lives, but there is no doubt this one will have done – this report was even cited in parliament calling on the government to ensure standards were met.

So the judges are pleased to announce the WINNER OF THE BEST SCOOP for their reporting on dangerous carbon monoxide alarms is MATT STEVENS for Which?

 

AWARD 7 - BEST PRINT DESIGNER

The judges said: The standard of this category was very high and it was encouraging to see such a wide range of skills and breadth of work. Because of this, the judges felt apart from a winner, there should be a designer whose work was also highly commended.

Words used by the judges to describe this designer’s work included ‘innovative, fresh and exciting’ – especially bearing in mind there is a client to keep happy – in addition to a consumer.

Her excellent art direction created a summery picnic shoot on a rainy day in a London studio, while her pared back, minimal approach to her canapés composition was super chic for her supermarket client.

Therefore we are delighted that Nina Brennan, senior art editor at Tesco magazine is highly commended in this category.

Of the winner the judges said: This designer has not only perfectly encapsulated the look and feel of their title, but has actively augmented it with their creative skills – from classic page design to unique illustration and audience-grabbing infographics.

Such is their aptitude and tireless hard work (over 20 layouts submitted for just one cover concept) that their abilities have been recognised and rewarded by their art director who has given this designer not only his own covers to create for the title, but also opportunities to submit redesigns for the global brand.

The judges especially loved this designer’s cover for the end of the super club Fabric, which was both striking and engaging in its simplicity.

The best print designer is TOM HAVELL from TIME OUT.

  

AWARD 8 - BEST DIGITAL DESIGNER

The judges said: Good quality of design and navigation made this an agenda-setting entry.

This designer has taken 2D elements from the print title and breathes life into them to take their passionate audience on a deeper journey.  He clearly understands the often delicate relationship between print and digital and how to transform content to complement the non-animated page.

The judges felt this designer has real star quality and deserves recognition in an area of design that can be often overlooked.

Therefore the WINNER OF THE BEST DIGITAL DESIGNER CATEGORY is Empire’s OLLY GIBBS.

 

AWARD 9 - BEST STYLIST

The judges said: It’s great to see that fabulous styling is still alive and well – from stills shoots and props to models in exotic locations, this category was simply crammed with entrants and even choosing the six for the shortlist was quite a challenge.  Therefore it will come as no surprise that there is a highly commended stylist as well as a winner in this category.

This entrant showed natural flair for styling by turning affordable high street looks into aspirational designer-style shoots.   However it was her accessories shoot with Battersea rescue kittens that really showed this stylist’s fashion cred, so we are pleased to announce that Chloe Jackson from Look is Highly Commended in the styling category.

Of the winner the Judges said: This stylist completely ‘gets’ their audience, understanding their reader wants to see the clothes from top to toe, that the outfitting and models are age-appropriate and that there is a sense of fun rather than haughty high fashion.

This stylist combines the most accessible models, best-in-class photographers and stunning locations to create simply sumptuous images – all on a miniscule budget.

Her styling is immaculate and inspirational and goes to show that models don’t need to be scowling, pin thin or expensively dressed to create a truly memorable fashion image.

However this stylist’s real skill lies in her ability to transform mass-market clothes into shots that would look at home in a glossy monthly instead of the pages of the weekly title where she works.

It gives us great pleasure to reveal the stylist of the year is CAROLINE BAXTER from WOMAN magazine.

 

AWARD 10 - BEST SUBBING/PRODUCTION TEAM

The judges said: This category showcased some of the finest subbing skills across the industry and the judges spent a huge amount of time to reach a unanimous verdict.

In the end because of the high standards they decided to highly commend one title’s subs for their expertise, diligence and fanatical eye for detail.  The highly commended team is from BBC Focus magazine.

The judges said the winning subs were not only fact checking, re-writing and legally copy, they are also multi-tasking across multiple platforms – from online to print and their weekly apps.  They have also ensured their house style permeates every part of their brand -including crafting and subbing press releases, social media posts, policy reports and even job adverts. For this impressive 360-degree approach the WINNER OF THE BEST SUBBING TEAM IS WHICH?

 

AWARD 11 - BEST ART TEAM

The judges said: There was a wide selection of great design skill on show this year, and to reflect this we have chosen a highly commended art team in addition to a winner.

This team created layouts that perfectly chimes with the needs of its challenging audience. They create the right balance between visuals and typography and went the extra half-mile to ensure the design of the feature didn’t dominate the content. From illustrations to references to popular culture, this team revealed their complete understanding of their youth audience.

It is for these reasons the judges highly commend the art team from The Week Junior.

Of the winning brand the judges said: This brand has such breadth and variety across its design treatments but still feels like a cleverly-crafted product that seamlessly hangs together. The art direction and use of images is second-to-none while the typography is both indulgent and restrained.  The audience of this title have incredibly high expectations and there is never a misstep from the art director and his team.  Their work is agenda-setting in the magazine design arena and shows that amazing fonts plus creative typography plus inspiring images can really equal a super-slick product. The WINNER OF THE ART TEAM OF THE YEAR is ANDREW DIPROSE, PHILL FIELDS & MARY LEES FROM WIRED, Conde Nast Britain.

 

AWARD 12 - BEST SECTION EDITOR / TEAM

The judges said: This brand really knows what their audience wants and delivers it over and over again, and every time they manage to raise the bar just that little bit further.

This team’s work was described by the judges as thorough, accurate, original and insightful.

From revealing an Uber-style private Drs service taking on the NHS to discovering patients’ records that had been lost and then found in car park, this news team always has their eye on the ball and is a go-to source of water-tight stories for the national press and television news.

For sheer professionalism and impactful reporting, the winner of the Best Section Team is SOFIA LIND, ALEX MATTHEWS-KING, CAROLINE PRICE & CAROLYN WICKWARE – THE NEWS TEAM FROM PULSE.

 

AWARD 13 - BEST EDITORIAL ASSISTANT

The judges said: This was a very challenging category to judge thanks to the impressive line- up and it’s reassuring to see our industry is home to so much new talent. For this reason the judges chose to add a highly commended mention, a highly talented all-rounder who has a very bright future ahead of her.  From creating video to curating content, leveraging analytics to writing for native clients, this girl is going places. So we recommend Powder from Time Inc. had better hold on to Eleanor Vousden.

Of the winner the judges said: It takes a well-trusted editorial assistant to get flown to conduct a celebrity interview, but the winner of this award shows he is not only fearless, but knows how to use his initiative. Described by his editor as a ‘tireless source of support’ and ‘a one-man culture desk’, this is the editorial assistant who elbowed his way into a press junket to Cologne and landed an interview with Tim Peake who was about to jet off to the International Space Station. This winner then gave a copy of his title for the astronaut to read while he was ‘away’.

Layered with his natural flair for writing and outstanding insights, as well as scooping a four part interview series with Professor Brian Cox, the ultimate science celeb, the very worthy WINNER OF THE BEST EDITORIAL ASSISTANT goes to JAMES LLOYD FROM BBC FOCUS magazine.

 

AWARD 14 - BEST DEPUTY

The judges said: There was a stand-out winner in this category who simply blew the judges away with her breadth of talents.  It is her epic contribution that keeps her title ahead of its main high profile competitor and ensures the readers keep on coming back.

From overseeing everything from digital alignment, to features content, reader events, new affiliates and even subscription deals – there is nothing that can faze this deputy.

In addition to all this juggling she also secures most of the covers of this title, both arranging the celebrities for shoots and interviewing them herself.

Her editor, Sue James, describes her as having ‘instinctive understanding of the reader’ ‘an ability to inspire the team’ and ‘I greatly value her huge support as my deputy’.

I am delighted to announce the WINNER OF THIS YEAR’S BEST DEPUTY AWARD IS EMMA JUSTICE FROM WOMAN & HOME.