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The Birmingham Press Club, which was established in 1865, is the oldest in the world. Dominic Fisher reports back from this year’s Press Club Midlands Media Awards ceremony which took place on Thursday at the New Bingley Hall.

Lying at the northern edge of the Jewellery Quarter, the New Bingley Hall was an inspired choice for the Press Club awards. Perfectly sized for the 250 guests, the food and service was excellent.

Depending on your perspective, the 2009 Birmingham Press Club awards reflected the sharp realities or great opportunities facing the local media. Is a change of the media guard inevitable?

On the one hand, speeches from Press Club officials Bob Warman and John Lamb lamented the cuts in local newsrooms and called on the assembled to stand firm against the unprecedented challenges that ‘the industry’ faces.

On the other hand, the audience contained more than a smattering of well known local bloggers (such as Jon Bounds and Nick Booth who might take a very different view about the effect of lower barriers to entering the media world that has accompanied the digital age.

Their storming of the barricades was partly due to the creation of some new 21st century award categories – online journalist, digital innovation and online campaigner awards. The amiable Adam Woodyatt (Ian out of Eastenders) was the special guest for the evening.

Birmingham Press Club Awards 2009

Here’s a picture of me (Dominic Fisher) on stage in my blue bow tie (the Ladywood Conservatives table went with a blue theme) with Llewela Bailey and Bob Warman presenting Lucy Tatchell of the Worcester News with an award for scoop of the year.

She broke the story of Dan James, the paralysed rugby player who went to Switzerland for an assisted suicide and also won an award for best newcomer of the year.

The red bucket was for the Gambia holiday raffle in aid of a Gambian charity. No I didn’t win. The full list of award winners is here.



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