Honour for inspiring journalist who helps shape careers and the future of local news

Behind Local News
Behind Local News UK
2 min readMar 4


Paul Derrick

Paul Derrick, from the Bury Free Press and Suffolk News, has been honoured for his outstanding contribution to journalism training in the newsroom with the NCTJ’s chairman’s award at the organisation’s annual awards.

His editor Barry Peters said that Paul, in his role as head of multimedia news, has been at the forefront of the continued development of the county’s newest website, all the time giving his trainees time, support and feedback so they can flourish.

John Ryley, head of Sky News, presented the award to Paul in the absence of NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher at the Awards for Excellence ceremony, sponsored by News UK, earlier this week.

John said: “This year’s chairman’s award winner is a representative of the hundreds of unsung heroes and heroines in the newsroom.

“These are the people who go above and beyond to support their trainees, often quietly, providing encouragement, a sounding board and reinforcement of what’s really important in the day-to-day, bread and butter of news gathering and reporting.

“It’s not usually in the job description. There’s no reward or recognition. But there is pride in seeing rookies transformed into professional senior journalists who go on to achieve great things in their careers.

“Paul Derrick is our newsroom hero.”

Paul did his NCTJ training in Sheffield under the direction of Liz Nice, before his formative reporting years in Scarborough under Ed Asquith’s editorship. He joined editor Barry Peters and the team at Bury 13 years ago.

Nominating Paul for this award, trainee, Tamika Green, said: “I am nominating Paul for this award because he is a key figure in the newsroom, taking on a mentoring role for all the trainees on the team, whilst also carrying out his job as head of multimedia news for Suffolk News and the Bury Free Press.

“Paul is always patient and finds time to answer anyone’s questions. He often stops what he’s doing to read through stories that me or the other trainees are unsure about and give feedback both for the story at hand and beyond.

“Paul genuinely wants all the trainees to be the best they possibly can, and tries to instil self-confidence in us.

“I would like him to see that his hard work has been recognised and that we are grateful for his help and support.

“Everyone is in awe of how Paul balances all the demands of the newsroom whilst taking a major role in the training of journalists.”

You can read about the NCTJ Awards in full here.