Making a Difference

Making a Difference campaign highlights the power of local media titles to campaign for positive change in the communities they serve. Below is a showcase of the strongest editorial campaigns from the past year which have been shortlisted for the Making a Difference award.

Voting is now closed but you can still browse the campaigns. The Making a Difference winner will be announced by News Media Association vice chairman Henry Faure Walker at the Society of Editors Regional Press Awards on Friday (17 May).  

Making a Difference

The Sentinel Stoke

The paper relentlessly covered the search for Ryan Evans, a teenager, who was last seen 'in distress' while swimming in a lake with two friends. Three days later Ryan’s body was found. The Sentinel staffed the search scene until 11pm every night and from 5.30am each morning and produced a live blog which was republished at key times.

They wanted to ensure there was one quick, easy way for people to get updates on a story which brought the city together. The sensitive handling of the coverage meant the paper was invited to a meeting with the police and family liaison officer to plan the vigil.

The family were too distressed to speak to any other media but Ryan’s  dad Glynn gave an interview to the Sentinel’s Editor because he appreciated the sensitive handling of the search for his son.

The paper later worked with Mr Evans on a SwimSafer campaign which saw 1,000 children receive lessons and coaching about the dangers of swimming in open water.

A family member wrote to us: "I just want to thank you on behalf of all Ryan's family for the way you have dealt with keeping everyone informed whilst helping to keep our family away from any limelight. You truly have been fantastic."