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Shetland News shortlisted for UK award

LOCAL website Shetland News has been shortlisted in the UK-wide regional press awards run by the Society of Editors.

The small team that run the news service are up against major regional titles serving large urban populations for the title Website of the Year.

The achievement comes hard on the heels of winning the best digital media award at the Highlands and Islands Media Awards in February.

Now they face much stronger competition in the form of Cambridge News, Wales Online, Liverpool Post and Echo and Manchester Evening News.

Shetland News is run by local journalists Pete Bevington and Hans J Marter supported by webmaster Clement Duncan, advertising director Chloe Mackie and administration assistant Susan Boardman.

Bevington said: “We are somewhat taken aback at having been shortlisted for the UK regional news website of the year.

“It was one thing winning the Highlands and Islands award in February, but to be up there with really big newspaper websites in Manchester and Liverpool, Wales and Cambridge, is another thing altogether.

“To say we are chuffed would be an understatement.”

Marter added that it felt completely “unreal” to be recognised at this level.

“Seeing the name Shetland News printed alongside such massive regional titles felt like an award in itself.

“We are a micro news site with between 30,000 and 40,000 unique users a month, compared to the Manchester Evening News, which has two million.”

Judges had to work their way through more than 600 entries to come up with shortlists of five contenders for each of the 22 different categories.

Society of Editors executive director Bob Satchwell said: “These awards reflect and spotlight the tremendous journalism that can be found every day or every week across the UK in regional and local newspapers that represent their readers and serve their communities so well.”

The winners will be announced during a lunchtime awards ceremony at the Savoy Place, in London, on 17 May.

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