Island Echo has been highly commended for a prestigious national industry award as part of newsawards 2020.

The Newspaper Awards were established in 1997 and rebranded as newsawards in 2015. They are the only such awards dedicated to celebrating the best in news media print, technology and business innovation across the country.

Although the glitz and glam ceremony in London was cancelled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the winners and runners up in 6 categories have now been announced.

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Island Echo has received a ‘highly commended’ for the ICNN Independent Community Website of the Year award, sponsored by Google News Initiative. This award is new for 2020 and comes as part of a partnership with the ever-growing Independent Community News Network.

Judges said of Island Echo:

“A very successful site with great ambition and growth plans. Investment in innovation is clearly paying off”.

The title was scooped by Birmingham Updates, who are noted for having short and snappy stories with smart revenue generation.

Darren Toogood, Editor and Publisher of Island Echo, says:

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“To receive a high commendation in a national awards competition is absolutely fantastic and I am thrilled that the judges rated Island Echo so highly.

“We have been publishing Isle of Wight news for over 8 years now but the most challenging time has come in the past 3 months or so. The coronavirus pandemic has been incredibly draining but also rewarding, with new visitor number records being set and more news than ever before being published. To receive such positive news during this time of uncertainty is a real boost.

“Congratulations to Birmingham Updates for their win – it’s well deserved!”

This commendation comes just 8 months after Island Echo was crowned the IW Chamber Micro Business of the Year 2019.

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There are over 300 independent community news publications in the UK and Ireland. The majority of these titles, including Island Echo, are run by individuals or small teams producing news content of important community value.

A full list of winners can be found at



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