THE Guardian was a winner in one category and highly commended in another at last night’s O2 Media Awards for the north west.

Up against titles from across the region, the Guardian won an ‘O2 Stand Out’ award for its coverage of the Manchester Arena attack and the resignation of George Osborne as MP for Tatton.

The team was also highly commended in the ‘Most Memorable’ category, while sports writer Andrew Simpson was highly commended for his ‘intensely proud’ and dedicated grassroots work.

Awards were presented by BBC Breakfast’s Louise Minchin and O2’s Dave Massey at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday, November 9.

Reporter Ned Bristow said: “It’s a tremendous honour to be recognised for our hard work over the past year.

“These are two example of our commitment to responsible, sensitive and accurate reporting on behalf of our readers.

“Thursday’s awards were dominated by reports from May’s atrocities, and it was a privilege to hear from the survivors and emergency services who ensured some good came out of a terrible event.”

The Guardian was the first publication to help launch the search for Holmes Chapel schoolgirl Nell Jones in the hours after the attack on May 22, and produced pages of coverage of the community’s heart-warming response to her tragic death.

When MP and former Chancellor George Osborne resigned as MP after June’s snap election was called, the Guardian was the first paper in the country – along with his new employers the London Evening Standard – to report his decision, bringing readers an exclusive interview in the following days.

Dave Massey said: “The judges felt that the Knutsford Guardian had produced two exclusive stories, which in other years would have won an O2 Award in other categories.

“Judges decided it had been an exceptional year for a dedicated young team and wanted to mark it with this O2 Award.”

The ceremony saw other such as the Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo, BBC and ITV pick up awards.

Nicola Green, director of corporate affairs at O2, said: “This was an unprecedented year of news events across the north west.

"The awards demonstrate the importance and value of the regional media in our communities.

“We were honoured to host some of the families and victims of the Manchester Arena attack and humbled to hear the stories of community champions who make such a difference to the lives of others.”