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The Drum Online Media Awards: Evening Standard web chief on awarding i's Oly Duff with chair award

The I newspaper’s editor, Oly Duff has been awarded the Chair’s Award at The Drum’s Online Media Awards.

The award was given by the chair of the jury, digital editor-in-chief of the Evening Standard, David Tomchak, during an online ceremony that took place to name this year’s winners. The ceremony also saw accolades awarded to Channel 4, The Guardian, and Sky News, among others.

“It was a straightforward choice,” said Tomchak when explaining his verdict. He said, “Duff has been doing great work for the last two years at The I, and over the past 12 months its been doing better than ever before. A lot of that is down to Duff's leadership and what he has done is feed into that growth.

There has been continuity across print, digital publications, and also on social media. It is doing a great job of getting in with a younger audience, which is always hard to do, and a lot of that is down to his leadership. The brand itself is great, the content is great and without him, it wouldn’t be what it is.”

Revealing why he chose a person over any coverage or team nominated this year, Tomchak added: ”The awards more widely have recognised what has been really good in the industry over the past 12 months. There is great diversity in how things have been awarded, and I wanted to create a balance in what was being awarded across the industry.

”It’s not that there wasn’t a great team, platform, or campaign that didn’t merit the award, but most of what was deserving managed to get over the line and claim an award in another category. There’s not an editor of the year award or a leader of the year award – so it felt like the right thing to do.”

When he was asked about any media trends he spotted in the work he reviewed for this year, Tomchak spoke of the level of quality around coverage of environmentalism and sustainability:

“It was impressive to see that type of narrative and that that story which is so important to us is really cutting through now, and that people are paying attention to it and making sure that good quality interrogative journalism was happening around that subject which was good to see.”

Finally, Tomchak offered a few words of advice to reporters and editors working through the coronavirus pandemic, and who are seeing their own media companies suffer due to a loss in revenue: “Hang in there and do your best to try and keep doing what we do. There is a real threat to quality journalism due to the threat the global economy is facing… keep doing what you… the industry will survive.”

Find the full list of winners for The Drum Online Media Awards in the results story.

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