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Suffolk Gazette Awards 2015

Today we can reveal the winners of the most prestigious awards of 2015 – the sought-after Suffolk Gazette Awards.

The sparkling trophies were launched to recognise the best contributions to this newspaper during the course of the year, and also because we never win any of our own.

No expense spared: The Suffolk Gazette Awards

Most Gullible Comment Writer of the Year – Jason
This was a tough one because so many got confused between fact and fiction. When we revealed a German WW2 soldier had been found alive hiding in a Suffolk forest, the comment section filled up with people thinking they were alone in exposing the spoof.

Tom wrote: “He should be wearing a Luftwaffe uniform and definitely not a helmet but a flight cap/ headgear. And the possibility that a man could live in a foreign ‘enemy’ woodland that long without A) surrendering, or B) realising the war was over is almost certainly improbable. As someone also mentioned it would be on national television with a story so important to history as this. I’m sorry but it’s just not probable.”

And when we reported that a killer Great White Shark was stalking the River Deben, one or two, like reader ‘J’, got cross: “This has to be a hoax, and get more evidence than just using a google image.”

Spotted: A Russian submarine off Felixstowe

But the hands-down winner was Jason, who took great offence to our brilliant exclusive about the Russians sending a submarine to spy on Felixstowe. He wrote to us in quite a strop: “There is no such type of submarine as an Austin Maestro.

“Akula class, Borie or Yansen class are all active but you have fabricated this story. It seems odd that there are islands in the background (of the photo) and the ship is German. The perspective on the sub is too low to have been taken two miles away.”

And he went on (and on): “None of the Russian active subs have this conning tower configuration, not to mention to enter our waters would be an act of war. Oh, and you have plagiarised your photo which comes from airbus website for defence. So I hope you get the sack because any reverse image software will bring up this photo on many web pages. Best check your sources in the future. Oh and the sub is a u209 of the Columbian and German navies not a ballistic missile sub.”

His comment was so detailed and well researched that it warranted a reply from the Suffolk Gazette Editor…

Simple explanation: The Editor, who was not sacked, fires back at Jason

Most Gullible Foreign Media Organisation of the Year – POWNED!, Netherlands

Suffolk Gazette stories routinely get picked up by other so-called ‘proper’ media organisations and republished as fact. Rupert Murdoch’s news outlets in Australia are particular culprits, as is the Down Under version of the Guardian.

But one foreign news organisation has been exposed twice. Step forward POWNED!, a Dutch news website which was first caught out by running our story about a Suffolk boy stealing a penguin from a zoo. More recently it ran our story about the old lady getting stuck in a public loo for four days, where she settled down to knit a scarf, a “story” which also made the UPI international news wires.

knitting foreign
You knits: Suffolk Gazette catches out foreign media

Most Gullible Domestic Media Organisation of the Year – Farm Business magazine

The old lady in the lav story caught most of the British media out as well, with the Mirror, Daily Express, Age UK (which is old enough to know better) – and even ITV News catching a cold. Hats off to The Sun, which initially believed the story but at least checked its facts first because it rang a local correspondent asking him to track down Gladys Phillips, the elderly toilet victim.

Daily Express: wool pulled over its eyes

But the winner, for publishing a ridiculous story without checking any facts at all, was the prestigious Farm Business magazine. Worse still, it was in its print edition, so it couldn’t exactly remove it very easily (like the Daily Star did after making the same mistake on its website). The story in question? It was the Suffolk Gazette’s brilliant Suffolk man has sex with 450 tractors exclusive

Cereal offender: Farm Business got caught out

Bah, Humbug! Reader Award – Mick Smith

We’re fine with people getting fed up with us – if everyone loved the Suffolk Gazette, the Editor would be a millionaire.

However, one negative comment on our Suffolk Gazette Facebook page particularly tickled our fancy, given that the writer, Mick Smith, took time out from his busy Christmas Eve schedule to send us his good wishes…

Bah, Humbug!: Festive cheer from Mick

Most Forgiving People of 2015 Award – Everyone in Norfolk

You’d think the people of Norfolk would hate the Suffolk Gazette – after all, so many stories poke fun at our six-fingered, webbed-feet, terrible football team neighbours.

But the county has shown a quite remarkable sense of humour by actually taking the Suffolk Gazette to heart. We have loads of readers from Norfolk, and many of them contribute positively to our vibrant Facebook page community.

We salute you, Norfolk. But only today. Normal service will resume shortly.

Stick it up Uranus: Norfolk’s NASA probe

Best Pub of The Year Award – The Greyhound

By presenting this award to our official corporate headquarters, we’re secretly hoping the Greyhound in Ipswich finally gets round to placing an advert in the Suffolk Gazette.

Cheers: Suffolk Gazette’s Corporate HQ

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