Hall of Fame accolade for the EDP's editor

EDP Editor Peter Franzen has been selected to join the journalism Hall of Fame set up to celebrate the 40th anniversary of UK Press Gazette, the national magazine for journalists.

EDP Editor Peter Franzen has been selected to join the journalism Hall of Fame set up to celebrate the 40th anniversary of UK Press Gazette, the national magazine for journalists.

Press Gazette set out to find 40 men and women who had made a significant contribution to regional journalism during the last four decades.

A panel of judges, made up of some of the most respected names working in journalism today, wanted the Hall of Fame to reflect the different skills that make up regional journalism.

The long list they considered included not only editors but photographers, reporters, columnists, production journalists and even law experts whose particular brilliance shone brightly enough for them to be included.

The Top 40 list was revealed at an awards ceremony held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in Hyde Park, London.

Franzen, 59, was one of the few working editors among the 40 chosen for the honour.

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Ian Reeves, Editor of Press Gazette, commented: “Is this because we halo our predecessors rather than our peers or is it that today's editors are less inclined to put their heads above the parapet?

“Maybe it was because the panel were uncertain, as they were only part way through their tenure, how history would judge them.”

Editor of the EDP for the last 14 years, Franzen was cited for “transforming an old-fashioned broadsheet into the first compact newspaper”.

The comment attached to his inclusion in the Hall of Fame says: “Determined and sometimes direct, Franzen blew the cobwebs out of the Eastern Daily Press to build it into England's largest-selling regional morning paper.

“He positions the EDP as the hub of the community, and during his editorship has encouraged a series of very successful local and international campaigns - ranging from setting up a £1m endowment to help carers in Norfolk, to saving babies in Sudan and establishing homes for children in Sierra Leone, Romania and Sarajevo.”

Last year, Franzen was awarded the OBE for his services to journalism.

Commenting on his inclusion in the Hall of Fame, Franzen said: “I'm flattered to be included alongside such newspaper greats as Harold Evans, possibly the greatest editor of all time, and Bob James who helped train me when I entered journalism.”