New award honours late journalist

(L-R) BBC Radio Lancashires editor John Clayton, Steve Beckers wife Kath Becker, Award winner Lewis Downes and UCLan broadcast journalism lecturer Fiona Steggles.

(L-R) BBC Radio Lancashires editor John Clayton, Steve Beckers wife Kath Becker, Award winner Lewis Downes and UCLan broadcast journalism lecturer Fiona Steggles.

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University bosses have honoured the memory of a broadcast journalist who died suddenly earlier this year.

The Preston-based University of Central Lancashire has awarded the inaugural Steve Becker Award for Radio, as a tribute to a much-loved BBC radio jourbnaslist.

The award was set up after the death of Steve Becker, a renowned and creative radio journalist from the county who worked at BBC Radio Lancashire for many years until he died in March on his way to a job.

New journalism graduate Lewis Downes is the award’s first recipient and was presented with the award by Steve’s wife Kath and colleagues from BBC Radio Lancashire.

The 21-year-old was chosen for his news package about pub closures around the North West.

He was also awarded a three week-long placement at BBC Radio Lancashire followed by a week working for the BBC at Media City.

Lewis, who graduated from UCLan in the summer with a first-class degree and has since completed his placement, said: “It is a privilege and honour to win this award.

“Steve was an integral member of the Radio Lancashire team with a highly regarded reputation.

“I wanted to make sure I did my absolute best during my placement to not only show what I was capable of, but to show how proud I am to have been the winner.”

Steve’s wife Kath said: “Steve would have been thrilled by this award and the quality of the entries.

“The family is pleased to have his passion for the job recognised and remembered in this way.”

UCLan broadcast journalism lecturer Fiona Steggles said: “Lewis is a worthy recipient of the first Steve Becker Award.

“The judges particularly liked the creativity of his 
entry.”

Current BA (Hons) journalism student Georgia Macey was the runner-up.