The campaigning initiative was selected for two special jury commendations at the international young readers awards, announced in Paris by the World Association of Newspapers today, International Literacy Day.
The judges praised the two-tier drugs initiative, stating: “The project had a commendable two-sided approach of 1) highlighting the problem and 2) providing practical steps, especially for parents, to counteract it.”
They also said it was “laudable that as a result of the supplement a debate highlighting the issue was taken up by the Irish parliament”.
The drugs supplement was subsequently distributed to all secondary schools with the support of the Government.
The Drugs In Ireland project was also honoured in May at the International Newspaper Marketing Association (INMA) Awards in Beverly Hills.
Editor Tim Vaughan and head of marketing Mairead Maher said the awards were international recognition, at the highest level, of the newspaper’s commitment to first rate campaigning journalism allied to, and supported by, innovative marketing and communication.
“The INMA awards are among the most prestigious in the world, awarding outstanding marketing achievements by newspapers in a global context,” said Ms Maher.
Drugs In Ireland came second in the world in two categories: public relations and community service, and readership usage of print newspaper.
The Irish Examiner entry was one of 755 from just under 200 newspapers from 34 countries and was the only Irish newspaper to receive such recognition.
The World Association of Newspapers young reader commendations for Drugs In Ireland will be presented in Amsterdam next month to Irish Examiner news editor John O’Mahony, who initiated the idea and commissioned the content, and senior marketing executive Karen O’Donoghue, who was responsible for the marketing and communication of the project.
* To mark International Literacy Day today and to promote family reading of newspapers, the Irish Examiner is pleased to announce that the first of an engaging special eight-part serialisation for young children, Frannie Learns A Lesson, will be published in next Saturday’s paper.