The scene is set for a fascinating evening tonight at The Press Awards.
Will The Guardian pick up a haul of prizes for its hacking coverage or will the industry ‘shoot the messenger’?
Will Nick Davies pick up reporter of the year for breaking what was undoubtedly the biggest story of the year – or will The Guardian’s failure to attribute the erroneous “false hope” claim over the hacking of Milly Dowler’s emails cost him the prize?
And in what has been one of the darkest years in recent history for the national press, who will end the evening basking in the limelight after being named newspaper of the year?
Although I was a press awards judge, I didn’t vote on newspaper of the year (and have no insider knowledge). But if asked to nail my colours to the mast I think I’d probably opt for The Times which has been a brave, campaigning paper under the editorship of James Harding and a ‘quality’ in every sense. It has also quietly pulled off quite a coup by attracting more than 100,000 paying digital subscribers.
But recent revelations about the 2009 Nightjack fiasco may have coloured the judges’ thinking, in which case I wouldn’t be surprised if the Daily Mail picks up the prize. It would be a recognition, in part, for its long championing of the plight of the Lawrence family which at last this year resulted in convictions for two racist murderers.
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