Michael Gillard of The Sunday Times has been awarded the prestigious Journalist of the Year award at the second annual British Journalism Awards.
More than 200 attended the awards at the Stationers’ Hall in London last night.
The judges unanimously voted for Gillard’s 11-year investigation into gangster David Hunt which even led to a High Court victory.
The award was the second success of the night for Gillard after he also scooped Investigation of the Year.
The judges said Gillard had particularly stiff competition from the Guardian with theiSnowden files revelations as well as Andrew Norfolk’s ongoing investigation into sex grooming.
Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford said: “The judges felt that Gillard edged this prize because of the skill, determination and bravery it took to see this story through.
“The Sunday Times succeeded where the collected forces of law enforcement in this country had failed – defeating Hunt in a court of law and obtaining a measure of justice for his victims.”
Unfortunately, Gillard could not attend the ceremony as he was in South America on assignment. He also cannot attend public events in London for safety reasons.
The event was supported by Santander, Astellas, The Wellcome Trust, Syria Relief, the Hippodrome Casino and Air France KLM.
The late Richard Beeston received the special Marie Colvin award for raising the reputation of journalism and providing inspiration for fellow reporters.
Beeston died in May of this year aged 50. However, the former foreign editor at the Times did not allow bouts of chemotherapy to prevent him from reporting from the front line in Syria. He exposed Saddam Hussien’s gassing of Kurdish civilians in 1998 and ethnic cleansing by Serb forces in Bosnia during the early 1990s.
New Journalist of the Year was won by Patrick Kingsley from The Guardian who has been reporting from Egypt since January 2013.
According to the judges: “He wrote the dissection of a massacre in a model way – it’s a great piece of reconstruction that leads to revelation.”
Tom Bergin from Reuters was awarded Business, Finance and Economics Journalist of the Year, however Sarah O’Connor of the Financial Times received special commendation for her investigation into Amazon. They described her work as “some good old-fashioned shoe leather reporting.”
Foreign Affairs Journalist of the Year was Hala Jaber of the Sunday Times.
The judges said: “Her piece about the Assad regime general was one of the few pieces of journalism that tried to get us into the mind of the government side of the conflict – and did so critically.”
Richard Pohle of The Times won Photojournalist of the Year for images which included a shot of British soldiers taking cover at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.
Joe Murphy of the Evening Standard won Political Journalist of the Year for writing three genuine exclusives, including a revelation that David Cameron was backing gay marriage.
Innovation of the Year was won by The Guardian for GuardianWitness.
Ponsford told the assembled guests: “One of the judges said they had downloaded the app and they were using it every day. They felt it brought citizen journalism and user-generated content to a new level by improving engagement, sourcing great content and doing so in a way that made money for the paper through sponsorship.”
Campaign of the Year was another success for the Sunday Times with Safe Weekend Care coverage winning the award. The series of stories called for a safe seven-day NHS.
According to the judges: “This campaign was well presented, coordinated and presented from beginning to end. It was backed up by great reporting and research and has succeeded in getting the problem addressed at the highest level.“
The Breaking News Award was won by Channel 4 News and Dispatches for their coverage of the Plebgate affair.
Their tenacity in reporting the fallout forced the Metropolitan Police to reopen their investigation and led to one officer being charged in connection with the case.
The judges also praised Dispatches for a separate investigation along with The Guardian into police spying into the Stephen Lawrence family.
David Conn of the Guardian was awarded Sports Journalist of the Year, beating off competition from the Independent, City AM and The Telegraph.
According to the judges: “All his stories were about some form of corruption in sport. He delves beyond the glitzy veneer of modern football to hold the game’s gilded elite to account.”
Meanwhile, Science and Technology Journalist of the Year was won by Robin McKie of The Observer.
The judges said: “He goes for the biggest subjects and makes technical issues compelling with his approachable style of writing. They were particularly impressed by his piece on controversial GM crop Golden Rice which it is claimed could save millions for blindness.”
Commenting on the awards, Ponsford said: “After two years in which 61 UK journalists have been arrested, and in which press ethics has been an endless source of debate, we think it’s never been more important to trumpet the positive contribution that journalism makes to the country.
“They remind us what a great business this is and why it is more than just a business.”
Full list of finalists
Business Finance and Economics Journalist of the Year – sponsored byAstellas
Tom Bergin, Reuters
Stephen Grey, Reuters
Sarah O'Connor, Financial Times
Laura Kuenssberg, ITV News
John Gapper, Financial Times
David Enrich, The Wall Street Journal Europe
Breaking News Award
Channel 4 News: Plebgate – Plebs, lies and videotape
Exaro, the Murdoch recording
The Independent (Tom Harper), blue-chip hacking revelations
The Observer (Catherine Deveney), UK’s top cardinal accused of ‘inappropriate acts’ by priests
The Sunday Times (Insight), Generals for hire
The Times (Anthony Loyd), Revealed: tragic victims of Syria’s nerve gas war
Campaign of the Year – sponsored by Air France KLM
Child sexual exploitation, The Times
Fight for April, The Sun
Ladder for London, London Evening Standard
Safe Weekend Care, The Sunday Times
Wedding for terminally ill cancer sufferer, Scunthorpe Telegraph
Westminster for Sale, The Sunday Times
Foreign Affairs Journalist of the Year
Anthony Loyd, The Times
Hala Jaber, The Sunday Times
Katrina Manson, The Financial Times
Kim Sengupta, The Independent
Patrick Cockburn, The Independent
Richard Lloyd Parry, The Times
Investigation of the Year
The Snowden Files, The Guardian
Sins of our Fathers, BBC Scotland
Plebgate – Plebs, Lies and Videotape, Channel 4 Dispatches
Grooming scandal, Andrew Norfolk, The Times
David Hunt (The Untouchable), Michael Gillard, The Sunday Times
Cancer surgeon with high death rates, Jeanette Oldham, Birmingham Mail
New Journalist of the Year (for journalists who have been in the industry for three years or less)
Alex Ralph, The Times
Fiona O’Cleirigh, Exaro News
Maeve McClenaghan, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
Patrick Kingsley, The Guardian
Sarah Morrison, The Independent
Simon Murphy, The Mail on Sunday
Photojournalist of the Year
Jeremy Selwyn, London Evening Standard
Mark Scott, The Sentinel
Oli Scarff, Getty Images
Richard Pohle, The Times
Suzanne Plunkett, Thomson Reuters
Politics Journalist of the Year
Amelia Gentleman, The Guardian
Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
Joe Murphy, London Evening Standard
Neil Elkes, Birmingham Post and Mail
Steve Richards, The Independent
Jonathan Calvert and Heidi Blake, The Sunday Times Insight team
Journalism Innovation of the Year
360 degree interactive camera, Lewis Whyld
GuardianWitness, The Guardian
Ooh-Ar augmented reality platform (as used in The Sentinel and Bristol Post)
The Brixton Bugle and Brixton Blog
Voices in Danger, The Independent
Sports Journalist of the Year – sponsored by the Hippodrome Casino
Christian Sylt, freelance for City AM and The Independent
David Conn, The Guardian
Ian Herbert, The Independent
Luke Edwards, Telegraph Media Group
Mark Ogden, Telegraph Media Group
Sam Wallace, The Independent
Science and Technology Journalist of the Year – sponsored by theWellcome Trust
Robin McKie, The Observer
Pallab Ghosh, BBC
Leslie Hook, Financial Times
Helen Thomson, New Scientist
Gareth Iacobucci, British Medical Journal
Andrew Gregory, Daily Mirror
The judges for the 2013 British Journalism Awards were:
George Brock, former managing editor of The Times and head of journalism at City University (and a Liveryman of the Stationers’ Company)
Lori Miles, former editor of Mizz, Chat, Take a Break and the London Evening News
Kevin Marsh, former editor of Today and the BBC College of Journalism
Peter Preston, editor of The Guardian from 1975 to 1995
John Dale, fomerly of The Observer, Daily Mail and editor of Take a Break for 20 years. Ten-time BSME Awards winner
Liz Gerard, former chief sub-editor of The Times with 40 years experience in journalism – author of the SubScribe blog
Fiona Fox, chief executive of the Science Media Centre
Alan Geere, former editor of titles including The Tribune (USA), the Trinidad Express and the Northcliffe Media South East series
John Mair, former BBC producer and editor of 10 books on journalism
Robin Morgan, former Sunday Times Magazine editorPeter Cole, emeritus professor of journalism at Sheffield University, former deputy editor of The Guardian and founder editor of the Sunday Correspondent
- Ian Reeves, former editor of Press Gazette now director of learning at the University of Kent journalism department
Paul Charman, head of journalism at the London College of Communications
- Dominic Ponsford, editor of Press Gazette
The British Journalism Awards 2013 is sponsored by: