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December 6, 2016updated 12 Dec 2016 2:41pm

BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg named Journalist of the Year: Full list of 2016 British Journalism Awards winners

By Press Gazette

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg was tonight named Journalist of the Year at the Press Gazette British Journalism Awards, sponsored by Heineken.

She picked up the top prize because, the judges said: “In a tumultuous year she rose to the challenge and made the story of Brexit her own.”

Syrian citizen journalists reporting for Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently were given the Marie Colvin Award. The judges said of this entry: “Given what those people have done and the price they have paid, it would be odd to put anyone ahead of them.”

One of the founders of the site, Abdalaziz Alhamza, travelled to London to pick up the award and received a standing ovation from the assembled journalists.

He said: “Our work shows that we can fight arms with words, and that ultimately is the only way to defeat them, and ISIS knows it. That is why it has killed many of our colleagues both in Syria and even outside of Syria. ISIS is afraid. It is afraid most of one idea: Liberty.”


The Guardian and BBC Panorama (teams pictured below) were both named winners of Investigation of the Year for their work on the Panama Papers scandal.

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The prize for foreign journalism went to Channel 4’s Waad Al-Kateab who is currently trapped in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

The judges said: “Her sensitive, visceral reports from Aleppo showed immense bravery.

“No-one could watch two brothers weeping for their dead sibling in a hospital surgery or her report on the life and death of a simple flower seller and not feel that this is as close as you can get to experiencing the full, immediate, unmediated horror of the Syrian catastrophe.”

Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford, said: “As an industry we face a constant fight for survival – attacked by everyone from Google and Facebook (taking our ads) to the police who have been jailing our sources and spying on our phone records.

“The work on display helps explain why what we do is important – and why it should be cherished and encouraged.

“This event aims to bang the drum for the best of what we do as the British industry which holds everyone else to account.”

Pictures of all the British Journalism Awards winners are available here and can be used for publication (credit: Press Gazette).

Full list of winners:
Local Heroes Award:


Birmingham Mail, Andy Richards, for the campaign to resume the Birmingham pub bombing victims’ inquest

The judges said: “While trawling through archives for the Mail’s 40th anniversary coverage of the Birmingham Pub bombings, Richards realised the inquest into the deaths of the 21 victims had been opened but never completed. Working with victims’ families the Birmingham Mail successfully campaigned for the inquests to be resumed. This was an excellent example of campaigning local reporting at its best: taking an important local issue, backing its readers and having a significant influence on the result.”

Highly commended:

Yellow Advertiser, Charles Thomson, for: Probe into Essex child abuse claimsFourth whistleblower to cooperate with Essex Police review of alleged Shoebury child abuse cover-up and Paedophile at centre of Shoebury review has been convicted 10 times in the last three years

“He worked with a whistleblower to expose depravity and cover-ups. His entry was particularly impressive given the tight editorial resources on a free weekly local newspaper.”

Birmingham Mail, Jeanette Oldham, for: Trust spent £1m treating NHS patients at private clinic run by its own consultants, 7-month x-ray backlog and Schoolgirl abused by 100 men in two years

“She has such a huge-track record of investigative journalism and has maintained her usual high standard yet again this year.”

Business, Finance and Economics Journalism Sponsored by TSB


The Guardian, Simon Goodley, for: Revealed: how Sports Direct effectively pays below minimum wage, A day at ‘the gulag’: what it’s like to work at Sports Direct’s warehouse and Sports Direct warehouse workers to receive back pay

“Simon Goodley’s undercover investigation into life at Sports Direct’s Derbyshire warehouse was business journalism which got results – prompting the company to ensure staff were paid at least the minimum wage and make other concessions. This was great public interest journalism.”

Highly commended:

The Sunday Times, Oliver Shah, for: Close to the rocksBHS on brink as rescue talks fail and My battle with the bullying billionaire

“He built up a relationship with Michael Green over many years and wrote with unrivaled authority on one of the biggest British business stories of the year.”

Wall Street Journal, David Enrich, for: The Unraveling of Tom Hayes

“This was a gripping account of the role of Tom Hayes in the Libor scandal based on in-depth research.”

Specialist Journalism


Health Service Journal patient safety correspondent Shaun Lintern, for: Watchdog resigns over deputy’s sexual harassment cover-up, Investigations launched into Stafford Hospital death ‘cover up‘ and Huge leak reveals BMA plan to ‘draw out’ junior doctors dispute

“Shaun Lintern clearly knows his beat inside out. This was good, investigative journalism which had consequences. His reporting prompted the resignation of the Health Service Ombudsman, forced the health secretary to intervene over poor care which contributed to the death of a child and exposed a plot by junior doctors to drag out their dispute with the government.”

Highly commended: 

The New European

“A brave launch by Archant which cleverly saw there were  16.1m potential readers for a pro-European newspaper and which has successfully served that market by providing strong writing on matter of undoubted public interest.”

Politics Journalism


The Times, Rachel Sylvester, for: Being a mother gives me edge on May—LeadsomAs Labour splits, a new party is emerging and Gove picks cabinet fight over deal with Saudis.

“Rachel Sylvester has an extraordinary ability to get a hard news story out of every interview. Her interview with Andrea Leadsom led her to withdraw from the Tory leadership race and changed the course of British history. She also has fantastic contacts across all the parties and writes shrewd political analysis.”

Highly commended: 

BBC News – Anthony Reuben, Alexis Condon, Tamara Kovacevic, Peter Barnes, Deirdre Finnerty, Beth Sagar-Fenton, Shelley Phelps, Edward Curwen, Rachel Schraer and Sarah Glatte – for Reality Check

Channel 4 News – FactCheck, Patrick Worrall, Georgia Graham and Kieron Bryan, for: Does the EU really cost £350m a weekExpress goes bananas over the EU  and Will prices rise if we leave the EU? 

“The judges would like highly commend both Channel 4’s Factcheck and the BBC’s Reality Check for the important work they did during the referendum campaign in testing the claims made by both sides.”

BBC News, Laura Kuenssberg, for: Andrea Leadsom standing aside in Tory leadership race, Brendan Cox interview and President Xi/David Cameron press conference

“This was an entry which demonstrated her clarity, authority and down to earth common sense reporting on a period of historic political upheaval.”

Sports Journalism sponsored by St Mary’s Twickenham University


Daily Mail, Matt Lawton, for: Golden girl in drug ban drama, Coe ‘misled
MPs over doping at Olympics’ and Now GB cyclist fails drugs test

“This was brave, must-read journalism. Naming a leading British cyclist who had missed drugs tests on the eve the Olympics changed the story of British cycling. Matt Lawton is a sports journalist who is not afraid to investigate his own patch – his access was fantastic and he knows his subject inside out.”

Science and Technology Journalist sponsored by Astellas


The Times, Billy Kenber, for: ‘Extortionate’ prices add £260m to NHS drug billDrug ‘profiteers’ face fines and Huge price rise forces NHS

“Billy Kenber’s investigation into the extortionate prices charged by a small group of entrepreneurs for vital NHS drugs had everything. He spent three months digging then named names and got results, prompting the government to tackle this shocking issue.”

Highly commended: 

The Daily Telegraph, Laura Donnelly, for: Patients ‘punished’ for calling 11125 deaths blamed on NHS 111 scandal and Patients died in 111 ambulance scandal

“This was dogged and determined reporting. Any newspaper would want to have a journalist of this quality on their staff.”

Campaign of the Year sponsored by Bournemouth University


Sunday People, Martyn Halle, for: ‘Go home unless you are dying’, campaign exposing shortcomings at North Middlesex Hospital

“This was a hard-hitting campaign which was relevant to everyone who depends on the NHS for their health. Martin Halle and the Sunday People uncovered serious failings at an NHS trust and stayed with the story until the issues were addressed. This was a particularly impressive achievement for a freelance journalist working without the support of a big team.”

Highly commended:

Daily Mail, Sean Poulter, for: Ban the toxic beads now.

“This was a revelatory campaign because no-one knew about these dreadful pollutants. The Daily Mail has put this issue at the top of the news agenda making a powerful case for micro beads to be banned.”

Popular Journalism


The Sun, Dan Jones, for: Bung charity’s £47m OAP deals, Sun victory as Age UK caves in and Taking the OAP: Charity punts dearer power to old

“This was an investigation which revealed how Age UK was making millions by selling pensioners energy and insurance deals which were not the best value on the market. It showed how a tabloid newspaper can have more positive impact than any other media when it goes for it with a story.”

Scoop of the Year


Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore, for: My secret father, DNA tests reveal Archbishop of Canterbury’s astonishing family past

“A great story beautifully projected by the Telegraph. Charles Moore combined tact, charm and sensitivity to persuade the archbishop to cooperate with him on the article. The result was a story which corrected the historical record and prompted a national debate about family and parentood.”

Highly Commended:

Sky News, Stuart Ramsay, for: IS Files

“A hugely important story, compellingly told.”

Photojournalism sponsored by The Mega Agency

Mail on Sunday, Philip Ide:


“This was photography which told the British people what was going at a crucial point in the Brexit story. Philip Ide would have to wait for hours to get capture these images but the result was a piece of journalism which bore witness to history.”

Digital Innovation sponsored by NEWSTAG

Winner: for: 6X9 – A virtual experience of solitary confinement

“Crusading journalism at its 21st century best, and very powerful storytelling indeed. The use of virtual reality was a genuine innovation and was accompanied by video, podcasts, personal narratives and long-form journalism to beautifully convey this story.”

Highly commended:

Private Eye, Christian Eriksson and Richard Brooks, for: Selling England (and Wales) by the pound – UK tax haven map

“A fantastic piece of data journalism which used digital techniques to add a new dimension to the story.”

Investigation of the Year sponsored by Transparency International


The Guardian for: The Panama Papers

“The Guardian revealed secret billion dollar deals linked to Vladimir Putin and David Cameron’s links to secret offshore fund. This was another vast investigation by The Guardian which shone a light in some of the darkest corners of international finance.”

BBC Panorama – Richard Bilton, James Oliver, Jonathan Coffey, David Thompson, Andrew Head for: Tax Havens of the Rich and Powerful Exposed (also on the Panama Papers)

“The BBC exposed a billion dollar money laundering ring in Russia and a criminal conspiracy with links to Vladimir Putin. It also showed how Mossack Fonseca helped launder the proceeds of the Brinks Matt robbery and it prompted the resignation of Iceland’s prime minister by revealing his secret offshore company. They managed to break down a vast investigation into a series of compelling stories which had global impact.”

Highly commended:

The Sunday Times, Oliver Shah, for: Close to the rocksBHS on brink as rescue talks fail and My battle with the bullying billionaire

“Oliver Shah deserves great credit for exposing Green’s character and lifestyle and showing him up for the man he is.”

New Journalist of the Year sponsored by Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy


Louise Callaghan, The Sunday Times, for: Turks crush coupCold, held like cattle, refugees grow sick in Greek island ‘jail’ and How ISIS Slaughtered our city

“These were three compelling pieces from Istanbul, Lesbos and Berlin. The first cut through the chaos of the early hours of the Turkish coup, the second highlighted the cruel impact of a realpolitik deal between Turkey and the EU on refugees and the third went from Berlin to the hell of Raqqa via a group using digital journalism to fight back against ISIS.”

Foreign Affairs Journalism


Channel 4 News, Waad Al-Khatib, for: A life in the day of AleppoThe last flower-seller of Aleppo and Mayissa’s story

“Waad Al-Khatib’s sensitive, visceral reports from Aleppo showed immense bravery. No could watch two brothers weeping for their dead sibling in a hospital surgery or her report on the life and death of a simple flower seller and not feel that this is as close as you can get to experiencing the full, immediate, unmediated horror of the Syrian catastrophe.”

Journalist of the Year sponsored by Gorkana Jobs

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg

“Laura Kuenssberg deserves this prize for the sheer volume and scope of reporting on some of the biggest changes ever in British politics when she was just into the job of BBC political editor. In a tumultuous year she rose to the challenge and made the story of Brexit her own. In the days and weeks after the Brexit vote she seemed to be everywhere. Her moving interview with Brendan Cox showed sensitivity and compassion. She lead the way on reporting the fast-moving developments in the Tory leadership race. And she did our profession proud when she put the Chinese President on the spot about human rights abuses with the one question allowed to the British media at his London press conference.”

The Marie Colvin Award (supported by Reporters Without Borders)


Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.

“This year’s recipients are a group of young men from Syria who began publishing online in 2014 as a form of peaceful challenge to the human rights abuses being perpetrated by ISIS in their city. They became the only media balance to the slick ISIS propaganda coming out of Raqqa and the most read source of news about the area. Hundreds were arrested for merely liking their Facebook page. Their friends and family have been murdered by ISIS as a way of trying to stop them from publishing. Several members of the group have been themselves murdered by ISIS. One of the British Journalism Awards judges said: Given what those people have done and the price they have paid, it would be odd to put anyone ahead of them.”

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