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December 11, 2012

British Journalism Awards 2012 showcase: New Journalist of the Year finalists

By Camilla Turner

Press Gazette British Journalism Awards New Journalist of the Year finalists for 2012.

Winner: Emma Slater (BBC Panorama/The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

Emma Slater was named New Journalist of the Year, for journalists who have been in the trade for three years or less. 

Her first submission was an investigation into the highly secretive and corrupt world of criminal informants. She examined legislation that allows ‘supergrasses’ to have sentences slashed in return for giving evidence against their co-defendants in serious criminal cases. "Return of the Supergrass" aired on BBC’s Panorama, accompanied by a spread in the Independent

Slater's second submission was an investigation into the Iranian television channel Press TV, which had been broadcasting false reports of drone strikes in Somalia by the US. Following her investigation for the Guardian, Press TV ceased this practice. It no longer broadcasts in the UK.

Slater also submitted a Telegraph article which was based on her research into the US drone war in Yemen, also for The Bureau.

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Slater has been working as a journalist for three years. After graduating from a Masters in Investigative Journalism at City University in September 2009, she spent two years working at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Emma then spent three months at BBC Panorama. She currently works for Channel 4 Dispatches.

She told her former employers at the Bureau: “I am absolutely thrilled and honoured.

"The award is mostly down to guidance, encouragement and help from Iain Overton and Rachel Oldroyd at the Bureau, and Stephen Scott at the BBC.”

Judges were looking for compelling and revelatory journalism that is both interesting to the public and in the public interest.

Judges said: “Emma’s story was all about big stories and big targets. She’s a big issue journalist. Her piece in The Independent on the return of the supergrass was simply written, but very well written dealing with a complicated story.”


Charlie Cooper (The Independent)

Charlie Cooper submitted an article about the “silent epidemic” of child malnutrition in London. Another of his articles was about “freegans” who live off food thrown that has been discarded by supermarkets.

Cooper also sent in his article about calls for the re-investigation of the notorious unsolved murder of Surjit Singh Chhokar, the "Scottish Stephen Lawrence".

Halina Watts (The People)

Halina Watts submitted an investigation into a ruthless gang operating at the UK borders, who were smuggling fugitives out of Britain – this was so that they could get hold of EU citizen papers from elsewhere on the Continent, then return to Britain legally. 

Watts also sent in a piece about squalid households nearby the London 2012 Olympic village, and an an expose of illegal immigrants being sold NHS numbers in order to get free health care in the UK while remaining undetected.

Sarah Morrison (The Independent on Sunday)

Sarah Morrison submitted articles about an A4e back to work scandal, the best and worst places to be a woman, and the Leveson Inquiry’s new focus on bribery of public officials. 

Kevin Rawlinson (The Independent)

Kevin Rawlinson submitted articles about protesters from the Occupy movement discovering a plain clothed cop in the midst, the English Defence League’s attempt to storm local elections and the possibility of Google chiefs facing MPs over their tax avoidance schemes.


Niall McCracken (The Detail)

Niall McCracken submitted an article about abuse of vunerable adults in care homes and an investigation into the pseudonomas outbreak – a hospital infection which has been killing babies.

McCracken also sent in a series of articles into dementia in Northern Ireland. 



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