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Financial Times, Buzzfeed and The Guardian among big winners at Society of Editors Press Awards 2018

By Charlotte Tobitt

Buzzfeed UK was named Website of the Year at the 2018 Society of Editors Press Awards last night, as the Financial Times and Guardian both won big.

The FT took home the top honours as it was named Newspaper of the Year, ten years since it last won the award.

Editor Lionel Barber, who accepted the prize at the event in the London Hilton, called it “a tribute to quality journalism”.

He said: “We have worked hard on deep original reporting all around the world in print and digital forms. I want to thank all colleagues who make the FT what it is.”

The judges said of the paper: “The Financial Times had an outstanding year and it continues to be an authoritative and global must-read.

“The paper’s strikingly successful business model is underpinned by high quality journalism – a great feat of management and organisation as well as editorial excellence.

“From coverage of the Brexit negotiations to a stand out series on Europe, it continues to produce exceptional coverage both online and in print.”

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The paper also won a series of awards, including:

  • News Team of the Year for work by its reporters on the Europopulism series
  •  Business and Finance Journalist Award for Matthew Garrahan
  •  Environment Journalist of the Year for Pilita Clark

Buzzfeed UK’s prize was the only win of the night for a digital-only publication as it saw off competition from the FT, the i, the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Independent.

Accepting the award, the site’s head of news, Stuart Millar, said: “The stories that we were breaking last year are only reverberating now and we are only going to go from strength to strength.”

Guardian journalists also picked up a long list of awards, the most of any individual title.

These included:

  • Political Commentator of the Year for John Harris
  • Foreign Reporter for Emma Graham-Harrison
  • Fashion Journalist for Jess Cartner-Morley
  • Interview of the Year for Decca Aitkenhead
  • Feature Writer of the Year (broadsheet) for Gary Younge
  • Sports Journalist for Martha Kelner

The Observer were awarded News Reporter of the Year for Mark Townsend and Specialist Reporter of the Year for Carole Cadwalladr’s reporting on Cambridge Analytica and Brexit.

Former editor of The Guardian, Peter Preston, was posthumously given the Journalists’ Charity Award, accepted by his son Ben, for his outstanding contribution to journalists and journalism.

The i’s Steve Connor was also posthumously named Science Journalist of the Year after his death in November aged 62, for his work on genetically modified embryos.

The judges said: “Steve Connor was uniquely talented at finding scoops and at turning complex science into brilliantly written stories.

“His death is a huge loss for science journalism and, if there were a lifetime achievement award in this category, he would have won it.”

Society of Editors executive director Ian Murray said: “For those who attack the press for what they do this should have been a sobering night.

“On parade was a seemingly endless stream of talent reminding us not only that the UK media remains the best in the world but it does its job to ever-increasing high standards.”

But, ITV political editor Robert Peston criticised the gender diversity of the awards, tweeting: “Every nominee for business journalist was male, and every nominee for fashion journalist was female. Really. Now.”

See the full list of winners here.

Picture: Society of Editors/Nick Carter Magstar Ltd

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