The Times led the way at last night’s Press Awards 2012 after scooping Newspaper of the Year, Scoop of the Year and News Team of the Year.
Alexi Mostrous and Fay Schlesinger’s investigation into the complex tax avoidance schemes used by celebrities to shield their earnings from the taxman won Scoop of the Year, with judges describing their work as “a cracking expose that had massive ramifications”
Mostrous also picked up the News Reporter of the Year prize.
Judges said The Times offered “impressive quality combined with superb scoops, columnists that are among the most well-known in the industry and increasingly innovative digital offerings”, adding that it was now “well on its way to silencing its paywall critics”.
Times editor James Harding resigned as editor of The Times after five years in the job in December after saying "it has been made clear to me that News Corp would like to appoint a new editor of The Times".
Acting Times editor John Witherow admitted that the was an "imposter" when he picked up the Newspaper of the Year prize.
He said: "It is due to the wonderful people here and all the other people at The Times who have produced this newspaper… every day of the last year.They are fantastic staff, as I have dicovered in the last couple of months.
"And I'd particularly like to thank James Harding, the former editor… He should be accepting this award."
Witherow's former paper, The Sunday Times, topped the awards league table with five prizes in a year in which chief sports reporter David Walsh’s investigation into Lance Armstrong and doping was finally vindicated.
The judges described the 2012 for Walsh as “the culmination of a great sports story”, adding: “Not only did he stick to his guns, he left everyone else in his wake.”
Walsh took home the Sports Journalist of the Year award and was also recognised in the Sports Team of the Year accolade.
The Foreign Reporter of the Year award was delivered posthumously to Marie Colvin, who was killed while reporting from Syria for The Sunday Times last year.
Her last report on from Baba Amr was described as being “richly deserved of recognition in its own right”.
“She was the foreign reporter who set the standard for others to follow,” said the judges. “Her last dispatch, a brilliant piece of reportage, shows why she was so revered.”
The award was accepted by Witherow – who edited the Sunday Times for 18 years – amid a standing ovation for Colvin.
The Daily Mail took home three awards including Sports Photographer of the Year, Feature Writer of the Year for popular papers and The Best of Humour Award for columnist Craig Brown.
For the second year running Brown also won the Critic of the Year Award for his work in the The Mail on Sunday.
The international reach of the Mail Online was recognised by the top prize in the Digital Award in acknowledgement of "its willingness to tear up the formula when the story demanded it, with great use of images and video."
The judges added: “The large amount of original content makes it essential reading in the newsrooms of not just competitors, but on an international scale. A must–read, its sidebar of shame is a talking-point in its own right.”
The London Evening Standard won the award for Production and Design Team of the Year “for going against the grain of free sheet papers in ensuring that free did not mean lacking in quality”.
The Standard's Nick Curtis also took home the award for Interviewer of the Year for popular papers.
The Sunday Telegraph won two awards including Specialist Journalist of the Year and Front Page of the Year for its ‘History Man’ image of Mo Farah winning the men’s 5,000m to claim his second Olympic Gold.
The Cudlipp Award, in honour of campaigns and investigations in any UK national newspaper, went to the Daily Mirror in recognition of report Brian Reade and the paper’s two decade campaign for justice for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.
Society of Editors Executive Director Bob Satchwell won the Journalists’ Charity Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to journalism.
Satchwell who is chairman of the judges, said “The awards are a true reflection of the brilliant journalism in UK national newspapers that are admired across the globe.
"The awards, rather than the Leveson report, provide the real evidence of the culture and practice of the British Press."
Here is the full list of winners:
Young Journalist of the Year
Andrew Dagnell, Sunday Mirror
Highly commended: Joshi Herrmann, London Evening Standard
Business and Finance Journalist of the Year
Tom Bergin, Thomson Reuters
Highly commended: Graeme Wearden, The Guardian
Political Journalist of the Year
Simon Walters, The Mail on Sunday
Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail
Foreign Reporter of the Year
Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times
Highly commended: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, The Guardian; David Blair, The Daily Telegraph
ShowBiz Reporter of the Year
Gordon Smart, The Sun
Highly commended: Mark Jefferies, Daily Mirror
Sports Journalist of the Year
David Walsh, The Sunday Times
Highly commended: Richard Williams, The Guardian
Specialist Journalist of the Year
Sean Rayment, The Sunday Telegraph
Highly commended: Robert Verkaik, The Mail on Sunday
Feature Writer of the Year(broadsheet)
David James Smith, The Sunday Times
Elizabeth Day, The Observer
Feature Writer of the Year (popular)
Andrew Malone, Daily Mail
Highly commended: David Rose, The Mail on Sunday
Interviewer of the Year(broadsheet)
Lynn Barber, The Sunday Times
Highly commended: Decca Aitkenhead, The Guardian
Interviewer of the Year(popular)
Nick Curtis, London Evening Standard
Highly commended: Jenny Johnston, Daily Mail
Columnist of the Year (broadsheet)
Peter Oborne, The Daily Telegraph
Highly commended: David Aaronovitch, The Times
Columnist of the Year(popular)
Jane Moore, The Sun
Highly commended: Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail
Critic of the Year
Craig Brown, The Mail on Sunday
Highly commended: AA Gill, The Sunday Times
Photographer of the Year
Phil Noble, Reuters
Highly commended: Tom Pilston, The Times
Sports Photographer of the Year
Andy Hooper, Daily Mail
Highly commended: Mark Pain, The Mail on Sunday
Cartoonist of the Year
Dave Brown, The Independent
Highly commended: Matt Pritchett, The Daily Telegraph
Supplement of the Year
Observer Food Monthly, The Observer
The Digital Award
Highly commended Guardian Interactive
The Best of Humour Award
Craig Brown, Daily Mail
Highly commended Giles Coren, The Times
Scoop of the Year
‘The Tax Avoiders’ – Alexi Mostrous and Fay Schlesinger, The Times
Highly commended: ‘Foster couple lose children for being members of UKIP’ -Sam Marsden, The Daily Telegraph
Front Page of the Year
‘History Man’, The Sunday Telegraph
Highly commended: ‘Look at all those people’, Daily Mirror
News Reporter of the Year
Alexi Mostrous, The Times
Highly commended: Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert, The Sunday Times; David Walsh, The Sunday Times
The Cudlipp Award
Daily Mirror, ‘Hillsborough’
Highly commended: Daily Mail, ‘Gary McKinnon campaign’; Sunday Post, ‘Puzzle firm expose’
Journalists’ Charity Award
Bob Satchwell, Executive Director, Society of Editors
News Team of the Year
Sports Team of the Year
The Sunday Times
Highly commended: The Times
Production and Design Team of the Year
London Evening Standard
Highly commended: The Times; i