The Guardian’s Nick Davies has won the Paul Foot Award for Campaigning Journalism 2011 for his ‘long- running and painstaking investigation’into phone-hacking at the News of the World.
The runners up at the awards – established by Private Eye and The Guardian in memory of campaigning journalist Paul Foot, who died in 2004 – were The Sunday Times reporters Jonathan Calvert and Claire Newell for their expose on World Cup corruption.
Private Eye editor Ian Hislop said: ‘Nick Davies is a thoroughly deserving winner of this year’s Paul Foot Award for an outstanding piece of work that has produced extraordinary results.
‘This Award is recognition of the cheering truth that the best journalism exposed the worst.’
Hislop said the ‘flourishing scale and high standard’of investigative journalism across national newspapers, local papers, magazines, the trade press and by independent campaigners ‘has been hugely impressive”.
‘At a time when some commentators are suggesting that the entire press has lost its way, the shortlist for this Award clearly demonstrates that the spirit of Foot’s style of journalism is alive, well and kicking the people who matter,’he said.
Davies’ 5 July story revealing the NoW had hacked into the voicemails of murdered teenager Milly Dowler had a ‘volcanic effect”, according to Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger.
Within days News Corp shut the paper down, its attempts to takeover BSkyB were scrapped, the UK’s most senior police officer had resigned and the Prime Minister announced a major inquiry into the ethics and culture of the British press.
The organisers of the award said Davies’ story ‘reaches so deeply into so many aspects of British life, including policing, politics, media and regulation, that the story will continue to play out over the months and years ahead”.
Davies was presented with his £5,000 prize at BAFTA, London, last night with each of the runners up receiving £1,000.
The other nominees were Jon Austin from the Basildon Echo, freelance journalist Katharine Quarmby, David Rose from the Mail on Sunday, Zoe Smeaton from Chemist and Druggist Magazine, The Independent’s Jerome Taylor and Mark Townsend from The Observer.