Michael Gillard scoops Journalist of the Year at second annual British Journalism Awards

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Michael Gillard of The Sunday Times has been awarded the prestigious Journalist of the Year award at the second annual British Journalism Awards.

More than 200 attended the awards  at the Stationers’ Hall in London last night.

The judges unanimously voted for Gillard’s 11-year investigation into gangster David Hunt which even led to a High Court victory.

The award was the second success of the night for Gillard  after he also scooped Investigation of the Year.

The judges said Gillard had particularly stiff competition from the Guardian with theiSnowden files revelations as well as Andrew Norfolk’s ongoing investigation into sex grooming.

Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford said: “The judges felt that Gillard edged this prize because of the skill, determination and bravery it took to see this story through.

“The Sunday Times succeeded where the collected forces of law enforcement in this country had failed – defeating Hunt in a court of law and obtaining a measure of justice for his victims.”

Unfortunately, Gillard could not attend the ceremony as he was in South America on assignment. He also cannot attend public events in London for safety reasons.


The event was supported by Santander, Astellas, The Wellcome Trust, Syria Relief, the Hippodrome Casino and Air France KLM.

The late Richard Beeston received the special Marie Colvin award for raising the reputation of journalism and providing inspiration for fellow reporters.

Beeston died in May of this year aged 50. However, the former foreign editor at the Times did not allow bouts of chemotherapy to prevent him from reporting from the front line in Syria. He exposed Saddam Hussien’s gassing of Kurdish civilians in 1998 and ethnic cleansing by Serb forces in Bosnia during the early 1990s.

New Journalist of the Year was won by Patrick Kingsley from The Guardian who has been reporting from Egypt since January 2013.

According to the judges: “He wrote the dissection of a massacre in a model way – it’s a great piece of reconstruction that leads to revelation.”

Tom Bergin from Reuters was awarded Business, Finance and Economics Journalist of the Year, however Sarah O’Connor of the Financial Times received special commendation for her investigation into Amazon. They described her work as “some good old-fashioned shoe leather reporting.”

Foreign Affairs Journalist of the Year was Hala Jaber of the Sunday Times.

The judges said: “Her piece about the Assad regime general was one of the few pieces of journalism that tried to get us into the mind of the government side of the conflict – and did so critically.”

Richard Pohle of The Times won Photojournalist of the Year for images which included a shot of British soldiers taking cover at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

Joe Murphy of the Evening Standard won Political Journalist of the Year for writing three genuine exclusives, including a revelation that David Cameron was backing gay marriage.

Innovation of the Year was won by The Guardian for GuardianWitness.

Ponsford told the assembled guests: “One of the judges said they had downloaded the app and they were using it every day. They felt it brought citizen journalism and user-generated content to a new level by  improving engagement, sourcing great content and doing so in a way that made money for the paper through sponsorship.”

Campaign of the Year was another success for the Sunday Times with Safe Weekend Care coverage winning the award. The series of stories called for a safe seven-day NHS.

According to the judges: “This campaign was well presented, coordinated and presented from beginning to end. It was backed up by great reporting and research and has succeeded in getting the problem addressed at the highest level.“

The Breaking News Award was won by Channel 4 News and Dispatches for their coverage of the Plebgate affair.

Their tenacity in reporting the fallout forced the Metropolitan Police to reopen their investigation and led to one officer being charged in connection with the case.

The judges also praised Dispatches for a separate investigation along with The Guardian into police spying into the Stephen Lawrence family.

David Conn of the Guardian was awarded Sports Journalist of the Year, beating off competition from the Independent, City AM and The Telegraph.

According to the judges: “All his stories were about some form of corruption in sport. He delves beyond the glitzy veneer of modern football to hold the game’s gilded elite to account.”

Meanwhile, Science and Technology Journalist of the Year was won by Robin McKie of The Observer.

The judges said: “He goes for the biggest subjects and makes technical issues compelling with his approachable style of writing. They were particularly impressed by his piece on controversial GM crop Golden Rice which it is claimed could save millions for blindness.”

Commenting on the awards, Ponsford said: “After two years in which 61 UK journalists have been arrested, and in which press ethics has been an endless source of debate, we think it’s never been more important to trumpet the positive contribution that journalism makes to the country.

“They remind us what a great business this is and why it is more than just a business.”

Full list of finalists

Business Finance and Economics Journalist of the Year – sponsored byAstellas

Tom Bergin, Reuters

Stephen Grey, Reuters

Sarah O'Connor, Financial Times

Laura Kuenssberg, ITV News

John Gapper, Financial Times

David Enrich, The Wall Street Journal Europe

Breaking News Award

Channel 4 News: Plebgate – Plebs, lies and videotape

Exaro, the Murdoch recording

The Independent (Tom Harper), blue-chip hacking revelations

The Observer (Catherine Deveney), UK’s top cardinal accused of ‘inappropriate acts’ by priests

The Sunday Times (Insight), Generals for hire

The Times (Anthony Loyd), Revealed: tragic victims of Syria’s nerve gas war

Campaign of the Year – sponsored by Air France KLM

Child sexual exploitation, The Times

Fight for April, The Sun

Ladder for London, London Evening Standard

Safe Weekend Care, The Sunday Times

Wedding for terminally ill cancer sufferer, Scunthorpe Telegraph

Westminster for Sale, The Sunday Times

Foreign Affairs Journalist of the Year

Anthony Loyd, The Times

Hala Jaber, The Sunday Times

Katrina Manson, The Financial Times

Kim Sengupta, The Independent

Patrick Cockburn, The Independent

Richard Lloyd Parry, The Times

Investigation of the Year

The Snowden Files, The Guardian

Sins of our Fathers, BBC Scotland

Plebgate – Plebs, Lies and Videotape, Channel 4 Dispatches

Grooming scandal, Andrew Norfolk, The Times

David Hunt (The Untouchable), Michael Gillard, The Sunday Times

Cancer surgeon with high death rates, Jeanette Oldham, Birmingham Mail

New Journalist of the Year (for journalists who have been in the industry for three years or less)

Alex Ralph, The Times

Fiona O’Cleirigh, Exaro News

Maeve McClenaghan, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Patrick Kingsley, The Guardian

Sarah Morrison, The Independent

Simon Murphy, The Mail on Sunday

Photojournalist of the Year

Jeremy Selwyn, London Evening Standard

Mark Scott, The Sentinel

Oli Scarff, Getty Images

Richard Pohle, The Times

Suzanne Plunkett, Thomson Reuters

Politics Journalist of the Year

Amelia Gentleman, The Guardian

Janan Ganesh, Financial Times

Joe Murphy, London Evening Standard

Neil Elkes, Birmingham Post and Mail

Steve Richards, The Independent

Jonathan Calvert and Heidi Blake, The Sunday Times Insight team

Journalism Innovation of the Year

360 degree interactive camera, Lewis Whyld

GuardianWitness, The Guardian

Ooh-Ar augmented reality platform (as used in The Sentinel and Bristol Post)


The Brixton Bugle and Brixton Blog

Voices in Danger, The Independent

Sports Journalist of the Year – sponsored by the Hippodrome Casino

Christian Sylt, freelance for City AM and The Independent

David Conn, The Guardian

Ian Herbert, The Independent

Luke Edwards, Telegraph Media Group

Mark Ogden, Telegraph Media Group

Sam Wallace, The Independent

Science and Technology Journalist of the Year – sponsored by theWellcome Trust

Robin McKie, The Observer

Pallab Ghosh, BBC

Leslie Hook, Financial Times

Helen Thomson, New Scientist

Gareth Iacobucci, British Medical Journal

Andrew Gregory, Daily Mirror

The judges for the 2013 British Journalism Awards were: 

  • George Brock, former managing editor of The Times and head of journalism at City University (and a Liveryman of the Stationers’ Company)

  • Lori Miles, former editor of Mizz, Chat, Take a Break and the London Evening News

  • Kevin Marsh, former editor of Today and the BBC College of Journalism

  • Peter Preston, editor of The Guardian from 1975 to 1995

  • John Dale, fomerly of The Observer, Daily Mail and editor of Take a Break for 20 years. Ten-time BSME Awards winner

  • Liz Gerard, former chief sub-editor of The Times with 40 years experience in journalism – author of the SubScribe blog

  • Fiona Fox, chief executive of the Science Media Centre

  • Alan Geere, former editor of titles including The Tribune (USA), the Trinidad Express and the Northcliffe Media South East series

  • John Mair, former BBC producer and editor of 10 books on journalism

  • Robin Morgan, former Sunday Times Magazine editorPeter Cole, emeritus professor of journalism at Sheffield University, former deputy editor of The Guardian and founder editor of the Sunday Correspondent

  • Ian Reeves, former editor of Press Gazette now director of learning at the University of Kent journalism department
  • Paul Charman, head of journalism at the London College of Communications
  • Dominic Ponsford, editor of Press Gazette

The British Journalism Awards 2013 is sponsored by:






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