Morgan and Wade: why so few tabloid winners?

An angry editor of The Mirror, Piers Morgan, has re-started the fight for more of the Press Gazette British Press Awards to go to  tabloid newspapers.

The Mirror and The Sun picked up two awards each this year, the only red-top wins out of  23 categories.

Just two years ago Morgan’s fellow editor at the Sunday People, Neil Wallis, caused something of a stir when he leapt onto the BPA stage and fired off a tirade because Morgan’s paper had not won Newspaper of the Year.  Now Morgan was taking up Wallis’s Oliver Twist-style plea for more tabloid recognition.

Of  this year’s awards, at London’s Park Lane Hilton he said: "Yet again there is clearly a bias against the redtops.  Again they have won a cruelly small amount of awards while the broadsheets have hoovered up as usual and I think it’s wrong, wrong.  One year they’ll get it right."

News of the World editor Rebekah Wade joined him in his protest.  She was outraged that her team, shortlisted in four categories. had not won one.

She was particularly incensed that the NoW’s high-profile For Sarah campaign, seeking to change the law so that people could know if a paedophile was living in their area, had been ignored.

"If I never do anything else, I would be happy that we had got six changes to the law already with that campaign," she said.

Morgan’s ire spilled over when he considered some of the other winners.  "I can’t understand why the Mail won the Cudlipp Award when the Mirror had three out of six nominations –  three of which were perfect examples of what Hugh Cudlipp stood for," he said.

The Mirror had its Pride of Britain awards,  its  Sorted column and the partnership of Anton Antonowicz and Mike Moore in Ethiopia in contention.  "And they give it to the Mail for a news story," said Morgan with disgust.

"I love the Press Gazette, it’s great, but please try one year to give the award to the people who should actually win it."

This year, according to Morgan,  The Mirror  "despite having a bloody difficult year, has done bloody well and we had 10 nominations and we won two awards – I say not enough. We have a grreat team of reporters."

The Team of the Year title went to a Mirror story criticising Railtrack – "National Lottery of Death". Mirror photographer Bradley Ormesher was Sports Photographer of the Year.  The Sun had Reporter of the Year in John Kay and Front Page of the Year.

by Jean Morgan

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