National and regional journalists share Paul Foot Award

National and regional newspaper journalists have shared the 2007 Paul Foot Award for Campaigning Journalism.

The judging panel decided to split the £5,000 prize between The Guardian’s David Leigh and Rob Evans for their investigation into bribery in the British arms trade and Deborah Wain of the Doncaster Free Press for her exposé of corruption in the Doncaster Education City project.

Leigh and Evans documented their investigation on a web site, The BAE Files, which enables readers to access the originals of hundreds of documents from government archives as well as video and audio clips of key players, pictures of the weapons involved and maps. One judge it as “a model of how to integrate print and online media.”

Wain’s reporting for the Doncaster Free Press made extensive use of the Freedom of Information Act to uncover corruption in the Doncaster Education City, an integrated post-14 education system with a new college building fed by five community campuses.

Private Eye editor Ian Hislop said the two winners ‘come from opposite ends of the investigative journalism spectrum. One international juggernaut of a story brilliantly uncovered by a top national team and the other a first class domestic story doggedly revealed by a lone reporter on a local paper.”

The runners-up – Phil Baty of the The Times Higher Education Supplement; Paul Keilthy of the Camden New Journal; Rob Waugh of the Yorkshire Post; Richard Brooks of Private Eye and the Salford Star – each received a £1,000 prize.

Private Eye magazine and The Guardian set up the Award in memory of Paul Foot, the journalist and left-wing campaigner who died in 2004. The judges, chaired by Brian McArthur, were Hislop, Alan Rusbridger, Bill Hagerty, Clare Fermont, Jeremy Dear and Richard Ingrams.

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