The Guardian was the big winner at this morning’s Comment Awards collecting four prize including a share in the commentariat of the year accolade which was presented to Simon Jenkins.
Jenkins, the former editor of The Times, collected the prize jointly for pieces written for The Guardian and The London Evening Standard.
The Guardian prizes also included best media commentator, won by columnist Jeff Jarvis, best cultural columnist for Mark Lawson and the award for best blog site for Comment is Free.
The Evening Standard collected a second prize when its Londoner’s Diary was named best diary page.
The award was collected by diary editor Sebastian Shakespeare who told colleagues at the event, held at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London, how he’d been threaten with violence and had manure tipped onto his head on his own doorstep for things he had written as a diarist.
‘Nigel Dempster used to say writs were the Oscars of our profession. I agree with that but it is sometimes also nice to get the Oscar,’he added.
The Times was just behind the Guardian as it collected three Comment Awards. Daniel Finkelstein was named political commentator of the year and Anatole Kaletsky was named financial commentator of the year, while the paper won the prize for carrying the best comment pages over the last twelve months.
The Daily Mail, the BBC, Vanity Fair and the Financial Times each collected a single award as – respectively – Quentin Letts was named political sketch writer of the year, Nick Robinson won blogger of the year, Christopher Hitchens was named magazine commentator of the year and Gideon Rachman collect the foreign commentator prize.
The Independent collected two awards of the 14 on offer. Johann Hari was named environmental commentator of the year while the paper’s editor Simon Kelner was presented with the Chair’s Choice prize.
The chairman of the judges, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, said she chose Kelner has he had ‘promoted comment as the heart of The Independent”.