Eight news organisations have been shortlisted for the coveted News Provider of the Year prize at this year’s Press Gazette British Journalism Awards.
The award goes to the news organisation that has done the most to provide journalism that is both interesting to the public and in the public interest.
It must stand out because of the quality of its investigative journalism and ability to break news.
Newspapers, broadcasters, websites and magazines were all eligible for this category and most of the 80 independent judges were invited to vote for their winners.
The winners will be revealed at 1.30pm on Wednesday 9 December with a virtual event replacing the traditional gala dinner because of Covid-19.
The News Provider of the Year finalists for 2020 are:
The Daily Mail, which overtook print sales of The Sun for the first time in 42 years in June to become the UK’s biggest selling newspaper, made impact with two huge campaigns this year.
It launched the Mail Force charity which raised £11m and donated 42m pieces of PPE to desperate healthcare workers in the UK, while the Betrayal of the Brave campaign secured safe sanctuary for hero translators who helped British troops in Afghanistan.
It also broke huge stories, including tracking down of the US woman who fled the UK pleading diplomatic immunity after a car crash that killed teenager Harry Dunn.
The Daily Mirror, jointly with The Guardian, made the agenda-setting revelation that Number 10 adviser Dominic Cummings had broken lockdown rules to travel to Durham.
Other highlights include the stark front page showing a young boy sleeping on the floor of a hospital due to a lack of beds, an entire issue dedicated to the climate crisis, and campaign wins including opt-out organ donation.
The Financial Times data team received acclaim for its accessible yet detailed visual explanations of the Covid-19 crisis, updated daily and made free to read outside the paywall along with other key coronavirus coverage.
French president Emmanuel Macron gave the FT his first UK newspaper interview in the early days of the pandemic about how it was likely to transform capitalism, science editor Clive Cookson was among the first to investigate the wide range of Covid-19 symptoms, while away from coronavirus Dan McCrum’s long-running investigation into fraud at tech company Wirecard ultimately led to its collapse despite legal threats and personal intimidation.
As well as the much-heralded Dominic Cummings scoop, the Guardian revealed that he had secretly been attending the UK’s Scientific Advisory Group (SAGE) meetings and that a senior procurement official was privately selling PPE, leading to an NHS investigation.
The Independent’s chief US correspondent Andrew Buncombe showed the importance (and dangers) of having reporters on the ground when he was arrested covering a Black Lives Matter protest, while its journalists were among the few to report from Iran and Belarus.
Closer to home health correspondent Shaun Lintern exposed the “biggest maternity scandal in NHS history” and failures with the Lighthouse Covid-19 testing lab network.
PA Media got one of the biggest business stories of the year as Sports Direct planned to stay open claiming it was an essential retailer, subsequently inflating prices, before Mike Ashley issued a rare apology.
Agenda-setting exclusives also included people facing 350-mile round trips for Covid-19 tests and wrongful prosecutions under Covid-19 laws, while the agency tracked every NHS and care worker who died on the frontline, a service that was particularly relied on by the media and used on Good Morning Britain.
PA even one-upped Public Health England, who asked how it had produced calculations of coronavirus infections for all 315 English local authorities even though it was the authority’s own data.
Chief correspondent Stuart Ramsay’s dispatch from a hospital in the hard-hit city of Bergamo, Italy was one of the first pieces that forced many in the UK and further afield to wake up to the horrors of Covid-19.
Since then, Sky’s journalists made impact when they were among the first to investigate the care home crisis, the virus’ disproportionate impact on BAME people, and “chaotic” data collection in the testing programme.
Away from Covid-19, the broadcaster broke the London Bridge terror attack story after less than 20 minutes and got the scoop that a woman had fled the UK for the US claiming diplomatic immunity after being involved in a car crash that killed teenager Harry Dunn.
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times Insight team produced a series of devastating in-depth investigations chronicling the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, changing public opinion about the Government’s handling of the crisis.
The first expose, “Coronavirus: 38 days when Britain sleepwalked into disaster”, quickly became the most-read article in the newspaper’s history and was the first major national press investigation to cast serious doubt over the government’s handling of the pandemic.
Further agenda-setting pieces examined the Government’s “dither and delay” in the 22 days before lockdown and an apparent cover-up in China.