The judges praised the high standard of entries that ranged across subject areas including sport, foreign and City reporting .Sam Jones from the Financial Times was highly commended for taking us to the heart of the financial crisis. However there was a popular winner for this category who the judges described as "a story-setter in the true sense of old fashioned reporting".
Cartoonist of the year
Winner: Matt Pritchett, Daily Telegraph
The judges said: "His cartoon is always the funniest and most pertinent of the day, on the occasions when he has a second cartoon inside, it is the second funniest. He catches the zeitgeist – daily – and always raises a laugh."
Critic of the year
Winner: Philip French, The Observer
"He weaves his impressive knowledge into each review and uses his 31 years experience as a full time critic to skilfully illuminate the films of today. Outstanding writing from a doyen of his craft".
Digital journalist of the year
Winner: Dave Hill, The Guardian
There was one clear winner for this category who the judges said "lives and breathes his blog which is apparent to his audience. Utterly engaging."
Interviewer of the year
Winner: Decca Aitkenhead, The Guardian
Highly commended: Ginny Dougary, The Times
The stand out winning interviewer of the year was Decca Aitkenhead who particularly impressed the judges with her remarkable encounter in August with Chancellor Alistair Darling at his holiday hide-away on the Island of Lewis. "It was a real agenda-setter."
Showbiz reporter of the year
Winner: James Desborough, News of the World
Highly commended: Richard White, The Sun
He "produced a series of uncompromising scoops which mean no celebrity with secrets can sleep easy".
Sports photographer of the year
Winner: Dickie Pelham, The Sun
Highly commended: Dylan Martinez, Reuters
The picture which most impressed the judges was that of boxer Joe Calzaghe celebrating after beating Roy Jones at Madison Square Garden, an image which the judges said was: "Witty, cheeky and capturing the moment in a sport that can be the hardest to get". His image of John Terry in tears after missing a penalty in the Champion's League final "is filled with pathos and the human drama", and his picture of Rafael Nadal winning Wimbledon on a gloomy evening after a five-set marathon "caught the moment of victory after a long struggle, technically difficult and capturing the moment."
Photographer of the year
Winner: Stefan Rousseau, PA Photos
His winning portfolio "summed up the British political year brilliantly. His photos from the front line of news show flair and originality."
Sports journalist of the year
Winner: Matthew Syed, The Times
Highly commended: Ian Stafford, Mail on Sunday
His work is "unique and imaginative, and by far the most innovative of the entrants. He combines wit, originality, insight and a capacity to be both thought provoking and hilarious. A rare talent and a genuine example of a sportsman who has turned to journalism with distinction without the superstar gimmickry or ghostwriting deception."
Supplement of the year
Winner: You Magazine, The Mail on Sunday
The judges said this "continues to be a highly professional product. It has great writing, superb photography and excellent layout. It's the supplement you have to wrestle your partner for and is totally unbeatable in the market".
Website of the year
Winner: The Guardian
The judges said the winner is being given "a close run for its money, but it is still a clear choice when you are asked which newspaper is making the most of all the online technologies at its disposal. From its podcasts to its interactive blogs and coverage of Obama it continues to lead the way. It remains the big daddy of newspaper websites. Others are getting better but it's still the best – attracting as many as 30 million readers a month."
Scoop of the year
Winner: 'Ross & Brand", Miles Goslett, The Mail on Sunday
"Perhaps the only really objective test of a scoop is the extent to which it is followed up – and by that criteria the winning entry outpaced its rivals by a country mile. The judges described the winning entry as a big story that just got bigger. It started with a hunch and had a stunning ending. It dominated the news agenda for weeks, led to a parliamentary inquiry, and an apology from the BBC."
Columnist of the year
Winner: Charlie Brooker, The Guardian
The judges said the winning columnist has had a year of hitting the mark every single week. His columns are "edgy, entertaining and wonderfully surreal, he has the explosive writing skills that can turn your thinking upside down. A definite destination read and a jewel of a column. Acerbic, nasty, spiteful, yet clearly in love with every subject he writes about at the same time. Must read stuff."
Specialist journalist of the year
Winner: Stephen Wright, Daily Mail
Highly commended: Sarah-Kate Templeton, The Sunday Times
He is an "exceptional journalist with first class contacts, who is ruthless in pursuit of his quarry, and has exemplary powers of persuasion. His exclusive in the Rachel Nickell case was world class."
Campaign of the year
Winner: "Family Courts", Camilla Cavendish, The Times
Highly commended: "Right to Pay", Sarah Kate Templeton, The Sunday Times
The judges said: "A good newspaper campaign should be about an issue of serious injustice and substantial public interest. A great one will be unexpected, one in which the outcome is not a done deal and which will in the end effect serious change. This campaign does just that."
Feature writer of the year
Winner: Philip Jacobson, Freelance (The Sunday Times and The Mail on Sunday)
Highly commended: Tanya Gold, Freelance (Daily Mail and The Guardian)
The winner: "Combined top class journalism with a compulsive, colourful writing style that made it impossible to stop reading. Beautifully crafted, compellingly written he tackles difficult subject matter with ease. His Bloody Sunday article was a stand out piece of features journalism."
Business and finance journalist of the year
Winner: Stephen Foley, The Independent
The judges said writes with "intelligence, breadth of understanding and the ability to contextualise and explain the most complicated of issues". They also praised his "outstanding reporting and analysis from the centre of the financial maelstrom in the US, with always enough explanation to make things clear to the general reader."
The Cudlipp Award
Winner: Race War, Stephen Wright/Richard Pendlebury, Daily Mail
Highly commended: Save our Streets campaign, News of the World
The professionalism and persistence of two outstanding reporters won the day, with the judges commenting about the winners: "This was investigative journalism at its best, requiring boldness and bravery – qualities that are all too rare these days – that, most importantly, achieved a result."
Political journalist of the year
Winner: Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
The judges said he is "simply the best wordsmith in British journalism. His writing is not just funny but sometimes painfully sharp. These sketches are beautifully crafted, insightful columns. Every phrase is instinctively apposite. The observations cut to the core of the daily scene and the jokes are never cheap. Quite the opposite, they are a penetrating analysis of the principles, nature and performance of the politicians about whom he writes."
Foreign reporter of the year
Winner: Dan McDougall, Freelance (The Observer, News of the World and The Mail on Sunday's Live Magazine)
The judges said the winner's pieces were all "different and riveting". "Here is a reporter comfortable in all parts of the world who produces world exclusive stories with writing to match. Interesting and entertaining while at the same time brilliantly researched and sourced. A great range of reporting for very different markets."
Reporter of the year
Winner: Christopher Leake, Mail on Sunday
Highly commended: Andrew Alderson, The Sunday Telegraph
Highly commended: Jon Ungoed-Thomas, The Sunday Times
The judges said that "in a tremendously competitive field, the winner nudged to the fore with exclusives that caught the public mood and set the agenda."
His scoops in 2008 included a story about Prince Harry's 100mph driving antics on the M4, claims that then Met Police chief Sir Ian Blair had helped a friend win Scotland Yard contracts and revelations which prompted the resignation of the SATs exam agency chief.
The judges said these were "superb examples of public interest reporting at it's best."
International journalist of the year
Mohammad Sadegh Kaboudvand, Iran
He is serving a 10-year prison term and is also understood to be in critical medical condition.
Mohammad Sadegh Kaboudvand is a prominent human rights defender, journalist, and founder in 2005 of a group that seeks to protect the rights of Iranian Kurds, the Human Rights Organization of Kurdistan (HROK). Through his human rights and journalism work, Kaboudvand was instrumental in creating a civil society network for Kurdish youth and activists.
Journalist of the year
Gillian Tett, Financial Times
She is one of the few journalists who can claim to have spotted the current economic crisis coming and to have warned her readers about it. She has continued to write with unrivalled authority about what may be the biggest story of our generation. As one of the editors said: "She has consistently remained in front of the curve as the world's economy went into meltdown with clear sharply written stories."
Newspaper of the year
- This paper has impressively raised the depth and quality of its reporting, especially its international coverage, while retaining a populist "highbrow" touch.
- Always on the money and not afraid to go its own way
- Consistently lively news, improved and unmissable comment, great sport, and there's so much of it.
- Its foreign reporting has reigned supreme. Its redesign is precise and it expertly showcases the strong stories and writing that make this a great paper.
- Marvelous writers, the best foreign coverage, some of the best supplements. Britain's most authoritative paper, but without being as po-faced.
- The new editor has miraculously transformed this newspaper by his decision to switch the leaders to page two with a vital column of cross-references on the right-hand side.