The Guardian’s Marina Hyde has been named sports writer and sports columnist of the year at the 2019 British Sports Journalism Awards – the first female winner for both categories in the event’s 43-year history.
Alongside Hyde’s double historic wins, three other categories were also won by women for the first time.
CNN anchor Christina Macfarlane (pictured, bottom right) was named broadcast journalist of the year, Times journalist Alyson Rudd (pictured, bottom left) won the sports feature writer category, and the Daily Mail’s Laura Lambert took home sports news reporter.
Former Mail showbiz reporter Lambert (pictured, top left) also won the sports scoop prize with colleague Matt Lawton for their investigation revealing how Saracens had broken salary cap rules which ultimately led to the rugby team’s relegation from the Premiership.
Hyde (pictured, top right) routinely writes three columns a week about sports, celebrities and general news and also won the Comment Journalism prize at Press Gazette’s British Journalism Awards in December.
Her historic wins last night came partly for her work writing about the women’s football World Cup, Theresa May’s decision to knight retired cricketer Geoffrey Boycott despite his domestic abuse conviction, and Tiger Woods’ return to golf.
Macfarlane wrote on Instagram that she was “stunned” to be the first woman to win the broadcast award, adding: “…for anyone who’s ever experienced a serious case of imposter syndrome like me – proof – trust your instincts, follow your gut and don’t take no for an answer.”
Lambert, now a senior sports news reporter for the BBC, tweeted:”Can’t really compute what happened last night but am completely thrilled”.
The awards, run by the Sports Journalists’ Association, recognised 27 winners this year of whom nine were women, compared to two last year.
Coverage of women’s sports also contributed towards The Daily Telegraph being named sports newspaper of the year for the first time since the category was introduced in 2010.
The title launched a dedicated women’s sport section in March last year with a manifesto of aims for its coverage, including addressing the under-representation of sportswomen, and a monthly print supplement.
Accepting the award, Telegraph head of sport Adam Sills said: “The Telegraph’s been investing in journalism for the last two years which has allowed us to do the Telegraph Women’s Sport initiative which I think has been truly groundbreaking and there is much more to come from that.”
Telegraph women’s sport editor Anna Kessel tweeted: “So incredibly proud to work for a paper that invests in women’s sport and champions women journalists.”
Talksport was named network of the year after the judges said the News UK-owned station had made “a number of innovative changes in this past year to diversify their audience and enhance their credibility”.
Sports picture of the year went to Andrew Boyers of Action Images/Reuters for his shot (below) of England cricketer Ben Stokes keeping the team’s Ashes hopes alive with a one-wicket victory.
Top pictures: Steve Rowe/SJA