Journalists from The Times lead the shortlist for the 2010 Bevins Prize, established to recognise outstanding achievement in investigative reporting.
The five nominations include two from the News International daily with Jerome Starkey selected for a series of reports uncovering the failures of the action in Afghanistan.
Times journalists Sean O’Neil and David Brown have also been shortlisted for investigating a child sex abuse scandal centred on the Benedictine Monastery and St Benedict’s school, West London.
Other nominations include David Cohen for his series of reports for the London Evening Standard looking at paupers’ graves in the capital and Nick Davies for his reports on further allegations of phone tapping across the British Press.
For the first time a non-newspaper nominee has made it onto the shortlist as openDemocracy.net reporter Clare Sambrook is up for the prize for her investigations into the detention of children in the immigration system.
The award of the Rat Up a Drainpipe trophy is presented in memory of Tony Bevins, the first political editor of The Independent, who died in 2001 after a short illness.
Bevins was famous for causing mischief in both the political and journalism world, and this is where the award takes its name.
The first two prizes were presented annually at the Society of Editors conference. However, this year the award will be presented at a reception in central London on November 9.
Guardian journalist Paul Lewis won last year’s prize for his exposing of police conduct in a series of stories about the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 riots.
Lewis was amongst the six judges for this year’s prize along with journalist Heather Brooke; Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty; Colin Hughes, director of Guardian News & Media; Ken Livingstone and journalist and broadcaster Andrew Marr.