The five award finalists represent the titles which received the highest score after a round of voting from the120-strong Press Awards ‘academy’ of senior journalists.
The Guardian versus News of the World clash in this category is an interesting one. The Guardian is shortlisted elsewhere in The Press Awards for its reporting of allegations of phone-hacking at the News of the World.
The winner will be announced at the awards dinner in London on 5 April.
The Times did not make it into the final five, despite receiving more individual award nominations than any other title.
Chairman of judges Bob Satchwell said: ‘These five papers were ahead of the rest in terms of votes based on the judges’ own knowledge and editors’ supporting statements describing their achievements across all platforms during 2010.
‘They stood out as the best of the best in a dramatic year of great scoops and audience building, and not a little controversy.
‘There was the consistently successful Daily Mail that has been described as the paper that sets the bar for the rest of Fleet Street, ‘inspiring envy and admiration in equal measures’.
‘The News of the World was said to set the agenda with exclusive after exclusive.
‘Wikileaks put The Guardian at the top of the news headlines and some say it will change relationships between governments and the press and public forever.
“The Mail on Sunday was described as ‘consistently brave . . . with an absolute commitment to holding to account those in authority’.
“The Sunday Times was cited for fine writing alongside dogged investigative and foreign reporting.”
He added: ‘It is a difficult choice but whatever the final result and however subjective the voting, it will have been based on the judges’ passion for an industry that makes the best newspapers in the world.’