Three months after James Harding ousted, The Times picks up newspaper of the year

The Times led the way at last night’s Press Awards 2012 after scooping Newspaper of the Year, Scoop of the Year and News Team of the Year.

Alexi Mostrous and Fay Schlesinger’s investigation into the complex tax avoidance schemes used by celebrities to shield their earnings from the taxman won Scoop of the Year, with judges describing their work as “a cracking expose that had massive ramifications”

Mostrous also picked up the News Reporter of the Year prize.

Judges said The Times  offered “impressive quality combined with superb scoops, columnists that are among the most well-known in the industry and increasingly innovative digital offerings”, adding that it was now “well on its way to silencing its paywall critics”.

Times editor James Harding resigned as editor of The Times after five years in the job in December after saying "it has been made clear to me that News Corp would like to appoint a new editor of The Times".

Acting Times editor John Witherow admitted that the was an "imposter" when he picked up the Newspaper of the Year prize.

He said: "It is due to the wonderful people here and all the other people at The Times who have produced this newspaper… every day of the last year.They are fantastic staff, as I have dicovered in the last couple of months.

"And I'd particularly like to thank James Harding, the former editor… He should be accepting this award."

Witherow's former paper, The Sunday Times, topped the awards league table with five prizes in a year in which chief sports reporter David Walsh’s investigation into Lance Armstrong and doping was finally vindicated. 

The judges described the 2012 for Walsh as “the culmination of a great sports story”, adding:  “Not only did he stick to his guns, he left everyone else in his wake.”

Walsh took home the Sports Journalist of the Year award and was also recognised in the Sports Team of the Year accolade.

The Foreign Reporter of the Year award was delivered posthumously to Marie Colvin, who was killed while reporting from Syria for The Sunday Times last year.

Her last report on from Baba Amr was described as being “richly deserved of recognition in its own right”.

“She was the foreign reporter who set the standard for others to follow,” said the judges. “Her last dispatch, a brilliant piece of reportage, shows why she was so revered.”

 The award was accepted by Witherow – who edited the Sunday Times for 18 years – amid a standing ovation for Colvin.

 The Daily Mail took home three awards including Sports Photographer of the Year, Feature Writer of the Year for popular papers and The Best of Humour Award for columnist Craig Brown.

For the second year running Brown also won the Critic of the Year Award for his work in the The Mail on Sunday.

The international reach of the Mail Online was recognised by the top prize in the Digital Award in acknowledgement of "its willingness to tear up the formula when the story demanded it, with great use of images and video."

 The judges added: “The large amount of original content makes it essential reading in the newsrooms of not just competitors, but on an international scale. A must–read, its sidebar of shame is a talking-point in its own right.”

The London Evening Standard won the award for Production and Design Team of the Year “for going against the grain of free sheet papers in ensuring that free did not mean lacking in quality”.

The Standard's Nick Curtis also took home the award for Interviewer of the Year for popular papers.

The Sunday Telegraph won two awards including Specialist Journalist of the Year and Front Page of the Year for its ‘History Man’ image of Mo Farah winning the men’s 5,000m to claim his second Olympic Gold.

The Cudlipp Award, in honour of campaigns and investigations in any UK national newspaper, went to the Daily Mirror in recognition of report Brian Reade and the paper’s two decade campaign for justice for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster. 

Society of Editors Executive Director Bob Satchwell won the Journalists’ Charity Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to journalism.

 Satchwell who is chairman of the judges, said “The awards are a true reflection of the brilliant journalism in UK national newspapers that are admired across the globe.

"The awards, rather than the Leveson report, provide the real evidence of the culture and practice of the British Press."

Here is the full list of winners:


Young Journalist of the Year

Andrew Dagnell, Sunday Mirror

Highly commended: Joshi Herrmann, London Evening Standard

Business and Finance Journalist of the Year

Tom Bergin, Thomson Reuters

Highly commended: Graeme Wearden, The Guardian

Political Journalist of the Year

Simon Walters, The Mail on Sunday

Andrew Pierce, Daily Mail

Foreign Reporter of the Year

Marie Colvin, The Sunday Times

Highly commended: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, The Guardian; David Blair, The Daily Telegraph

ShowBiz Reporter of the Year

Gordon Smart, The Sun

Highly commended:  Mark Jefferies, Daily Mirror

Sports Journalist of the Year

David Walsh, The Sunday Times

Highly commended: Richard Williams, The Guardian

Specialist Journalist of the Year

Sean Rayment, The Sunday Telegraph

Highly commended: Robert Verkaik, The Mail on Sunday

Feature Writer of the Year(broadsheet)

David James Smith, The Sunday Times

Elizabeth Day, The Observer

Feature Writer of the Year (popular)

Andrew Malone, Daily Mail

Highly commended:    David Rose, The Mail on Sunday

Interviewer of the Year(broadsheet)

Lynn Barber, The Sunday Times

Highly commended: Decca Aitkenhead, The Guardian

Interviewer of the Year(popular)

Nick Curtis, London Evening Standard

Highly commended: Jenny Johnston, Daily Mail

Columnist of the Year (broadsheet)

Peter Oborne, The Daily Telegraph

Highly commended: David Aaronovitch, The Times

Columnist of the Year(popular)

Jane Moore, The Sun

Highly commended: Richard Littlejohn, Daily Mail


Critic of the Year

Craig Brown, The Mail on Sunday


Highly commended: AA Gill, The Sunday Times

Photographer of the Year

Phil Noble, Reuters

Highly commended: Tom Pilston, The Times

Sports Photographer of the Year

Andy Hooper, Daily Mail

Highly commended: Mark Pain, The Mail on Sunday

Cartoonist of the Year

Dave Brown, The Independent

Highly commended: Matt Pritchett, The Daily Telegraph

Supplement of the Year

Observer Food Monthly, The Observer

The Digital Award

Mail Online

Highly commended    Guardian Interactive

The Best of Humour Award

Craig Brown, Daily Mail

Highly commended    Giles Coren, The Times

Scoop of the Year

‘The Tax Avoiders’ – Alexi Mostrous and Fay Schlesinger, The Times

Highly commended: ‘Foster couple lose children for being members of UKIP’ -Sam Marsden, The Daily Telegraph

Front Page of the Year

‘History Man’, The Sunday Telegraph

Highly commended: ‘Look at all those people’, Daily Mirror

News Reporter of the Year

Alexi Mostrous, The Times

Highly commended: Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert, The Sunday Times; David Walsh, The Sunday Times

The Cudlipp Award

Daily Mirror, ‘Hillsborough’

Highly commended: Daily Mail, ‘Gary McKinnon campaign’; Sunday Post, ‘Puzzle firm expose’

Journalists’ Charity Award

Bob Satchwell, Executive Director, Society of Editors

News Team of the Year

The Times

Sports Team of the Year       

The Sunday Times

Highly commended: The Times

Production and Design Team of the Year

London Evening Standard

Highly commended: The Times; i




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