Power Of News Media Journalism Highlighted At Press Awards

The Times was crowned the Daily Newspaper of the Year, with The Sunday Times taking the Sunday Newspaper of the Year title, at the National Press Awards for 2018 which celebrates the power of news media journalism.

Organised by the Society of Editors, the judges awarded these top prizes for the success of their digital subscription models and consistent high-quality news investigations.

The Sun Online was given an award for best news website, where judges commended its heavy investment in original journalism to attract new audiences and retain its existing readers. Praised for its “serious investigations into terrorism and bowel cancer”, the site also delivered on its showbiz news, with Jane Moore’s exclusive ‘My Babs has Alzheimer’s’ picking up a new award for Popular Scoop of the Year.

The Mail on Sunday who took home the titles of Health Journalist, Specialist Journalist, Critic, Popular Feature Writer, and Popular Interviewer of the Year – for Caroline Graham’s “ground-breaking” exclusive ‘Meghan’s Dad Staged Photos’ in advance of the May 2018 Royal Wedding. 

The evening also saw a special Chairman’s Award given to the Daily Mirror for its remarkable campaign ‘Change the Law for Life’. The chairman of judges, Ian Murray, said: “Over the space of three years, the paper brought the subject of organ donation to the forefront of the national agenda, winning over not just readers and the public to their cause but the politicians and experts they needed to ensure Max’s Law became a reality. This achievement shines out as a fantastic example of what outstanding journalism can achieve.”

The Times had a successful night, with the judges saying of their Daily Newspaper winner: “This year’s winner snatched headline stories of around-the-world news; its investigation into Oxfam’s sexual exploitation of Haiti earthquake victims was immensely powerful. Other investigations revealing the scale of the violent crime epidemic and how the Home Office turned a blind eye to forced marriages helped the paper over the 500,000 digital subscribers’ line.”

In a year where quality political reporting was paramount, Tim Shipman of The Sunday Times took both Political Reporter and Political Commentator titles for his work as a “peerless interpreter of Brexit”.

The event, held at the Royal Lancaster London and attended by some 500 guests, also saw The Observer awarded a number of prizes for its coverage of the Cambridge Analytica Files. For her work on the issue, Carole Cadwalladr picked up Technology Journalist of the Year, and the Observer team collected Investigation of the Year for Cambridge Analytica’s “brilliant exposure of the abuse of digital information, which had far-reaching effects in the public sphere”.

The News Reporter of the Year, awarded to an individual for their work over the cause of the year was awarded to The Times’ Sean O’Neill. O’Neill’s submission was described by judges as “snatching headline stories of around-the-world news”; his crucial exposé ‘Oxfam staff paid Haiti survivors for sex’ also picked up an award for Scoop of the Year.

The Cudlipp Award for Campaign of the Year went to The Guardian for its Windrush investigation, led by Amelia Gentleman. Created by the British Journalism Review, the award’s judges praised the story’s front-page delivery, which forced the Home Secretary to resign and the Government to take steps to rectify past and present injustices.

The power of a free press to ensure public freedoms was a theme greatly celebrated: Front Page of the Year went to The Telegraph for its front-page silhouette on ‘The British #MeToo Scandal’. This campaign led to a victory against NDAs in a high court judgement earlier this year.

Amongst some special industry awards delivered was the Journalists’ Charity Award, which photographer Paul Conroy received for his dedication to securing justice for his colleague Marie Colvin and ensuring the story of the Syrian conflict continues to be told. A Society of Editors Fellowship was also presented on the night to Stanley ‘MAC’ McMurtry, former Daily Mail cartoonist, for his momentous contribution of 50 years of service to the industry.

The full footage of the night can be found on the Society of Editors website, with a gallery of winners and video clips of the event on its Twitter feed.