The London Evening Standard and The Mail on Sunday were named best newspapers at today’s London Press Club Awards, which celebrated the best in print, online and broadcast journalism amongst a sell-out crowd made up of leading UK media figures.
Missed the lunch? Check out the online version of the event brochure here.
The awards lunch, which took place at Stationers’ Hall in central London, got off to an impressive start with a rare appearance from Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre, who presented the special Londoner of the Year honour to Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, who received a standing ovation from the capacity crowd. London Press Club chairman Doug Wills said: “I am delighted that Baroness Lawrence was able to accept our special Londoner of the Year award. Her extraordinary – and ongoing – campaign for justice has been a genuine inspiration for more than 20 years.”
The first of the competitive awards was Blog of the Year, sponsored by Gorkana. Paul Staines of Guido Fawkes won, amid strong competition from Peter Jukes and Isabel Hardman, editor of The Spectator’s Coffee House. “All three deserved to take home the award but eventually it was decided that it should go to the must-read political and media observer whose take on parliamentary plots, rumours and conspiracy is mostly riveting and, reflecting the ambition of his alter ego, often explosive,” commented head judge Bill Hagerty.
Arts Reviewer of the Year, sponsored by Harvey Goldsmith, went to Ludovic Hunter-Tilney of the FT, ahead of Alexis Petridis, head rock and pop critic of The Guardian and Ellen E. Jones, TV critic for The Independent.
UK Power Networks sponsored the Business Journalist of the Year honour, which went to Simon Neville of The Independent and the London Evening Standard despite strong competition from the BBC’s Robert Peston and Sarah O’Connor of the FT. “It was a writer who proved a sharp thorn in the side of the government and the retail industry with his campaign and exposure of the extent of Zero Hours contracts for retail and hospitality workers that eventually won the nod from our judges,” said Hagarty.
The Sunday People’s infamous ‘Boiling Point’ story on Nigella Lawson was named Scoop of the Year, sponsored by Nook, seeing off competition from The Guardian, with its Edward Snowden revelations, and The Mail on Sunday’s expose of Paul Flowers. Accepting the award, editor James Scott praised his team and credited “good old-fashioned contacts” as key to the exclusive.
LBC breakfast host Nick Ferrari was selected as Broadcast Journalist of the Year, sponsored by John Lewis, ahead of 5 Live’s Victoria Derbyshire and Channel 4 News’ Michael Crick.
The second special honour of the day, the Edgar Wallace award for writing or reporting of the highest quality, also sponsored by John Lewis, went to Ian Birrell. As well as his contributing editor role at The Mail on Sunday he was recognised for his columns and features for titles including The Guardian, London Evening Standard, The Economist, the New Statesman and the Wall Street Journal.
The awards lunch concluded with the awarding of the two flagship prizes, both sponsored by Barclays. The Sunday Newspaper of the Year honour was retained by The Mail on Sunday, ahead of the Sunday People and The Sunday Times. “This really was a tough choice, but the judges were particularly impressed by an apparently inexhaustible succession of scoops and campaigns, top-class sportswriting and the increasing “must-see” material that makes its accompanying magazine such a powerful add-on,” explained Hagerty.
The London Evening Standard was named Daily Newspaper of the Year, in the face of strong competition from The Guardian and the Daily Mail. “Despite relatively modest resources, it had expanded and sharpened its news coverage, regularly produced visually arresting front and inside pages and run confidently with a tremendous series entitled Frontline London, an investigation and campaign that penetrated London gangs and enlisted support from potential employers to help young people leave a life of crime,” said Hagerty.
Londoner of the Year: Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon
Blog of the Year: Paul Staines, Guido Fawkes
Arts Reviewer of the Year: Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, Financial Times
Business Journalist of the Year: Simon Neville, The Independent/London Evening Standard
Scoop of the Year: The Sunday People: Boiling Point – Nigella Lawson
Broadcast Journalist of the Year: Nick Ferrari, LBC
The Edgar Wallace Award: Ian Birrell
Sunday Newspaper of the Year: The Mail on Sunday
Daily Newspaper of the Year: London Evening Standard
Pictures: Alex Lentati/London Evening Standard