None were less jaw-dropping than the stories that made it onto the shortlist in 2016 – so much so that the chairman of the judges suggested four rather than three should be shortlisted.
The shortlist included the Daily Telegraph’s revelations concerning newly-appointed England football team manager Sam Allardyce (below), an equally jaw-dropping exclusive by Nick Dorman of the Sunday Mirror concerning the sexual indiscretions of MP Keith Vaz and the devastating report by the Daily Mail’s Matt Lawton on whether cycling superstar Sir Bradley Wiggins had been allowed to use a banned performance-enhancing substance.
Matt’s work so impressed the judges that they decided to highly commend him.
The overall winner was The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor for his sensational investigation into sexual abuse in football.
Matt Lawton, of the Daily Mail (above left) was highly commended for his scoop on Sir Bradley Wiggins (above right)
In other categories, here is the complete shortlist and winners:
BUSINESS JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR, sponsored by UK Power Networks.
Shortlist: Simon Goodley, of The Guardian, whose undercover reporting resulted in Sports Direct paying its workers at least the minimum wage; Deidre Hipwell, retail editor of The Times, who was always on top of covering the financial shocks and scandals of 2016; and Oliver Shah, whose Sunday Times investigation into Sir Philip Green’s £1 sale of BHS is reverberating still. Winner: OLIVER SHAH of The Times.
BROADCAST JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Associated British Ports.
Shortlist: Kate Burley, the long-serving and super-cool presenter and reporter for Sky News; Michael Crick, fearless and ever-challenging when investigating the abuse of election expenses rules for Channel 4 News; and Emily Maitlis, whose insight and command of detail whether in the BBCNewsnight studio or on location is always impressive. Winner: EMILY MAITLIS.
DIGITAL JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Google.
Shortlist: Jon Laurence, of Channel 4 News, who one judge described as ‘a leading talent among the new breed of editors’ – propelling stories on to social media to great effect; Lara O’Reilly, then with businessinsider.com, was praised for her relentless, incisive reporting, particularly on the media and advertising industries, while Andrew Sparrow’s Politics Live blog for the Guardian online was considered to be at the forefront of live blogging. Winner: LARA O’REILLY.
PRINT JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Gorkana.
Shortlist: Ian Hislop, now nationally known as one of the two long-serving team captains on TV’s Have I Go News For You?, had a spectacular year in his day job, as editor of Private Eye – recording a record circulation during the year while exposing corruption and sharp practise and maintaining its role as a major irritant to the great and the good. Sarah Sands edited the LondonEvening Standard until recently bowing out en route to Radio 4’s the Today programme, saw distribution soar and profits increase during her five years at the helm; and Dan Wooton, Associate editor in charge of all things show business at The Sun, continued to break major celebrity stories while marshalling coverage and comment across the entertainment firmament. Winner: IAN HISLOP.
Edgar Wallace Award for writing or reporting of the highest quality, created by the Press Club in 1990, went to Anthony Hilton, city editor of the London Evening Standard.
SUNDAY NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Tie Break Tens tennis.
Shortlist: The Mail on Sunday, The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph. Winner: THE SUNDAY TIMES and I invite editor MARTIN IVENS to come to the dais to collect the prize.
DAILY NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR, sponsored by Barclays.
Shortlist: Daily Mirror, The Financial Times, i, The Times. Winner: THE TIMES