Journalists can no longer afford to be complacent in the face of fake news and “hacking” from other countries, BBC journalist Nick Robinson told audiences at the London Press Club Awards Lunch on 30 April.
The presenter of the Today Programme delivered the keynote speech at the awards, praising media’s ability to “expose injustices that change and save people’s lives” but warned: “We can agree that politics has failed this country. Journalism, the media, we are failing too. We can do better than we are currently doing.”
In response to Paul Dacre’s speech last year Robinson emphasised the “symbiotic relationship” between print and broadcast and said they “need each other” in the face of Brexit disorder and disinformation.
He celebrated the “raucous” spirit of the press, but criticised their use of language to characterise leavers and remains as irresponsible.
Speaking about the BBC’s Reality Check he said:
“We are not there to tell people what they should be thinking, but what what we are hearing is not true, not a factual basis for debate.”
He warned we are being hacked by Russia, Iran and China who are “flooding the world with false information” and the regimes are trying to silence journalists.
“It’s not journalism it’s propaganda, and it’s a threat we should take very seriously,” he said.
He was joined by fellow BBC news journalist and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Kate Silverton who compered the awards at Stationers Hall.
Sir David Attenborough, who won the acclaimed Londoner of the year award for his lifelong work in television said he was“delighted.” He added “the future of the world is in the people’s hands and the hands of humanity”
Other winners included The Times for Daily Newspaper of the Year, The Sunday Mirror for Sunday Newspaper of the Year, Madison Marriage for Business Journalist of the Year, The Bellingcat Investigative Team for Digital Journalist of the Year, Amelia Gentleman for Print Journalist of the Year, The Observer‘s work on Cambridge Analytica for Scoop of the Year, Katya Adler and Laura Kuenssberg for Broadcast Journalist of the Year as well as Ian Jack for the Edgar Wallace Award for writing or reporting of the highest quality.
The Awards were attended by editors and senior executives from most of the national newspapers together with presenters and executives from TV and radio broadcasting.
They were generously supported by sponsorship from JustEat, Cision, The Madison Square Garden Company, Google and Associated British Ports.
Those attending included the editors of The Times, The Sunday Times, Daily Mirror and The Observer.
London Press Club Award winners for 2018
Daily Newspaper of the Year – The Times
Sunday Newspaper of the Year – Sunday Mirror
Business Journalist of the Year – Madison Marriage, FT
Broadcast Journalist of the Year – Laura Kuenssberg and Katya Adler, BBC News
Digital Journalist of the Year – Bellingcat
Print Journalist of the Year – Amelia Gentleman, Guardian
Scoop of the Year – Cambridge Analytica, Observer
Edgar Wallace Trophy – Ian Jack, Guardian