Newspaper of the Year: Daily Mail. Pictured from left: Rob Dwight of Camelot, Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre and event host Nick Ferrari.
The Mail was awarded the accolade for its campaigning on a number of issues during 2016 and its dominance of the Brexit debate.
The judges said: “In the seismic year of Brexit, the battle for No.10 and campaigning journalism, the winner had its finger on the pulse of the national conversation. Not only did it shape both the agenda and the narrative it reflected the temper of a large part of the country in a year of political upheaval. It was a must-read across the political and public spectrum and its strong and provocative voice never wavered.
“From crusading reports on press freedom to Brexit, the Sepsis scandal, the madness of drivers using mobile phones, wasteful foreign aid spending, betrayal of Afghan interpreters, the harm caused by ‘plastic poison’ and the battle to end the witch-hunt against British troops, the conviction of the paper’s commentary and campaigning in 2016 was matched only by its energy. It is also never afraid to have a strong opinion.
“It is the job of a newspaper to hold power to account and to forensically question and probe those who act in our name.
“The decision of the judges was that it dominated the narrative and produced agenda-setting and stand out coverage in 2016.”
The paper also saw Peter Oborne awarded the Columnist of the Year in the popular category, Stanley (MAC) McMurtry awarded the Cartoonist of the Year and Andy Hooper awarded the Sports Photographer of the Year accolade.
The awards for national newspaper journalism were handed out a glittering ceremony to celebrate the awards for 2016 at London’s Hilton on Park Lane last night.
Other big winners were The Times, the Financial Times, The Sunday Times and The Guardian.
The Times saw reporter Rachel Sylvester named Political Journalist of the Year for the second year in a row and awarded Scoop of the Year for her interview with Conservative party leader candidate Andrea Leadsom in which she suggested that ‘Being a mother’ gave her the edge on Theresa May.
In awarding the honours the judges said that Sylvester’s work in 2016 “excelled”.
They added that Sylvester’s interview “not only cleared the path for Theresa May to walk into 10 Downing Street but highlighted the sheer hypocrisy of a politician all too eager to accuse the media of ‘making it up’. Her scoop dominated the news agenda and was quality journalism published at a time of massive political uncertainty.”
The Times also saw Anthony Loyd awarded the Foreign Reporter of the Year and Billy Kenber named Science and Health Journalist of the Year. The Times’ ‘Day of Reckoning’ cover on the day of the referendum was named Front Page of the Year.
The Financial Times won the Website of the Year for 2016 and also saw Pilita Clark named Environment Journalist of the Year, Simon Usborne named Travel Journalist of the Year, Henry Mance awarded Interviewer of the Year for the Broadsheets and the FT Weekend Magazine named Supplement of the Year.
The Sunday Times took home the Young Journalist of the Year for Louise Callaghan. Oliver Shah, who led the coverage on the demise of BHS and the role of Sir Philip Green was awarded the Business and Finance Journalist of the Year Award.
The evening also saw posthumous honours for Feature Writer of the Year and Critic of the Year awarded to AA Gill. Gill, a prominent writer for The Sunday Times, passed away in December 2016 after a short battle with cancer.
In awarding the Feature Writer of the Year to Gill the judges noted: “The strength of his writing not only brought difficult issues to a wider audience but also proved his brilliance. His last feature on the NHS was truly outstanding and both moving and insightful in its own right.”
The evening also saw The Guardian’s Amelia Gentleman named Specialist Journalist of the Year and Daniel Taylor triumphed in both the Sports Journalist of the Year and News Reporter of the Year categories. Taylor, Chief Football Writer for The Guardian, was applauded by the judges for his reporting on the football sexual abuse scandal.
The judges described Taylor’s work over the year as “agenda-setting, sensitive and unequivocally in the public interest”.
They added: “While his interview with Andy Woodward was an outstanding piece of reporting, his follow-ups and the aftermath of the revelations have been just as important. Quite simply, his work dominated the news agenda both in print, on television and online and one suspects that the repercussions will be felt for years to come.”
The Telegraph’s Executive Director Guy Black was awarded the Journalists’ Charity of the Year Award, recognising his work for the charity and the Telegraph’s Allardyce scoop was named Digital Scoop of the Year. Lisa Armstrong was also presented with the Fashion Journalist of the Year honour.
The Sun saw its Age UK investigation awarded the Cudlipp Award for campaigning journalism and Laura Armstrong was named the Showbiz Reporter of the Year for the Sunday edition. The New European, launched in the immediate aftermath of the European referendum and intended to be a pop-up, was awarded the Chairman’s Award in recognition of its success and quality journalism.
The awards, held at the London Hilton on Park Lane were supported by Camelot which has supported the Society of Editors since 2001, United Utilities, JTI, EY, Wiggin, Wellcome Trust, Google, Luther Pendragon, Gorkana, Press Association, Reuters, London Hilton on Park Lane, PCS, Journalists' Charity and the British Journalism Review.
The winners of the Press Awards 2016:
YOUNG JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Supported by the Cecil King Foundation
Winner: Louise Callaghan – The Sunday Times
BUSINESS AND FINANCE JOURNALIST
Sponsored by EY
Winner: Oliver Shah – The Sunday Times
Highly commended: John Gapper – Financial Times
POLITICAL JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Winner: Rachel Sylvester – The Times
Highly commended: Matthew Parris – The Times
FOREIGN REPORTER OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Reuters
Winner: Anthony Loyd – The Times
Highly commended: Louise Callaghan – The Sunday Times and Patrick Cockburn – The Independent
SCIENCE AND HEALTH JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by the Wellcome Trust
Winner: Billy Kenber – The Times
Highly commended: Andrew Gregory – Daily Mirror
FASHION JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Winner: Lisa Armstrong – The Daily Telegraph
Highly commended: Anna Murphy – The Times
ENVIRONMENT JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by United Utilities
Winner: Pilita Clark – Financial Times
Highly commended: George Monbiot – The Guardian
TRAVEL JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Winner: Simon Usborne – Financial Times
Highly commended: Chris Haslam – The Sunday Times
SPECIALIST JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by JTI
Winner: Amelia Gentleman – The Guardian
Highly commended: Larisa Brown – Daily Mail and Patrick Strudwick - Buzzfeed
SHOWBIZ REPORTER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Laura Armstrong – The Sun on Sunday
Highly commended: Tom Bryant – Daily Mirror
SPORTS JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
Winner: Daniel Taylor – The Guardian
Highly commended: Martha Kelner – Daily Mail
INTERVIEWER OF THE YEAR (POP)
Winner: Charlotte Edwardes – London Evening Standard
Highly commended: Frances Hardy – Daily Mail
INTERVIEWER OF THE YEAR (BROADSHEET)
Winner: Henry Mance – Financial Times
Highly commended: Bryan Appleyard – The Sunday Times
COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR (POP)
Winner: Peter Oborne – Daily Mail
Highly commended: Dominic Lawson – Daily Mail and Jane Moore – The Sun
COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR (BROADSHEET)
Winner: Yasmin Alibhai-Brown – i
Highly commended: Janice Turner – The Times
FEATURE WRITER OF THE YEAR
Winner: AA Gill – The Sunday Times
CRITIC OF THE YEAR
Winner: AA Gill – The Sunday Times
Highly commended: Robbie Collin – The Daily Telegraph
PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Dominic Lipinski – Press Association
Highly commended: Carl Court – Getty Images
SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Andy Hooper – Daily Mail
Highly commended: Mike Egerton – Press Association
CARTOONIST OF THE YEAR
Winner: Stanley (MAC) McMurtry – Daily Mail
Highly commended: Peter Brookes – The Times
NEWS REPORTER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Daniel Taylor – The Guardian
Highly commended: Oliver Shah – The Sunday Times
WEBSITE OF THE YEAR
Winner: Financial Times
Highly commended: The Sun
DIGITAL SCOOP OF THE YEAR
Winner: Football For Sale – The Daily Telegraph
Highly commended: Keith Vaz – Daily Mirror
SUPPLEMENT OF THE YEAR
Winner: FT Weekend Magazine – Financial Times
Highly commended: The Times Magazine – The Times and G2 – The Guardian
FRONT PAGE OF THE YEAR
Winner: Day of Reckoning – The Times
Highly commended: It’s President Trump…What have they done? – Daily Mirror
THE GEORGINA HENRY WOMEN IN JOURNALISM PRIZE FOR INNOVATION
Sponsored by Wiggin
Winner: Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff – freelance journalist and opinions editor at gal-dem.com
Highly commended: Rosamund Urwin – Evening Standard Columnist and Senior Feature Writer
THE CUDLIPP AWARD
Supported by the British Journalism Review
Winner: Age UK Investigation – The Sun
Highly commended: Drugs Companies campaign – The Times
JOURNALISTS’ CHARITY AWARD
Winner: Guy Black, Executive Director, Telegraph Media Group
SCOOP OF THE YEAR
Sponsored by Gorkana
Winner: Being a mother gives me edge on May, Rachel Sylvester – The Times
Highly commended: My Secret Father, Charles Moore and Gordon Rayner – The Daily Telegraph
Winner: The New European
NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Daily Mail