Pippa Crerar was one of the major winners of the night at the British Journalism Awards 2022, taking home the Journalist of the Year, Politics Journalism and Women in Journalism’s Woman of the Year prizes.
Crerar was recognised for her role in breaking the news of Downing Street parties at Christmas 2020 while the rest of the UK was under Covid-19 lockdown rules, as well as her Number 10 “wine time Fridays” and Boris Johnson’s Chequers wedding party scoops. (Read our interview with Crerar here.)
Meanwhile The Telegraph’s then-political correspondent Tony Diver won Scoop of the Year for his part in the Partygate scandal, revealing Number 10 staff held two boozy parties the night before Prince Philip’s socially-distanced funeral.
Hundreds of journalists working for UK media who risked their lives by travelling to the warzone of Ukraine this year were recognised with the British Journalism Awards’ third Public Service Award.
The special recognition award was accepted on every journalists’ behalf by Olga Malchevska, the BBC News Ukraine presenter who was live on-air in February when she first saw images of her childhood home in Kyiv after it had been destroyed by a bomb. (See Malchevska’s speech here.)
Sky News was named News Provider of the Year, largely for its “brave” reporting from Ukraine as well as leading the way on other stories like the cost of living crisis, Partygate and climate.
Other winners for their work in Ukraine include The Guardian’s photojournalist Ed Ram, Mani Benchelah and Patrick Tombola who made the Ukraine: Life Under Attack film for Channel 4 Dispatches, and Financial Times correspondent and former freelance Antonia Cundy who took home the Marie Colvin Award, given each year to outstanding up-and-coming journalists of the calibre of the late Sunday Times foreign correspondent.
The winners were fairly evenly spread across the UK media, with the BBC, Financial Times, Guardian and Daily Mail all netting three awards each. The Independent, Sunday Times, Mirror and Channel 4 Dispatches all went home with two.
As well as the Photojournalism award, Guardian journalists won the Social Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion Journalism award jointly with the BBC for their investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against DJ Tim Westwood and, jointly with BBC Panorama, the Technology Journalism award for their Uber Files investigation. BBC News and Panorama also won the Business, Finance and Economics Journalism prize for their work on Russian oligarchs.
On top of Cundy’s recognition, FT journalists won the Specialist Journalism prize for John Burn-Murdoch’s data journalism and Arts and Entertainment for Neil Munshi.
Susie Coen won Investigation of the Year for her Daily Mail investigation into the dangers of smart motorways that involved her going undercover for six weeks – the longest anyone at the paper has gone undercover – at National Highways, eventually leading to a U-turn on the policy. Daily Mail journalists also took home the Features Journalism and Sports Journalism prizes.
The Independent’s Simon Calder won the Travel Journalism prize for his work in a year that included P&O sacking 800 members of staff, while the title’s Rebecca Thomas took home the Health Journalism award for critical stories on the state of the NHS and, in part, how it has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Open Democracy won Campaign of the Year for its work on transparency in public life and freedom of information, leading to an inquiry into FOI obfuscation in the Government and several policy changes. The judges said this campaign “matters hugely for British journalism”.
The winners of all 30 awards, revealed in a ceremony at London’s Hilton Park Lane, were chosen from a record 840 entries by a panel of 75 independent judges who were looking for work that was “revelatory, which makes a difference and which demonstrates journalistic skill and rigour”.
Press Gazette editor-in-chief and chairman of the judges Dominic Ponsford said the winners provide plenty of “proof that journalism matters, that it does make a difference”.
“It has been a year when hundreds of colleagues have placed themselves in the firing line of Vladimir Putin’s missiles to report on the plight of the people of Ukraine,” he added. “And in which publications and broadcaster of every political persuasion and none held the executive branch of UK Government to account so effectively that a prime minister was forced to resign.”
The awards were supported by headline sponsor Starling Bank along with Amazon, Camelot, Cardiff University, Google News Initiative, Newsworks, Octopus Energy and Wiggin, as well as partners the Journalists’ Charity and Women in Journalism.