Four Scottish entries are shortlisted in this year's prestigious British Journalism Awards event which has attracted more than 800 submissions across 28 categories, including entries from every major news organisation in the UK. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in the Hilton London Bankside on the evening of Wednesday 8 December.
Martyn McLaughlin of The Scotsman
and Scotland on Sunday
is shortlisted in the Local Journalism category while Mark Daly, of BBC Scotland, has made the final eight contesting the Crime and Legal Affairs Journalism award. John Ferguson, of Scotland's Sunday Mail
, is shortlisted in the Anti-Corruption Journalism category while a four-person team from BBC Scotland, comprising Samantha Poling, Liam McDougall, Katie McEvinney and Shelley Joffre, are in the running for the Social Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion Journalism award.
In most categories, the judges opted for shortlists of eight – reflecting the extremely high standard of submitted work. Now in its 10th year, the British Journalism Awards, run by Press Gazette
, is the only media event of its kind in the UK. It's open to all journalists, whichever medium they work in, and has a strong emphasis on celebrating work which serves the public interest.
Chairman of the judges, Dominic Ponsford, editor of Press Gazette, told me: 'The judges and myself were in awe of the standard of work on display in this year's event. Once again the British Journalism Awards underline the vital work our journalists do in exposing corruption, giving a voice to victims and holding the powerful to account.
'When we started this event, the UK news industry was still reeling from the fallout of Leveson, hacking and the 2008 financial crash. This year's finalists underline the quality, depth, confidence and impact our business has today at all levels – across local, national and specialist media.'
Six categories do not have a shortlist and the awards will be announced on the night along with the other winners including the award for Public Service Journalism which is sponsored by the Journalists' Charity.
Three Scottish magazines are on a shortlist of six for this year's Society of Editors'
(SOE) Magazine of the Year award – The Courier Weekend
, Dundee, Dumfries and Galloway Life
and The Herald Magazine
. They face competition from Carlisle Living
, Herefordshire Living
and Ulster Business
The SOE told Scottish Review
: 'This award recognises the growth in the quality of monthly or regular standalone magazines and seeks to reward one of the outstanding success stories of the regional press. The magazine must be produced as part of a stable of products from a regional news publisher. Entries were judged on outstanding content, design, use of photography and readability'.
Here are the initial remarks of the judges on the three Scottish entries:
'Powerful imagery yet handled sensitively – quality throughout. It is clear the team work hard to keep their readers informed and entertained.'
Dumfries and Galloway Life:
'This magazine is clearly at the heart of its community and does local really well, with positive angles and bold uses of photography throughout. Diverse cover stars and story themes were praised for relevance and impact.'
The Herald Magazine:
'Chic and modern – just like the city [Glasgow] it serves, The Herald Magazine
provides active ideas for readers and adapted well during the pandemic. Each issue is a blend of content topics with something for everyone.'
The Daily Mail
and The Mail on Sunday
have again emerged triumphant in a major press awards event to continue a significant success story on the awards front this year. Both tabloids are now also the UK's top-selling newspapers in their respective categories.
The judges of the London Press Club's 2021 Awards voted the Daily Mail
as Daily Newspaper of the Year and The Mail on Sunday
as Sunday Newspaper of the Year – a remarkable double triumph. And the Daily Mail's
Andrew Pierce was voted Multi-Media Journalist of the Year and his colleague David Williams is Print Journalist of the Year.
The remaining award winners are: Londoner of the Year: Joint winners – Emma Raducanu, this year's US Open tennis champion and the London Evening Standard
. Specialist Journalist of the Year: winner – Dan McCrum, Financial Times
. Young Journalist of the Year: winner – Abbianca Makloni, London Evening Standard
. Scoop of the Year: winner – Daily Mirror
and The Guardian
for the Dominic Cummings expose. Broadcaster of the Year: winner – Lyse Doucet, the BBC's chief international correspondent. Edgar Wallace Award for Fine Writing: winner – Allison Pearson, Daily Telegraph
The Rothermere family, which with a 36% holding is the biggest shareholder in the ownership of the Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT), has agreed an £850 million buyout that will see the group taken private after 89 years on the stock market. The Rothermere family will pay 255p a share for DMGT, plus debts.
Investors will also, as part of the deal, receive a special dividend worth 991p per share following the recent US stock market listing of second-hand car platform, Cazoo, in which DMGT had a major stake, and the sale of its RMS insurance division. Lord Rothermere has moved for the buyout as he wishes the group to concentrate on its media holdings.
Added to a further final dividend of 17.3p a share, and including debts, DMGT points out that the total value of the offer and investor payouts came to just over £3 billion. DMGT and Rothermere Continuation Limited (RCL) have also reached an agreement with trustees of the company's pension funds which will see an injection of £412 million into pension schemes.
Jonathan Harold Esmond Vere Harmsworth, 4th Viscount Rothermere, is a British aristocrat and the inheritor of the newspaper and media empire, formerly Associated Newspapers, co-founded by his great-grandfather Harold Sidney Harmsworth. Educated at Gordonstoun School in Morayshire, 53-year-old Lord Rothermere is the chairman of DMGT. Brothers Alfred and Harold Harmsworth launched the Daily Mail
in 1896 and DMGT was formed in 1922 to manage the Rothermere family's interests.
DMGT is arguably the UK's most successful media conglomerate. As well as their stellar success in circulation terms, its newspapers consistently win major awards. The Daily Mail
has 15 shortlisted entries in this year's British Journalism Awards and its stablemates also feature: the i
daily newspaper has notched up seven, and The Mail on Sunday
and New Scientist
magazine are each shortlisted in two categories. DMGT also owns the very successful Mail Online
Media industry website, HoldTheFrontPage
(HTFP), tells us that regional press journalists have criticised BBC One crime drama Shetland
over the storyline in which a local paper printed hacked crime scene pictures of a murder victim.
The website reports that former East Anglian Daily Times
staffman Mark Langford took to Twitter to share his frustration at the storyline, branding it 'utter fantasy'. Mark wrote: 'So the writers of Shetland
seriously think a local newspaper would print hacked crime scene pictures of a murder victim: as it's in the public interest
, to quote the editor in his subsequent police interview? Jesus wept'. Mark added: 'Any editor using pictures of that sort and obtained under the circumstances of the Shetland
plotline would get the book thrown at them legally and professionally'.
Among other journalists criticising the storyline is Iliffe Media group's editorial director, Ian Carter, who commented: 'I know it's a TV drama and there are more important things to get angry about, but this is yet another example of how people are given a completely misleading impression of local journalism'.
HTFP reports that Simon O'Neill and Esther Beadle, former editor and assistant news editor respectively at the Oxford Mail
, also have had their say. Esther, who was formerly a reporter on the Evening Express
in Aberdeen, declared: 'I literally switched off after this. Was utterly ridiculous'. Simon questioned: 'Why do TV writers always do this?'
HTFP comments: 'It is not the first time TV drama writers have come in for criticism from the industry. In 2018, [we] reported how regional journalists had urged Coronation Street
writers to do their research
after negative portrayals of reporters in a number of episodes. One scene in the soap saw a mob of local journalists harass the friends of a murder victim on the street, while the fictional Weatherfield Gazette
was also criticised for its design and a potential issue around contempt of court'.
and The Reading Chronicle
have won this year's 'Making a Difference' national and regional awards for their campaigns 'Green Week' and 'Help Save Charlie'. The awards are part of the News Media Association's (NMA) annual 'Journalism Matters' campaign to highlight the vital role journalism plays in our society. Newsquest's Glasgow Times
and The Herald
were shortlisted for the regional award.