Bristolian Newsdesk | 07.10.2005 00:16
Here it is in full:
The Paul Foot Award 2005 Shortlist
CITATIONS ON BEHALF OF THE JUDGES – by Richard Stott
Felicity Lawrence - The Guardian
One of the many aspects of Paul’s journalism was his determination to shed light in dark corners others would not visit, particularly among oppressed and marginalised minorities who had no voice until Foot spoke for them.
Felicity Lawrence’s painstaking and difficult year-long investigation exposed the exploitation of migrant workers by unscrupulous gang-masters. She revealed widespread practices of cheap and illegal labour often housed in terrible conditions, the unacknowledged price we pay for massive supermarket profits. It is a world of Dickensian squalor, vicious exploitation, greed and government ignorance, exposed fearlessly by a brave reporter.
Spikey, angry, iconoclastic, rude, abrasive. The “smiter of the high and mighty” says The Bristolian on its masthead, evoking irresistible memories of early Private Eye. Run on its wits, talent and a shoestring, The Bristolian is the authentic voice of the streets. Foot would have loved and admired its two- fingered approach.
John Sweeney - The Daily Mail
John Sweeney’s four-year investigation into the terrible injustices suffered by Sally Clark, Angela Cannings and Donna Anthony, wrongly imprisoned for killing their children, led to the exposure of the prosecution’s chief witness, the eminent paediatrician Sir Roy Meadow. A campaign that culminated in him being stuck off by the General Medical Council.
Sweeney’s relentless pursuit of justice was in the highest tradition of Paul Foot journalism. Initially an unpopular and largely forgotten cause, a battle against apparently insuperable odds and finally the exposure of shocking incompetence and shortcomings in three Establishment professions – police, medicine and the law – that sentenced women to prison for crimes they did not commit. Sweeney’s dogged highlighting of these injustices kept the flame of hope alight when it appeared extinguished for ever. As a result many cases have been referred to the Court of Appeal and the guidelines on expert witnesses in child abuse cases have been changed.
Daniel Foggo and Charlotte Edwardes, The Sunday Telegraph
The exposure of the extraordinary fact that the British Pregnancy Advisory Service – an NHS funded charity and Britain’s largest abortion provider – was facilitating illegal late abortions, was a show-stopper in true Foot tradition. Meticulously researched and well written, the report led inevitably to a Department of Health inquiry into the BPAS and a report critical of the agency by the chief medical officer.
Eamonn O’Neill – The Herald (Glasgow)
Foot relished nothing better than the pursuit of a bent copper. Eamonn O’Neill’s tenacious and lengthy quest for justice in the case of Robert Brown, who spent 25 years in jail – put there by a detective later convicted for corruption – before being cleared of murder, echoes some of Paul’s most famous campaigns. This was raw, cutting-edge journalism at its best.
Heather Brooke - The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times, New Statesman, The Indpendent, The Guardian and The Times
The cornerstone of Paul’s journalism was the public’s right to know what their leaders were doing in their name. He took the view we probably wouldn’t like it if we knew and that is why they lied and covered-up when they could. In a raft of investigations, Heather Brooke has campaigned tirelessly to strip away the secrecy our rulers would impose if we let them. But for the tenacity and breadth of knowledge of such journalists as Heather, they would probably succeed.
The glittering awards ceremony takes place on Tuesday at swanky restaurant, Simpsons-in-the-Strand in London.
No doubt all Bristol will be rooting for our team!