Rosita Boland from The Irish Times named 2018 Journalist of the Year

26 awards presented at annual NewsBrands Ireland Journalism Awards sponsored by the National Lottery

Rosita Boland from The Irish Times has been crowned the NewsBrands Ireland Journalist of the Year for 2018.

Ms Boland also was awarded the 2018 Scoop of the Year for her interview with Ann Lovett’s former boyfriend who spoke openly for the first time on the circumstances surrounding one of the saddest stories in recent Irish history.

The award was presented by Vincent Crowley, Chairman of NewsBrands Ireland, and Jerry Kennelly, the Chairman of the Journalism Awards Judging Panel. The Awards were sponsored for the third year by the National Lottery.

The Journalist of the Year award, said Mr Kennelly, went to a journalist who is “naturally gifted with an uncanny perception and blessed with a trustworthiness bestowed by those who confide their stories in her. This journalist’s work helped amplify on one of Ireland’s most unexplained scandals of the 1980s – the death of Ann Lovett in 1984.”

Mr Kennelly continued, “If journalism can rightly be called the first rough draft of history, this outstanding interview with its understated and simple clarity of expression finally filled in the gaps of an incomplete chapter of the nation’s records.”

26 winners across a diverse range of categories

In addition to the overall Journalist of the Year prize, a total of 26 category awards were presented at the ceremony in Dublin’s Mansion House including News, Sport, Business, Campaigning Journalism, Crime, Foreign Coverage, Investigative Journalism, Digital Excellence, Showbiz, Political Coverage, and Young Journalist

The full list of 2018 winners can be read below.

Speech from NewsBrands Ireland Chairman

Addressing the Journalism Awards, NewsBrands Ireland Chairman, Vincent Crowley, described newspapers as the “voice of the people, their communities and their regions. We rely on the journalists in this room to tell us what is happening in the world – and why.”

Mr. Crowley went on to say: “But good journalism is under threat: censorship, economic pressures, job insecurity and a lack of political will to assist in meeting these challenges, is resulting in an uncertain future for Irish journalism.”

NewsBrands Ireland Journalism Matters campaign

This year, NewsBrands Ireland launched the ‘Journalism Matters’ campaign which saw the country’s newspapers, local and national, unite to highlight the vital role the press plays in a vibrant democracy and call on the Government to support measures to ensure the industry’s survival.

Mr Crowley said: “The supports we are requesting in relation to VAT reductions, Libel Law reform, and the call for a Minster for Media, are no different from supports which are readily available in other European countries who proactively support their newspaper industries. Our campaign has initially resulted in the maintenance of the 9% VAT rate for printed newspapers and the reduction from 23% to 9% on VAT on digital publications – for which we are grateful. Hopefully this development is a first step and that next year’s budget will see further progress in this regard.”

Announcing continued sponsorship of the Awards for the next three years, Dermot Griffin, Chief Executive of the National Lottery, said: “An independent media that delivers fair and balanced journalism is the bedrock of any democracy. We are lucky here in Ireland that we have journalists of integrity and a media that informs and entertains. This has come through clearly from the winners and shortlisted candidates for today’s Awards. Like newspapers the National Lottery has a reach into communities all over the country and we are delighted to continue to support these important Awards.”

Journalism Awards 2018 winners

  • Business Journalist – Tom Lyons, The Sunday Business Post
  • Business Story – Mark Paul & Colm Keena, The Irish Times
  • Campaigning Journalism – Irish Independent Tracker Mortgage coverage (Charlie Weston)
  • Columnist (Broadsheet) – Fintan O’ Toole, The Irish Times
  • Columnist (Popular) – Philip Nolan, Irish Daily Mail
  • Critic – Richard Pine, The Sunday Times
  • Crime Story – Michael O’ Toole, Irish Daily Star
  • Crime Journalist – Stephen Breen, The Irish Sun
  • Digital Excellence – Irish Farmers Journal
  • Features (Broadsheet) – Conor Lally, The Irish Times
  • Features ( Popular) – Aoife Finneran, The Irish Sun
  • Foreign Coverage – Sally Hayden, The Irish Times
  • Front Page – Irish Daily Mail  ( I Found Out Today I’m Dying)
  • Headline – Irish Daily Star (Chilly Wrong Kearney)
  • Investigative Journalism –Sunday Independent Investigative Team ( Maeve Sheehan, Wayne O’ Connor, Mark O’ Regan)
  • News Analysis – Susan Mitchell, The Sunday Business Post
  • News Reporter –  Mark Tighe, The Sunday Times
  • Political Journalist – Fiach Kelly, The Irish Times
  • Political Story – Ellen Coyne, The Times, Ireland Edition
  • Scoop – Rosita Boland, The Irish Times
  • Showbiz Story – Jennifer O’ Brien and Catherine Sanz, The Times, Ireland Edition
  • Showbiz Journalist – Barry Egan, Sunday Independent
  • Sports Story – Vincent Hogan,  Irish Independent
  • Sports Writer (Broadsheet) – Vincent Hogan, Irish Independent
  • Sports Writer (Popular) – David Coughlan, Irish Daily Star
  • Young Journalist of the Year – Amy Molloy,
  • Journalist of the Year 2018 – Rosita Boland, The Irish Times


For further information please contact Lisa Buckley, NewsBrands Ireland. 087 7779259,