Winners of the 2020 NewsBrands Ireland Journalism Awards, sponsored by the National Lottery, unveiled in virtual broadcast

17 November 2020. The winners of the 2020 NewsBrands Ireland Journalism Awards were announced tonight in a live virtual broadcast from the Guinness Storehouse.

The annual industry awards, which are run by NewsBrands Ireland and sponsored by the National Lottery, took a different format this year due to Covid-19 restrictions on events. Instead, the awards were broadcast via www.journalismawards.ie  and featured host Matt Cooper interviewing members of the Journalism Awards judging panel who discussed the great journalism of the past year. The judges included Michael Foley, Siobhán O’ Connell, Áine Kerr, PJ Cunningham, Nóirín Hegarty, Dave O’ Connell, Claire Grady, and Hannah Louise Dunne.

The show shone a light on the powerful and impactful journalism which was produced in the past year and gave viewers an insight into the judging process.  

Below are the winners which were announced in Part 1

Political Journalist of the Year: Miriam Lord, The Irish Times

Business Journalist of the Year: Lorcan Allen, Irish Farmers Journal

Magazine of the Year, The Irish Times Magazine

Investigative Journalism: Irish Independent Political Team (Cormac McQuinn, Fionnán Sheahan, Kevin Doyle, Philip Ryan & Hugh O’Connell)

Broadsheet Columnist of the Year: Fintan O’ Toole, The Irish Times

Popular Sports Writer of the Year: Neil O’ Riordan, The Irish Sun

Broadsheet Sports Writer of the Year: Johnny Watterson, The Irish Times

Scoop of the Year: Cormac McQuinn and Fionnán Sheahan, Irish Independent

Podcast of the Year: Inside Politics, The Irish Times

Campaigning Journalism: Irish Daily Star Vs Daniel Kinahan

Best Coverage of Covid 19: Lives Lost, The Irish Times

News Reporter of the Year: Wayne O’ Connor, Sunday Independent

The following category winners will be announced in Part 2 of the Journalism Awards which will broadcast at 7pm, Wednesday 17th November via www.journalismawards.ieHeadline, Front Page, Crime Journalist, Showbiz Journalist, Popular Columnist, Broadsheet Feature Writer, Popular Feature Writer, News Website of the Year, Best Use of Video, Young Journalist, Critic, Foreign Coverage, and the overall Journalist of the Year.

Speaking on the Journalism Awards programme, Vincent Crowley, Chairman of NewsBrands Ireland, said:

“Sincere congratulations to the shortlisted and winning journalists this year. News publishers, journalists, and the entire editorial and production teams are to be commended for continuing to provide compelling news coverage despite the challenging working conditions created by Covid-19.”

“Public appetite for quality news is on the increase again and latest figures show that over 72% of Irish people read a newspaper or one of our member news sites every week. Our members digital subscriptions are on the rise and news sites are seeing record traffic. However, the business model is facing many challenges, including the outdated libel laws and the dominance of global tech giants in the monetisation of news publishers’ content. We look forward to engaging with the Future of Media Commissions to address these issues and secure the future of quality Irish journalism.”

Speaking via a virtual address was Catherine Martin T.D, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, who said the awards are:

“A wonderful opportunity to celebrate all that we value in Irish journalism, breaking news, reporting on life changing events, sporting glories, elections, and the inspirational stories of resilience in this pandemic year”

We are lucky in this country to have a very diverse print sector with the public well served by both national daily and weekly local newspapers. As we look around the world, we see how disinformation can poison public opinion, undermining the very core of democracy. It is more important than ever to have good quality journalism which gains the trust of the public.”

Andrew Algeo, CEO of awards sponsor, the National Lottery, said:

“These awards are a recognition of the immense and valued role of journalism, shining a light as it does on all aspects of Irish society and making clear the impact and context of news and events. 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 this year’s awards. The National Lottery is immensely proud to sponsor these awards again this year and to be associated with the very best of work by the print and online journalists of Ireland.”

The shortlisted and winning work can all be read on www.journalismawards.ie

The overall winners are chosen by the independent judging panel, presided over by Chairman of the judging panel, Tim Vaughan. The independent judging panel is composed of 29 individuals who all share a passion and interest in quality journalism. This year’s panel can be viewed here