The cream of the Irish newspaper industry was out in force at the annual Journalism Awards which were held in the Mansion House this week.
Organised by NewsBrands Ireland, and supported by the National Lottery, the awards are open to journalists working in the Irish newspaper industry.
This year Michael Clifford of the Irish Examiner was named Journalist of the Year and he was presented with his award by Vincent Crowley, chairman of NewsBrands Ireland, guest of honour Frances Fitzgerald TD, Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Dermot Griffin, CEO of Premier Lotteries Ireland.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Vincent Crowley, paid tribute to the journalists who analyse, interpret and report the news.
“There is a relentless demand for information today, with more people than ever accessing our newspapers and news media sites to find out what is happening in the world,” he said. “Quality journalism is a cornerstone of democracy, and a legacy that will help future generations to understand why the world is the way it is.
“Original journalism needs to be protected,” he added. “We need a legislative framework that protects the ability of publishers to create and invest in original news content.
“The current libel laws are a sword hanging over the head of every national newspaper in this country,” he said. “The costs involved, and the level of awards made, place an enormous burden on publishers, and the need for change has never been more pressing. In that context, we welcome the Tánaiste’s forthcoming review of the Defamation Act.”
Crowley went on to reference the current EU copyright directive which, if passed, would significantly strengthen the rights of all those who invest in original content, including publishers.
He also repeated the view of NewsBrands Ireland that Irish newspapers should be subject to a VAT rate of zero – as they are in the UK and several other European countries – and that VAT on print and digital news should be aligned.
The full list of winners at the 2016 Journalism Awards is as follows:
Journalist of the Year: Michael Clifford, Irish Examiner
Business Journalist of the Year: Tom Lyons, The Sunday Business Post
Business Story of the Year: Fearghal O’Connor, The Sunday Business Post
Columnist of the Year – Broadsheet: Michael Clifford, Irish Examiner
Columnist of the Year – Popular: Paddy Murray, Sunday World
Crime Journalist of the Year: Nicola Tallant, Sunday World
Crime Story of the Year: Alan Sherry, Sunday World
Critic of the Year: Patrick Freyne, The Irish Times
Digital Innovation Award: The Irish Times, Remembering the 1916 Rising
Feature Writer of the Year (Popular): Catherine Fegan, Irish Daily Mail / The Irish Mail on Sunday
Feature Writer of the Year (Broadsheet): Susan Mitchell, The Sunday Business Post
Foreign Coverage of the Year: Jason O’Brien, Irish Independent
Front Page of the Year: The Herald, ‘Hotel Killers’
Headline of the Year: The Irish Sun, ‘Charlie Chaplain’
Investigative Journalism of the Year: Peter Murtagh, The Irish Times
News Analysis of the Year: Rosita Boland, The Irish Times
News Reporter of the Year: Patrick O’Connell, Irish Daily Star / Sunday World
Political Journalist of the Year: Jody Corcoran, Sunday Independent
Political Story of the Year: Niamh Horan, Sunday Independent
Showbiz Journalist of the Year: Ken Sweeney, The Irish Sun
Showbiz Story of the Year: Maeve Quigley, Irish Daily Mirror
Sports Story of the Year: Vincent Hogan, Irish Independent
Sports Writer of the Year: Neil Francis, Sunday Independent
Scoop of the Year: Sunday World Crime Team, Sunday World
Young Journalist of the Year: Sean Dunne, Irish Daily Mail