Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday deliver five gongs in Writing categories for SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, with Riath Al-Samarrai landing his first John Bromley Trophy; another Newspaper of the Year accolade for the “agenda-setting” Telegraph; triple trophy haul for Times writers, as The Athletic nabs Publisher prize…
For the fifth time in the last six years, there is a new name on the John Bromley Trophy for SJA Sportswriter of the Year – step forward Riath Al-Samarrai.
Having landed the News Reporter Award as well as silver medals in the Feature Writer and Specialist Correspondent categories, the Daily Mail journalist was already enjoying a successful evening at the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, sponsored by the National Lottery.
But Al-Samarrai capped it all off at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge with the Writing section’s major honour to cement his place among the industry greats.
The judges praised his “news-breaking talents, deep knowledge of sport and his rich ability to write strong, incisive articles”.
Speaking afterwards, Al-Samarrai said he was humbled to have been handed the industry’s top award.
Meanwhile, the Telegraph was named Newspaper of the Year for the fourth consecutive year.
The judges said: “In an extremely competitive field, the winner delivered the perfect combination of impact, breadth and depth in its reporting, tackling the biggest issues but also telling the personal stories that bring sport alive.
“Not only did the Telegraph break many of the biggest stories, it also regularly sets the agenda.”
The Mail on Sunday’s Rob Draper had been pipped by stablemate Al-Samarrai to the News Reporter prize but did claim two of his own, both in newly-created categories – Football News Reporter award and Social Media Journalism.
The latter was for Draper’s coverage of the chaotic Champions League final in Paris, with the judges noting how he “demonstrated perfectly not only the effectiveness of social media journalism but also how it can be done to make a real difference in a live situation… his knowledge and the timings of his reports were fundamental to refuting the claims made by the French Interior Minister.”
Along with Isaan Khan‘s Ian Wooldridge Award triumph in ‘Ones to Watch’ – announced last week but presented on the night – it meant a fabulous five top gongs in Writing for the Mail Sport desk, which had received 15 shortlist nods in total.
The Times and Sunday Times had been next on that list with 13, and they were able to celebrate a treble as Henry Winter (Football Journalist), David Walsh (Feature Writer) and Mike Atherton (Specialist Correspondent) all returned to the winners’ circle.
For the third time in five years, Jonathan Liew (The Guardian) was named SJA Columnist of the Year, while BBC Sport Wales’ Dafydd Pritchard is a first-time winner in the Regional Journalist category.
Speaking to reporter Fadumo Olow after collecting his award, the proud Welshman said: “It’s great to represent our audiences and make sure their voices are heard as well.”
The inaugural SJA Academy Award in association with Sky Sports went to Shubi Arun.
The hotly-contested Scoop award was secured by Talk TV’s Piers Morgan Uncensored programme for its exclusive and explosive interview with Cristiano Ronaldo in November.
The judges said: “There are times when the proof of a story’s impact comes from the way other media outlets follow it up, analyse it and ask their columnists to weigh in with their opinions… there can be no doubting the massive impact that the Scoop of the Year had across all parts of our industry.”
The Digital Publisher award was won by The Athletic, with the judges noting how the football website offered “an absolute breadth and depth of high-quality information with great insight and a great use of language”.
NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR
Daily Mail; Daily Mirror; The Daily Telegraph; The Guardian; The Sunday Times; The Times
Winner: The Daily Telegraph
SPORTSWRITER OF THE YEAR (The John Bromley Trophy)
Winner: Riath Al-Samarrai
BBC Sport; ESPN; Sky Sports; The Athletic; The Coaches’ Voice; The Times; theguardian.com
Bronze: Sky Sports; Silver: BBC Sport; Winner: The Athletic
Adam Crafton – The Athletic; Alyson Rudd – The Times & Sunday Times; Henry Winter – The Times & Sunday Times; Matt Law – The Telegraph; Miguel Delaney – The Independent; Nick Ames – The Guardian; Sam Wallace – The Telegraph
Bronze: Alyson Rudd – The Times & Sunday Times; Silver: Sam Wallace – The Telegraph; Winner: Henry Winter – The Times & Sunday Times
Ciaran Kelly – The Journal / ChronicleLive; Dafydd Pritchard – BBC Sport Wales; Jon Colman – Newsquest Cumbria; Jordan Cross – Portsmouth News; Neil Allen – Portsmouth News; Phil Smith – Sunderland Echo
Bronze: Phil Smith – Sunderland Echo; Silver: Jon Colman – Newsquest Cumbria; Winner: Dafydd Pritchard – BBC Sport Wales
Alex Lowe – The Times and Sunday Times; James Corrigan – The Telegraph; Mike Atherton – The Times and Sunday Times; Nik Simon – The Mail on Sunday; Riath Al-Samarrai – Daily Mail; Sean Ingle – The Guardian
Bronze: James Corrigan – The Telegraph, Nik Simon – The Mail on Sunday; Silver: Riath Al-Samarrai – Daily Mail; Winner: Mike Atherton – The Times and Sunday Times
David Squires – The Guardian; Ian Herbert – The Mail+; Jonathan Liew – The Guardian; Matthew Syed – The Times & Sunday Times; Oliver Holt – The Mail on Sunday; Owen Slot – The Times & Sunday Times
Bronze: Owen Slot – The Times & Sunday Times; Silver: Oliver Holt – The Mail on Sunday; Winner: Jonathan Liew – The Guardian
David Walsh – The Times & Sunday Times; Donald McRae – The Guardian; Riath Al-Samarrai – Daily Mail; Ian Herbert – Daily Mail & Mail on Sunday; James Gheerbrant – The Times & Sunday Times; Jeremy Wilson – The Telegraph
Bronze: Jeremy Wilson – The Telegraph; Silver: Riath Al-Samarrai – Daily Mail; Winner: David Walsh – The Times & Sunday Times
Ben Rumsby – The Telegraph; David Ornstein – The Athletic; Matt Hughes – Daily Mail; Matt Lawton – The Times; Riath Al-Samarrai – Daily Mail; Rob Draper – The Mail on Sunday
Bronze: Matt Lawton – The Times; Silver: Rob Draper – The Mail on Sunday; Winner: Riath Al-Samarrai – Daily Mail
FOOTBALL NEWS REPORTER
David Conn – The Guardian; David Ornstein – The Athletic; Jason Burt – The Telegraph; Mark Ogden – ESPN; Mike Keegan – Daily Mail; Rob Draper – The Mail on Sunday
Bronze: David Ornstein – The Athletic; Silver: Jason Burt – The Telegraph; Winner: Rob Draper – The Mail on Sunday
Abramovich puts Chelsea up for sale – Matt Law (Daily Telegraph); BBC axe Sports Report results – Mike Keegan (Daily Mail); Blackpool forward Jake Daniels becomes UK’s first active male professional footballer to come out publicly as gay – Sky Sports News; Klitschko: This is the biggest fight of my life – Mike Walters (Daily Mirror); Liverpool for sale – David Ornstein (The Athletic); Ronaldo Special – Piers Morgan Uncensored (TalkTV)
Bronze: Blackpool forward Jake Daniels becomes UK’s first active male professional footballer to come out publicly as gay – Sky Sports News; Silver: Klitschko: This is the biggest fight of my life – Mike Walters (Daily Mirror); Winner: Ronaldo Special – Piers Morgan Uncensored (TalkTV)
SOCIAL MEDIA JOURNALISM
Champions League Final Chaos – Rob Draper (The Mail on Sunday); Football’s Dark Side: A talkSPORT & The Times investigation – talkSPORT; Jake Daniels exclusive – Sky Sports; Qatar Men’s Football World Cup Coverage – The Athletic; Sky Sports The Dub (Snapchat) and WSL (TikTok) – Sky Sports; Storytelling – Carrie Brown (beIN)
Bronze: Storytelling – Carrie Brown (beIN); Silver: Jake Daniels exclusive – Sky Sports; Winner: Champions League Final Chaos – Rob Draper (The Mail on Sunday)
ONES TO WATCH – WRITING (The Ian Wooldridge Award)
Ben Fisher – The Guardian; Cameron Hogwood – Sky Sports; Connor O’Halloran – ESPN; Isaan Khan – Daily Mail; Katherine Lucas – The i newspaper; Liam Tharme – The Athletic; Molly McElwee – The Telegraph; Rich Jones – Daily Mirror
Bronze: Connor O’Halloran – ESPN; Silver: Ben Fisher – The Guardian, Molly McElwee – The Telegraph; Winner: Isaan Khan – Daily Mail
SJA ACADEMY AWARD IN ASSOCIATION WITH SKY SPORTS
Winner: Shubi Arun