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Heavyweight clash lined-up for The Brewery

By Ian Cole
Stand by for a clash of the media heavyweights as The Times takes on the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and Guardian for the title of Sports Desk Team of the Year in the Sports Journalists’ Association’s British Sports Journalism Awards.

Those four national newspapers are shortlisted in the team category for their coverage of the Beijing Olympics, while The Times and Guardian also have nominations for their handling of the Munich air crash anniversary.

The emergence of retired sports stars in the Press Box is recognised by the listing of three former England cricketers in these prestigious awards, which are sponsored by UK Sport and Sky Bet. The Journalism Awards mark the final event of the SJA’s 60th anniversary year, 2008.


Former England cricket captain Michael Atherton is nominated for his work for The Times in the Specialist Correspondent and Sports Columnist categories, while a newcomer, former Glamorgan opener Steve James, is shortlisted as the Sunday Telegraph’s Specialist Correspondent.

One time England all-rounder Derek Pringle gets a joint mention in the Sports Story category along with Telegraph colleague Nick Hoult for their breaking of the Kevin Pietersen-Peter Moores crisis talks story.

Familiar names in the shortlists include the Sunday Times’ Paul Kimmage, who is bidding to win Sports Interviewer for a fifth successive year.

In the Diarist section the holder, the Daily Mail’s Charles Sale, renews rivalry with the Independent on Sunday’s Alan Hubbard. This pair have dominated the previous five awards in this category but this year face competition from Steve Anglesey (Mirror), David Hills (Observer), Matt Scott (Guardian) and Martyn Ziegler (Press Association).

In the Broadcaster category, Sky Sports’ Jeff Stelling has the chance of a four-timer for his hosting of the channel’s Saturday afternoon football show, this time with competition from the BBC’s Garry Richardson, Clare Balding and John Inverdale.

The Daily Mirror and Racing Post both have two journalists shortlisted for the new category of Sports Betting Writer, an award sponsored by Sky Bet.

The SJA awards also recognise regional writers and the Newcastle Evening Chronicle’s John Gibson is aiming for a third victory in nine years.

A shortlist for the top award, the Sports Writer of the Year, the choice of national sports editors, will be announced shortly. Last week, the SJA published its shortlists in its British Sports Photography Awards categories, with the prize-winners also announced at the awards dinner on March 9 at The Brewery, Moorgate, in the City of London.

For details of tickets to this event contact Sandra Phillips at Start2Finish Events Management on 0208 916 2237 or by email here.

â–¡ UK Sport is the longest standing lead sponsor of the Sports Journalists’ Association, with a partnership that goes back more than a decade. Sky Bet are the SJA’s newest partners, the sponsorship being announced in October 2008.

Both partners support the SJA’s two prestigious annual awards events, including the presentation of a special UK Sport Award for excellence at the SJA’s Annual Sports Awards and the sports betting writer of the year at the SJA’s British Sports Journalism Awards.


2008 SJA British Sports Journalism Awards
Writing, Broadcast and Cartoon category shortlists

Regional Writer
Mike Aitken The Scotsman
Philip Buckingham Hull Daily Mail
Jon Colman Cumbrian Newspapers
Neil Farrington Newcastle Sunday Sun
John Gibson Evening Chronicle, Newcastle
Amanda Little Cumbrian Newspapers

Sports Programme
Inside Sport (BBC)
Olympic Grandstand (BBC)
Soccer Saturday (Sky Sports)
SportsWeek (BBC Radio)
Test Match Special (BBC Radio)

Sports Diarist
Steve Anglesey Daily Mirror
David Hills Observer
Alan Hubbard Independent on Sunday
Matt Scott Guardian
Charles Sale Daily Mail
Martin Ziegler Press Association

Sports Broadcaster
Clare Balding
John Inverdale
Garry Richardson
Jeff Stelling
Adrian Warner

Specialist Correspondent
Michael Atherton The Times
Bill Elliott Freelance
Steve James Sunday Telegraph
Chris McGrath Independent
Kevin Mitchell Observer
Sam Wallace Independent

Sports Interviewer
Tim Adams Observer Sport Monthly
Paul Kimmage The Sunday Times
Donald McRae Guardian
Sue Mott Freelance
Ian Stafford Mail on Sunday
Matthew Syed The Times

Sports Cartoonist
Tony Husband The Times
Kerber & Black Daily Mirror
Nick Newman The Sunday Times
Steve O’Brien Mail on Sunday

Sports Story
Mihir Bose BBC: Premier League’s 39th game
Bob Cass Mail on Sunday: Berbatov for United
Rob Draper/Daniel King Mail on Sunday: Olympic contracts controversy
Derek Pringle/Nick Hoult Telegraph.co.uk: Pietersen/Moores crisis talks
Ashling O’Connor The Times: Chinese torch row
Alex Spink Daily Mirror: Martin Corry/Gavin Henson

Sports Betting Writer
Gary Boswell Freelance
John Curle/Kevin Price Daily Mirror
Derek McGovern Daily Mirror
Steve Palmer Racing Post
Kevin Pullein Racing Post
Dan Roebuck Guardian

Sports News Reporter
Shaun Custis The Sun
David Conn Guardian
Rob Draper Mail on Sunday
Peter Jackson Daily Mail
Charles Sale Daily Mail
Paul Smith Sunday Mirror

Sports Internet Writer
Neil Ashton Mailonline
Andy Bull Guardian.co.uk
John Hopkins Timesonline
Jim Munro Sunonline
Matt Slater bbc.co.uk
Bill Wilson bbcnewsonline

Sports Columnist
Michael Atherton The Times
Simon Barnes The Times
Patrick Collins Mail on Sunday
Tom English Scotland on Sunday
Paul Hayward Daily Mail
Oliver Holt Daily Mirror
Marina Hyde Guardian
James Lawton Independent

Sports Feature Writer
James Corrigan Independent
Donald McRae Guardian
Matthew Syed The Times
Owen Slot The Times
Alex Wade Freelance
Richard Williams Guardian

Sports Team
Daily Mail Olympics
Daily Telegraph Olympics
Guardian Munich Anniversary
Guardian Olympics
The Times Munich Anniversary
The Times Olympics

Young Sports Writer – the Ian Wooldridge Trophy
Oliver Brown Daily Telegraph
James Ducker The Times
Mark Hodgkinson Daily Telegraph
Matt Hughes The Times
Emma John Observer Sport Monthly
Duncan White Sunday Telegraph

The shortlists for the SJA British Sports Photography awards were published last week. Click here to view the photography shortlists and links to a picture gallery of some of the entries.

More sports journalism links


Join the SJA today – click here for details and membership application form


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