The SJA shortlists: a real Clash of the Titans

Football has its “Big Four”, and the 2009 shortlists for the Sports Journalists’ Association’s British Sports Journalism Awards demonstrate that our trade, too, has its own big beasts, with promotion and relegation battles to be settled at the SJA British Sports Journalism Awards dinner, sponsored by Sky Bet and UK Sport, in London on Monday March 8.

The SJA British Sports Photography Awards look to be a head-to-head between two major agencies, Getty with five nominations and Action Images with nine, dominating the lists, although the Press Association and The Guardianand also have their former Sports Photographers of the Year, Gareth Copley and Tom Jenkins, among the award nominees.

Probably the biggest shock in this year’s shortlists, though, is the absence of Paul Kimmage from the Sports Interviewer of the Year – the award that the Sunday Times writer has monopolised since its introduction, winning on five occasions.

In Kimmage’s absence, two past winners of the John Bromley Trophy as the SJA Sportswriter of the Year, Paul Hayward and Martin Samuel, both have a chance to add to their awards collection, although they face stern competition in that category and for the ultimate prize.

The Mail on Sunday‘s Patrick Collins, the five-time Sportswriter of the Year, is shortlisted again for Columnist of the Year, alongside the Daily Mirror‘s Oliver Holt and the Mail‘s Des Kelly, while Mike Atherton, The Times‘s cricket correspondent and runner-up to Collins for the overall prize last year, is shortlisted twice, as Columnist and Specialist writer.

Following a triumphant Ashes summer, cricket is sure to emerge as a theme in the SJA’s 2009 awards across a range of categories, include the broadcasting awards – where Sky’s television coverage of Test cricket and BBC Radio’s Test Match Special are among the nomineees – as well as the game being captured in the photography awards and featuring strongly for the Team of the Year prize, which acknowledges the efforts of the whole sports desk teams.

There, the judges compared the Ashes coverage in the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, the Guardian and Observer‘s merged entry, and The Times, with the Guardian and Mail also being shortlisted for their coverage of the Champions League and Wimbledon, too.

SJA sponsors Sky Bet’s Sports Betting Writer of the Year, in its second year, again looks like a stern battle, while the expanded internet sports writing awards received a record entry this year.

In a letter to sports editors, SJA Chairman Barry Newcombe said: “I congratulate all of you whose newspapers, websites, photo agencies and television and radio stations have been recognised for your work in 2009.

“For those who haven’t, March 8 will produce a great night out because it is one of the few times colleagues and old friends in our profession can get together.”

The shortlist for the top writing award, the Sports Writer of the Year, chosen by national sports editors, will be announced on this website on March 1.

Voting for the short-listed candidates in the four categories for the SJA’s Broadcast Awards closed today.

All the prize-winners will be announced at the awards dinner on March 8 at The Brewery, Moorgate. For details of tickets to this event contact Sandra Phillips at Start2Finish Events Management on 0208 916 2237 or by email here.

2009 SJA British Sports Journalism Awards
Category shortlists

Live blog
Tom Fordyce
Barry Glendenning
Rob Smyth

Kerber & Black Daily Mirror
Nick Newman Sunday Times
Steve O’Brien Mail on Sunday
Paul Wood Private Eye

Feature Writer
Rick Broadbent The Times
James Lawton Independent
Kevin Mitchell Observer
Donald McRae Guardian
Owen Slot The Times
David Walsh Sunday Times

Young Photographer
Andrew Boyers Action Images
Carl de Souza AFP
Julian Finney Getty Images
Scott Heavey Action Images
Andrew Matthews Press Association
Paul Thomas Freelance

Regular Blog/Column
Lawrence Booth
Nicholas Godfrey
Edward Gorman
Scott Murray

Regional Writer
Mike Aitken Freelance
Philip Buckingham Hull Daily Mail
Amanda Little Cumbrian Newspapers
Richard Wilson Freelance

News Picture
Andrew Couldridge Action Images
Mike Hewitt Getty Images
Eddie Keogh Freelance
James Moy Freelance
Lee Smith Action Images
Dave Rogers Getty Images

News Reporter
David Conn Guardian
Shaun Custis The Sun
Malcolm Folley Mail on Sunday
Jamie Jackson Observer
Paul Kelso Daily Telegraph
Matt Scott Guardian

Specialist Correspondent
Michael Atherton The Times
Lawrence Donegan Guardian
Edward Gorman The Times
Stephen Jones Sunday Times
Brough Scott Racing Post
Henry Winter Daily Telegraph

Specialist Portfolio
Steve Etherington Freelance
Laurence Griffiths Getty Images
Scott Heavey Action Images
Eddie Keogh Freelance
Toby Melville Reuters
Richard Washbrooke Camerasport

Young Writer
Riath Al-Samarrai Freelance
Oliver Brown Daily Telegraph
Laura Williamson Daily Mail
Anna Kessel Guardian/Observer

David Conn Guardian : Hillsborough cover-up
Shaun Custis The Sun: Tottenham Xmas Party
Rob Draper Mail on Sunday: Setanta Collapse
Steve James Sunday Telegraph: Langer dossier damns England cricket team
Paul Kelso Daily Telegraph: Bloodgate, the cover up
Jonathan McEvoy Daily Mail: Button-Lewis dream team
Oliver Kay/Kevin Eason The Times: FA’s faltering 2018 World Cup bid

Steve Anglesey Daily Mirror
David Hills Observer
Alan Hubbard Independent on Sunday
Charles Sale Daily Mail
Matt Scott Guardian
Martyn Zeigler Press Association

Betting Writer
Derek McGovern Daily Mirror
Steve Palmer Racing Post
Kevin Price/John Curle Daily Mirror
Kevin Pullein Racing Post

David Davies Press Association
Paul Gilham Getty Images
Scott Heavey Action Images
Tom Jenkins Guardian/Observer
Ian MacNichol Colorsport
Toby Melville Reuters

Michael Atherton The Times
Patrick Collins Mail on Sunday
Oliver Holt Daily Mirror
Des Kelly Daily Mail
Matthew Syed The Times
Richard Williams Guardian

Internet Reporter
Andrew Benson
Gareth A Davies
Kevin Eason
Ashley Gray
Neil Harman
Duncan Mackay

Paul Hayward Observer
Anna Kessel Guardian/Observer
Matt Lawton Daily Mail
Donald McRae Guardian
Martin Samuel Daily Mail
Jim White Daily Telegraph

Henry Browne Action Images
Gareth Copley Press Association
Andrew Couldridge Action Images
Scott Heavey Action Images
Catherine Ivill AMA Sports Photo Agency
Hugh Routledge Freelance

Daily Mail Ashes
Daily Mail Wimbledon
Daily Telegraph Ashes
Guardian/Observer Ashes
Champions League
Sunday Times 2009 British & Lions Tour of South Africa
The Times Ashes

SJA dates for your diaries
Mon Apr 12:The SJA’s second “Sporting Question Time”, this time with London Mayor Boris Johnson at City Hall. This will be strictly for SJA members only. To book your ticket, click here to send us an email with your name, SJA membership number and address, writing “Sporting Question Time with Boris” in the subject field

Mon Apr 12: SJA Spring Golf Day, to be staged at Surbiton GC. To book, contact Paul Trow (07973 862747).

Thu Apr 15: SJA 2010 Annual Meeting, at offices of UK Sport

Mon Apr 19: SJA/LOCOG guided tour of Olympic Park (2pm – booking details to be announced)

Sun Apr 25: SJA Cricket Day. Enjoy corporate hospitality with friends and colleagues, and bring along your partner, as Lancashire take on Surrey. Tickets £65 each.

Mon Sep 13: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. To book, contact Paul Trow (07973 862747).

□ Sky Bet is the SJA’s newest partner, the sponsorship being announced in October 2008.

Together with the SJA’s other lead sponsor, UK Sport, both partners support our two prestigious annual awards events, including the Sky Bet sports betting writer of the year at the SJA’s British Sports Journalism Awards.

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Book your tickets for sports journalism’s Big Night Out – the British Sports Journalism Awards on Monday March 8 – click here for details and booking form