Sunday / 24 March / 2019
Media Wales reporter scoops top honours at 2019 Journalists’ Charity Wales Media Awards
Media Wales reporter Will Hayward scooped the top honours at the 2019 Journalists’ Charity Wales Media Awards last night (Friday 22 March).
He won Newspaper Journalist of the Year as well as the coveted overall Journalist of the Year title for a varied portfolio of work which the judges said displayed all the attributes of a top newspaper journalist.
They said he showed forensic-style research, a personality that refused to give up despite being told time and time again there’s “nothing to see here”, and a writing style that was immediate, sharp and witty, drawing the reader in from start to end.
Outstanding Contribution went to Gilbert John, the veteran BBC Cymru Wales reporter who this year celebrates 60 years as a reporter.
The Wales Media Awards are organised on behalf of the Journalists’ Charity, which helps journalists and their dependants with advice, grants and other forms of financial assistance, with the generous support of a range of sponsors and partners. They are judged by senior and respected journalists who are completely independent of the Awards organisers and the Journalists’ Charity.
This year’s Awards attracted nearly 240 submissions in 21 categories – an increase of around 20% on the previous year.
Now into their fifth year, the free-to-enter Awards celebrate and promote great journalism in Wales – work produced in Wales, for an audience in Wales, by journalists, photographers and camera operators and this year featured four major new categories – Community Journalism of the Year, Vlog / Blog of the Year, Columnist of the Year and Campaign of the Year.
The Awards are organised on behalf of the Journalists’ Charity by Spencer David with the support of first-time headline sponsor Camelot. Other sponsors are Aston Martin, Google,ITV Cymru Wales, National Union of Journalists, Welsh Governmentand Western Power Distribution. Further support has come from Celf Creative, Cleartech Live, Creative Cardiff,Natasha Hirst PhotographySpecialist Models & Displays, Signs Express and Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff.
The full list of winners is and judges’ comments is:
Camera Operator of the Year
Sponsored by Celf
Dai Baker – Channel 4 News
An outstanding submission said the judges. Sensitive and creative camera work really engages the viewer. Barry Island on a May Bank Holiday – wonderfully observed and framed; you can almost taste the salt in the air. The desperate death of a young women from the valleys sleeping rough on the streets of Cardiff casts a spotlight on homelessness in Wales and across the nation, while the depiction of home schooling, a real “Did you know?” piece, explained a complex tale clearly and succinctly.
News Photographer of the Year
Sponsored by Natasha Hirst Photography
Jonathan Myers – South Wales Evening Post
In the opinion of the judges this entry was a very skilled and well-crafted submission. Working with South Wales Evening Post reporter Estel Farell, Jonathan spent months working with drug addicts across Wales to gain their trust to create intimate images of their daily life. Photographs of Pontsticill reservoir – using drone technology – revealed how weeks of high temperatures and little rain in the summer of 2018 left reservoirs across Wales parched and the fun run for Ty Hafan showed flair and imagination.
Campaign of the Year
Monnow Media/BBC Cymru Wales
Shirish Kulkarni’s item produced by Monnow Media for BBC Cymru Wales was powerful, investigative journalism, said the judges. This series of stories on the British Steel Pensions Scandal demonstrated how tenacity and a desire to keep digging can produce journalism that really matters. The moving human stories are allowed space to breathe, framed by outstanding camera-craft and scripting that unravels this complex subject in language that is never intrusive. Brilliant work.
Columnist of the Year
Sponsored by Specialist Models
Matthew Paul, Carmarthenshire Herald
If local – as opposed to regional – journalism is to survive it is through columns like this. Hard-hitting, insightful, these articles surely set the tone for many a weekly argument among its readership. Matthew campaigns on a range of issues, from the way the local authority hounded a blogger who criticised them, to keeping a close eye on Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Stories that hit the nail on the end better than any so-called Fleet Street Thunderer, said the judges, who concluded that just because you’re local, it doesn’t mean you can’t take on issues of import from around the world.
Feature Writer of the Year
Sponsored by Mercure Holland House Hotel
Ruth Mosalski – Wales on Line
Ruth Mosalski obviously has a true reporter’s eye for a story. Her ability to follow-up on an initial tip and turn regular stories into important must-read pieces is clear from her well-crafted work. She is able to give us insight into the people behind a range of important issues, which adds impact and helps the reader understand topics which perhaps would not touch them otherwise. Impressive writing, well thought-through and presented.
Daily/Sunday Newspaper of the Year
Sponsored by Western Power Distribution
The Daily Post entry is all encompassing, with the content ranging from powerful human interest news stories to fashion, restaurant reviews and puzzles. There is something for everyone, said the judges. The paper’s punchy mix of crime, human interest and politics gives the paper a sense of urgency and impact. The stand out coverage in the Post’s entry was the excellent handling of Storm Emma, with photographs of wrecked boats at Holyhead Marina being used to maximum impact. The Post certainly knows how to handle hard news and its coverage of the suicide of Carl Sargeant was both comprehensive and sensitive.
Weekly Newspaper of the Year
Sponsored by Western Power Distribution
When a local newspaper splashes with a devastating hotel fire – and headlines an AM resigning over indecent images and a groom bitten by a guest on his wedding day – you know you’re off to a flyer, said the judges The Cambrian News has a symbiotic relationship with its readers and serves comprehensive coverage of local courts and councils, campaigns, people stories and local events. A good example of the truly great local newspapers in Wales and the judges agreed there was very little between the shortlisted entries – “only the width of a Rizla”, said one judge.
Magazine of the Year
Wales Business Insider
These are clearly well produced as well as being excellently and forensically researched publications, thought the judges. There is a huge amount of information and analysis in each issue and it is clear that there are no favoured “go to” commentators, rather a whole list of businesspeople who represent Welsh businesses. The magazine does not shy away from coverage of the heavier topics, as befits a publication covering the capital and the whole nation. Strong covers to capture the attention with enough teasers to get the reader inside.
News Website of the Year
Sponsored by Google
Compelling reading. High-quality journalism which throws light on the richness, diversity and, at times, the bleak underbelly of life in Wales. This website demonstrates a range of stories, from the hard hitting and the investigative to the light hearted. A good combination of text, stills and video offer the user an interesting experience, agreed the judges. Video stories and live blogs show how Wales on Line is committed to telling stories across new digital formats as well and it’s good to see the editor and the team having a commitment to offering an insight into alternative and niche areas within the communities they serve.
Community Journalism of the Year
Sponsored by ITV Cymru Wales
Liz Perkins – South Wales Evening Post
This is an entry that highlights the art of showing how national issues can impact on local communities, said one judge. Liz is a journalist who has a strong contacts book and an ability to develop strong relationships with interviewees on emotional subjects. The judging panel commended Liz on her tenacity in fighting to ensure stories get told, regardless of whether or not they ‘usually do well’ online.
Newspaper Journalist of the Year
Sponsored by Camelot
Will Hayward – Media Wales
Will Hayward’s varied portfolio of work displays all the attributes of a top newspaper journalist, was the comment from one of the judges. Will put in the hard yards to develop contacts who trusted him implicitly, and showed forensic-style research, a personality that refuses to give up despite being told time and time again there’s “nothing to see here”, and a writing style that is immediate, sharp, witty, and which draws the reader from start to end delivering tension when required and humour when needed. This entrant’s breadth of entry – covering three entirely different stories – each beautifully crafted and researched was a joy to read, all judges agreed.
Radio News Journalist of the Year
Sponsored by Camelot
Colette Hume – BBC Radio Wales
Colette did well to gain the trust of the women in the hate crime package – a thorough and gripping piece – with good interviews, good actuality and a worthy subject very well told. It is refreshing to see a journalist prepared to put time and effort into developing original journalism and reflecting the diversity of the region. Engaging and fascinating story telling. The homeless piece was particularly moving and thought provoking.
Television News Journalist of the Year
Sponsored by Camelot
Jenny Rees – BBC Cymru Wales
An excellent submission comprising three well-written pieces containing high-class elements of investigative journalism. All these topics were complex, but Jenny’s approach really helped the audience understand the issues. The transgender report was exemplary in dealing with a very difficult subject dispassionately. The construction of the autism report was faultless, with well-selected clips and perfectly judged pieces to camera. The sex offender story focussed nicely on the topic of prevention, and the interviewees were well chosen. A very high standard of broadcast news journalism.
Political Journalist of the Year
Owain Phillips – ITV Cymru Wales
Owain’s work was judged a very strong and diverse entry. The panel liked the ‘fairground politics’ piece, which reviewed the leadership challenges in Wales’s political parties in an innovative, creative and entertaining way. His interview with the Prime Minister was a reward for his admirable persistence, while the interview with the UKIP leader was extremely revealing and would be certain to stimulate debate among viewers about his views. A versatile and experienced political journalist.
Radio News & Current Affairs Programme of the Year
Sponsored by The Journalists’ Charity
Manylu – BBC Radio Cymru
Manylu must be congratulated for their exclusive interview with the promising player signed by Manchester United which related such an important and heart wrenching story. Gwenda Owen’s story is equally powerful, and the use of her diary very effective. The programme should also be congratulated for the exposure the story received on other programmes and media outlets. Two very strong stories from the Manylu team and good examples of journalistic and broadcasting excellence. Above all the stories kept you wanting to listen and not having to listen, said the judges.
TV News & Current Affairs Programme of the Year
Sponsored by The Journalists’ Charity
Ein Byd – ITV Cymru Wales/S4C
Ein Byd’s aim is to shine a light on the hidden corners of society, exposing the sometimes shocking reality of what goes on behind closed doors in Wales. This was a bold investigation, conducted over the course of five months, to expose unscrupulous landlords offering free or reduced rent in exchange for sexual favours. The judges decided this was a refreshing way of doing current affairs with a young team working on a strong story using modern techniques, but also old-fashioned journalism. Tabloid journalism yes, but tabloid with a purpose and well executed.
Specialist Journalist of the Year
Sponsored by Welsh Government
Steffan Messenger – BBC Cymru Wales
Steffan Messenger has honed his skills as a television reporter combining his words with the available pictures to good effect. His report on the proposed 15 per cent cuts to the local environment budget was well researched and explained, as was his exclusive interview with former EU Rural affairs Commissioner, Franz Fischler, for his piece about Brexit and Welsh farming. His piece from Skomer Island – home to half the world’s population of Manx Shearwaters – was spot on, agreed the judges.
Sports Journalist of the Year
Mark Orders – Wales on Line
Mark’s stories all read well and all have the ability to connect at a human level, agreed the judging panel. In all three of his submitted stories Mark creates a sense of personality and place while knitting history together with the present. It’s effortless to read, but not without effort in the making. He’s respectful of his subjects, but has the audience in mind too, which makes for an engaging, entertaining read
The Ed Townsend Student of the Year
Sponsored by National Union of Journalists
Jake Horton – Cardiff University
An excellent piece of journalism that shows endeavour, research and factual story-telling. Could have watched more, enthused one judge Some great interviews – very well done, said another. The interviewees were well chosen and all provided a different perspective without making the package too fussy. The judges liked the use of graphics to highlight some statistics. Technically proficient and well written with hard hitting facts and figures brought to life by good and varied interviews. An excellent entry.
Vlog/Blog of the Year
Cwmbran Life is not just ABOUT local people – it really feels like it is BY local people. Ben places himself slap bang in the centre of the community and his love for telling the stories of local characters and champions shines through. Cwmbran Life is the very essence of a hyperlocal blog. It’s personal, thoughtful and a lovely gentle wander through the local community. You can sense Ben’s passion for his local area as he gets up close and personal with his audience. The number of followers on Facebook is a testimony to Ben Black’s ability to share stories that matter.
Young Journalist of the Year
Lydia Morris – North Wales Daily Post
Lydia clearly has a nose for a story and is able to dig beneath the surface for the truth. The charity shop closure is an outstanding story that highlights everything young journalists need to be – tenacious, engaged and talented. The entry also shows a versatile reporter capable of taking on stories both hard and lighter. This is a young journalist with a very bright future, agreed the judges.
Journalist of the Year
Will’s work covered a wide range, such as his story on the severe domestic abuse being suffered by some women and the staffing crisis facing the Welsh NHS. And all of it was compelling to read. Stories required him to earn the trust of contacts and for him to show commendable dedication, perseverance and a determination to get to the heart of the story, decided the judges
Gilbert John – BBC Cymru Wales