Clare Sambrook wins Paul Foot Award 2010 / Private Eye and The Guardian

Tuesday 2nd November, BAFTA London: The Paul Foot Award for Campaigning Journalism 2010, worth £5000, has been won by CLARE SAMBROOK for her investigating, reporting and campaigning against the government policy of locking up asylum-seeking families in conditions known to harm their mental health, and scrutinising the commercial contractors who run the detention centres for profit.

“Good news for Bad news! This has been a terrific year for Foot Style journalism and he would have been delighted by the longlist, shortlist and winner.” 
Ian Hislop, editor, Private Eye

“We had a very high standard of entries this year, proving that investigative, campaigning journalism is alive and flourishing online as well as in print. And from a great shortlist we have found a committed and inspiring winner.”
Katharine Viner, deputy editor, The Guardian

Eamonn McCann, also shortlisted, won a Special Lifetime Campaign Award of ?2000 for his 40 years of campaigning journalism on behalf of the victims of Bloody Sunday.  Each of the remaining runners up received ?1000.

Private Eye magazine and The Guardian newspaper set up the award in memory of Paul Foot, the journalist and left-wing campaigner who died in 2004.

The judges for this year’s award were, in alphabetical order: Heather Brooke, Clare Fermont, Bill Hagerty, Ian Hislop, Brian MacArthur (Chair) and Katharine Viner.

THE PAUL FOOT AWARD FOR CAMPAIGNING JOURNALISM – THE WINNER

Clare Sambrook, Various publications – End Child Detention Now

Clare Sambrook was inspired by the appalling damage being done by the child detention policy, and by the government’s intransigence in the face of strong medical evidence of harm. Clare investigated, reported and campaigned against the government policy of locking up asylum-seeking families in conditions known to harm their mental health. She scrutinised the commercial contractors who run the detention centres for profit, and she also raised awareness and promoted empathy through public letters signed by well-loved artists.

Her investigative stories have exposed the UK Border Agency official Dave Wood’s misleading of the Home Affairs select committee to undermine medical evidence of harm to children at Yarl’s Wood. Wood told MPs that medical researchers had failed to discuss their research with the Agency and Yarl’s Wood staff. Clare managed to track down the Home Office documents detailing the discussions that had taken place, published articles on Wood’s lies (in openDemocracy, guardian.co.uk and Private Eye) and on their repetition (in oD) by minister Meg Hillier.

Writing in guardian.co.uk, Clare exposed Home Office attempts to undermine the Children’s Commissioner’s final report on Yarl’s Wood by misrepresenting his findings in an unattributable briefing.

In openDemocracy Clare has exposed the practice of classifying unaccompanied children as adults, highlighting the laughable – if it were not so terrible – case of 14 year old Boy M, classified as a grown-up, locked up in padded clothing, held with adult men, and scheduled for removal even though his bigger, older brother Boy Z had been acknowledged by the Home Office to be just 17.

In a series of articles for Private Eye and openDemocracy, Clare has exposed the cosy relationship between the government, civil servants and the security companies who run the detention centres for profit.

Beyond her own articles, through researching, writing, ghosting, dreaming up stunts, press-releasing and guiding into print, Clare has been able to generate reporting and comment in openDemocracy, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian,  Community Care, Big Issue In The North, Morning Star, Counterfire, Nursery World, Private Eye, Manchester Mule, Baptist Times, Cumberland Herald, Cumberland News, Quaker Asylum & Refugee Network, Independent Catholic News, New Londoners, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants Bulletin and on other campaigning blogs.

THE SHORTLIST – IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

Jonathan Calvert and Claire Newell, The Sunday Times – Financial Corruption in Parliament – Cash for Influence

David Cohen, The Evening Standard  – The Dispossessed

Nick Davies, The Guardian  – Phone-Hacking at the News of the World

Linda Geddes, The New Scientist  – The Truth about DNA

Eamonn McCann
, The Irish Times, The Belfast Telegraph  and The Guardian
Special Lifetime Campaign Award 2010 – Bloody Sunday

For media enquiries, download the press release below or contact [email protected] / 020 7361 7860