The Private Eye Paul Foot Award 2022 shortlist has been revealed today, comprising the best submissions from digital media, national and regional publications. Against the backdrop of turbulent news agenda over the past year, this year’s shortlist contains an eclectic mix of stories, from political sleaze to labour rights to long-running campaigns for justice, and in-depth investigations into the plight of vulnerable people caught up in the justice and immigration systems.
The awards ceremony will be held at BAFTA on Tuesday 14th June, hosted by Ian Hislop. The winning entry for 2022 will be awarded £5,000 and a piece on the winner will run in the print issue of Private Eye, available on Tuesday 21st June.
THE SHORTLIST NOMINATIONS, IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER BY JOURNALIST, ARE:
Hannah Al-Othman & David Collins, Sunday Times: The Murder of Agnes Wanjiru
Samantha Asumadu, OpenDemocracy: Prisoners may have been refused parole due to fake crimes on file
Susie Boniface, Daily Mirror: Look Me in The Eye
Mirren Gidda, Jessica Purkiss, Eleanor Rose and Aaron Walawalkar, Liberty Investigates, & Mark Townsend, Observer: Despair and death in Britain’s asylum system
Solomon Hughes, Private Eye: Pay Slippery – Tax Fraud on government Covid sites
Gabriel Pogrund, Sunday Times: Royal access
This year’s judging panel, chaired by Padraig Reidy, Little Atoms, is comprised of Julia Langdon, Political Journalist and Broadcaster; Sir Simon Jenkins, The Guardian; Helen Lewis, New Statesman; Francis Wheen, Private Eye; Matt Foot, criminal defence solicitor; Kim Sengupta, independent.co.uk; Janine Gibson, Financial Times; and Robert Smith, Financial Times, who won the 2021 Paul Foot Award.
Padraig Reidy, Chair of Judges, The Private Eye Paul Foot Award, commented:
“The extremely high quality of entries this year, submitted even as reporters were stretched to capacity by seismic events at home and abroad, made selection an arduous but incredibly fulfilling experience. As judges gathered in person for the first time since 2019, we were unanimous on one thing: the quality of journalism produced by UK outlets – from Fleet Street powerhouses to independent investigations teams and solo freelancers – is as high as it has ever been.”
Set up in memory of renowned journalist Paul Foot, who died in 2004, the award honours the UK’s most brilliant, talented and determined journalists working in the fields of investigative and campaigning journalism today.
Further information on the shortlist is below.
www.private-eye.co.uk @PrivateEyeNews #paulfootaward
Hannah Al-Othman & David Collins, The Sunday Times
The Murder of Agnes Wanjiru
The Sunday Times’ Hannah Al-Othman and David Collins painstakingly uncovered the story of the murder of Kenyan sex worker Agnes Wanjiru, revealing a disturbing culture of misogyny, secrecy and impunity in the British army.
Samantha Asumadu, OpenDemocracy
Prisoners may have been refused parole due to fake crimes on file.
Asumadu spoke to families of people held on indefinite “imprisonment for public protection” (IPP) sentences. Even though the IPP sentence was abolished in 2012, many people still remain in jail with no end date in sight.
Susie Boniface, Daily Mirror
Look Me in The Eye
The Daily Mirror’s ongoing campaign for recognition for the survivors of Britain’s nuclear testing programme challenged the Prime Minister to meet veterans in person and acknowledge the harm they had suffered. In April the PM said the veterans would get “they recognition they deserved”.
Mirren Gidda, Jessica Purkiss, Eleanor Rose and Aaron Walawalkar, Liberty Investigates, & Mark Townsend, Observer
Despair and death in Britain’s asylum system
Liberty Investigates and the Observer reported on how the brutality of the asylum system drives already desperate people to extremes focusing on the personal stories of people deported on the “Esparto 11” flight.
Solomon Hughes, Private Eye
Pay Slippery – Tax Fraud on government Covid sites
Reporting for Private Eye, Solomon Hughes exposed a loophole that allowed sub-contracted “mini-umbrella companies” to avoid paying national insurance for staff of Covid-19 testing centres. The loophole was closed shortly after Hughes’ reports were published.
Gabriel Pogrund, Sunday Times
The Sunday Times revealed how Prince Charles’ household promised honours and access in exchange for charity donations.