Paul Foot Award

The Paul Foot Award is an award given for investigative or campaigning journalism, set up by The Guardian and Private Eye in memory of the journalist Paul Foot, who died in 2004.

The award, from 2005 to 2014, was for material published in print or online during the previous year. The prize fund totalled £10,000, with £5,000 given to the winner and £1,000 to each of five runners-up.[1] The award was discontinued in 2015,[2] but revived by Private Eye in 2017.[3]


2005: John Sweeney of the Daily Mail for his investigation into "Shaken Baby Syndrome" which led to the wrongly imprisoned mothers Sally Clark, Angela Cannings and Donna Anthony being freed and resulted in the exposure of the prosecution's chief witness, the paediatrician Sir Roy Meadow.[4]

2006: David Harrison for his three-part investigation into sex trafficking in Eastern Europe published in The Sunday Telegraph, which was praised by the UN and prompted action by British police and the Home Office..[4]

2007: Shared by Deborah Wain (Doncaster Free Press) for her exposé of corruption in the Doncaster Education City project and by David Leigh and Rob Evans (The Guardian) for their investigation into bribery in the British arms trade.[5]

2008: The top prize of £3,000 each was awarded to Camilla Cavendish of The Times for an investigation into the many injustices which have resulted from the Children Act 1989 and the professional cultures that have grown up around child "protection"; and Richard Brooks of Private Eye for his investigation into the mismanagement and financial irregularities surrounding the sale of the UK government's international development business, Actis. Four runners-up were each awarded £1,000:[6]

Andrew Gilligan (London Evening Standard) on financial irregularities in London City Hall and the London Development Agency.
Warwick Mansell (TES) on the Sats test marking scandal.
Dan McDougall (The Observer) on how children made clothes for Esprit, Primark and Gap in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Jim Oldfield (Rossington Community Newsletter, South Yorkshire Newspapers) on how landowners and speculators planned to build an eco-town in Rossington against the wishes of residents.

2009: At a presentation ceremony at the Spin Bar in London's Millbank Tower on 2 November 2009, the £5,000 Paul Foot Award for Campaigning Journalism 2009 was awarded to Ian Cobain of The Guardian for his long-running investigation into Britain’s involvement in the torture of terror suspects detained overseas. Five runners-up received £1,000 each:[7]

Jonathan Calvert and Clare Newell (Sunday Times) on a number of financial and legislative abuses in the Lords which had previously escaped scrutiny.
Ben Leapman (Sunday Telegraph and Daily Telegraph) on MPs' exploitation of parliamentary allowances to subsidise their lifestyles and multiple homes.
Paul Lewis (The Guardian) on the death of Ian Tomlinson at the 2009 G20 London summit protests.
Rob Waugh (The Yorkshire Post) on cavalier spending at Leeds Beckett University, the takeover of Sheffield Wednesday football club, and the mismanagement of Leeds City Credit Union.
Stephen Wright and Richard Pendlebury (Daily Mail) on the lawyer Shahrokh Mireskandari, and his criminal past and the bogus nature of his qualifications and claims of experience.

2010: 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. A Special Lifetime Campaign Award of £2,000 was also presented to Eamonn McCann for his 40 years of campaigning journalism on behalf of the victims of Bloody Sunday. Each of the runners-up on the shortlist received £1,000. These were, in alphabetical order:

Jonathan Calvert and Clare Newell (Sunday Times) on MPs and peers seeking cash for influence.
David Cohen (Evening Standard) on the plight of the poor in London, including children's poverty and the continuing existence of paupers' graves in the capital.
Nick Davies (Guardian) on phone-hacking conducted by the News of the World when Andy Coulson, later the government's director of communications, was editor.
Linda Geddes (New Scientist) on evidence that DNA tests are not always accurately interpreted.[8]

2011: Nick Davies (The Guardian and guardian. for a series of articles that helped to expose the scale of phone-hacking at the News of the World, beginning in July 2009 with the first report that phone hacking went beyond a single jailed journalist. Two years later, Davies, with colleague Amelia Hill, revealed that the News of the World had targeted voicemails left for the missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler, which led to a public backlash against the Sunday tabloid. The award organising committee praised Davies for his "dogged and lonely reporting" the impact of which forced "a humbled Rupert Murdoch to close the News of the World and abandon his planned buyout of the satellite broadcaster, BSkyB, and forced the country's most senior police officer to resign.[9] The judges commented that "This award is recognition of the cheering truth that the best journalism exposed the worst." [10] Runners-up were Jonathan Calvert and Claire Newell for their The Sunday Times articles exposing corruption in FIFA.[10] Also nominated were:[11]

Jon Austin (Basildon Echo) - Dale Farm evictions.
Katherine Quarmby (The Guardian, The Times, Mail on Sunday, Prospect magazine and others) - Disability hate crime awareness.
David Rose (Live magazine, Mail on Sunday/Mail Online) - UK aid to India.
Zoe Smeaton (Chemist + Druggist magazine, UBM Medica) - Government payment errors to community pharmacists.
Jerome Taylor (The Independent) - Open justice and the Court of Protection.
Mark Townsend (The Observer) - Exploitation of women and children trafficked into the UK.

2012: Andrew Norfolk (The Times) for "a two-year investigation into the grooming and sexual exploitation of teenage girls". The runner-up was Rob Waugh (Yorkshire Post) for his exposure of mis-spending by senior officers of Cleveland Police and abuse of power by ACPO and CPOSA. A Special Campaign Award was made to Stephen Wright (Daily Mail) for his "tireless reporting over 15 years" on the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation and Justice for Stephen campaign.[12] Also nominated were:[13]

Tom Bergin (Thomson Reuters) - Corporate tax avoidance by Vodafone and Starbucks .
Jonathan Calvert and Heidi Blake (Sunday Times) - Tory treasurer sells access to PM/Retired generals lobby for defence contracts.
Ted Jeory (Blog: - Corruption in the borough of Tower Hamlets.
Alexi Mostrous and Fay Schlesinger (The Times) - Secrets of the tax avoiders.
Claire Newell, Graeme Paton, Holly Watt and Robert Winnet (Daily Telegraph) - GCSE and A-level examiners advising teachers on how to improve pupils’ results.

2013: David Cohen - (Evening Standard) for his work on gangs, which was part of the Standard’s Frontline London campaign. The Guardian’s Snowden team (James Ball, Julian Borger, Nick Davies, Nick Hopkins, Paul Johnson and Alan Rusbridger) received a Special Investigation Award for its investigation into the extent of mass surveillance undertaken by GCHQ - The Snowden Files: How GCHQ watches your every move. Also nominated were:

Tom Bergin (Reuters) - Corporate tax practices.
Jonathan Calvert and Heidi Blake (The Sunday Times) - Westminster for Sale.
Aasma Day (Lancashire Evening Post) - Life on the margins of society: Preston Twilight Investigation.
James Dean (The Times) - Fakes, fraud and forgery in Lloyds selling scandal.[14]

2014 (joint winners): Jonathan Calvert and Heidi Blake (Sunday Times) for "The Fifa Files" in which they reported on a campaign waged by Mohammed Bin Hammam, Qatar’s top football official, and how he exploited his position to help secure the votes Qatar needed to win the bid to host the 2022 World Cup; Richard Brooks and Andrew Bousfield (Private Eye) for "Shady Arabia and the Desert Fix", a long-running investigation into corruption on a contract between the governments of the UK and Saudi Arabia.[15] Also nominated were:

Richard Pendlebury (Daily Mail) - Migrant Lives
Claire Newall, Holly Watt, Claire Duffin and Ben Bryant (Daily Telegraph) - Qatar 2022 World Cup Bid
George Monbiot (The Guardian) - How farmers caused the floods
Mark Townsend (The Observer) - Sexual abuse of women at Yarl's Wood
Dominic Ponsford and William Turvill (Press Gazette) - Save Our Sources

2017: Emma Youle (Hackney Gazette) for her investigation, "The Hidden Homeless: £35m to keep the homeless homeless", which revealed Hackney's enormous, but hidden, homeless problem—highlighting the plight of the thousands who live in temporary accommodation.[16] Also nominated were:

Daniel Balint-Kurti & Leigh Baldwin (Global Witness) - The Deceivers
Katherine Faulkner (Daily Mail) - How Royal Mail helps conmen defraud the elderly
Will Hurst (The Architects' Journal) - The Garden Bridge investigation
Billy Kenber (The Times) - Drug company profiteering
Maeve McClenaghan & Crina Boros (Energydesk) - Big fish barons squeeze out small-scale fishermen
Daniel Taylor (The Guardian/The Observer) - Football's sexual abuse scandal

2018: Amelia Gentleman (The Guardian) for her investigation, "Long-term UK residents classed as illegal immigrants", which centred on tightened immigration regulations and the catastrophic consequences for a group of elderly Commonwealth-born citizens who were told they were illegal immigrants, despite having lived in the UK for around 50 years but with no formal paperwork to prove it.[17] Also nominated were:

Gordon Blackstock (The Sunday Post) - Hundreds of orphans buried in mass grave
Carole Cadwalladr (The Observer) - The Cambridge Analytica files
Madison Marriage (Financial Times) - Men only: inside the charity fundraiser where hostesses were put on show
Sean O'Neill (The Times) - Oxfam sex scandal cover-up
BuzzFeed News Investigations team (Heidi Blake, Tom Warren, Richard Holmes, Jason Leopold, Jane Bradley, Alex Campbell) - From Russia with blood

In addition, the Young Journalist Award was given to Ben Van Der Merwe and Emma Yeomans (London Student) for their investigation, "Toby Young and UCL's secret eugenics conference", about secretive annual conferences at UCL that covered genetic difference and intelligence, which was jointly published in Private Eye.

2019: Emily Dugan (Buzzfeed) for the Access To Justice campaign, reporting the human cost of the degradation of England’s justice and legal aid system.[18] Also nominated were:

Ian Birrell (Mail on Sunday) - Autistic youngsters locked up
Richard Brooks (Private Eye) - Conservative Party Treasurer
Phil Coleman (Carlisle News and Star) - Fake Shrink
Tom Kelly (Daily Mail) - Fleeced by fake taxmen
Claire Newell and Team (Daily Telegraph) - MeToo Businessman Scandal


  1. ^ The Paul Foot Award for campaigning journalism (archive). Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  2. ^ Greenslade, Roy (13 November 2015). "Paul Foot investigative journalism award discontinued after 10 years". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  3. ^ "The Private Eye Paul Foot Award 2017", Private Eye, issue 1436, 27 January 2017, page 5
    - "The Paul Foot Award 2017", Private Eye website. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b "The Paul Foot Award Winners". Private Eye. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  5. ^ Greenslade, Roy (16 October 2007). "Foot award winners keep investigative journalism light burning bright". Retrieved 19 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Camilla Cavendish and Richard Brooks win Paul Foot award". The Guardian. London. 4 November 2008. Retrieved 4 November 2008.
  7. ^ "The Paul Foot Award for Campaigning Journalism 2009". Private Eye. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  8. ^ "The Paul Foot Award for Campaigning Journalism 2009". Private Eye. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  9. ^ Dan Sabbagh, "Nick Davies wins award for hacking exposé", The Guardian, 29 February 2012, p5.
  10. ^ a b "Paul Foot Award 2011", Private Eye issue 1309, 23 February 2015, p6
  11. ^ "The Paul Foot Award 2011", Private Eye issue 1308, 24 February 2012
  12. ^ "The Paul Foot Award 2012", Private Eye, issue 1335, 8 March 2013
  13. ^ "The Paul Foot Award 2012", Private Eye, issue 1334, 23 February 2015
  14. ^ "The Paul Foot Award 2013", Private Eye
  15. ^ "The Paul Foot Award 2014", Private Eye
  16. ^ "The Paul Foot Award 2017", Private Eye
  17. ^ "The Paul Foot Award 2018". Private Eye. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  18. ^ "The Paul Foot Award 2019". Private Eye. Retrieved 2019-08-05.

See alsoEdit