`Scoops, expert reporting' win awards
THE Irish Independent swept the boards at the ESB National Media Awards last night taking four of the top prizes.
And sister paper The Sunday Independent won the Analysis and Comment category giving Independent Newspapers a total of five of the eight print awards.
At an awards ceremony in Croke Park, Public Enterprise Minister Mary O'Rourke presented the Print News and Current Affairs award to Irish Independent Education Editor John Walshe in recognition for his ``regular scoops and expert reporting skills''.
In particular his story on a secret proposal to block the Leaving Cert exams by a teachers union was singled out.
Vincent Hogan was presented with the Print Sport award for his articles on Ger Loughnane's departure from Clare hurling and a look at a millennium year of sport.
The Print Business and Finance award went to Bill Tyson for the ``consistent relevance'' of his weekly personal finance column and his ability to ``communicate his advice with commendable clarity''.
And the Print Campaigning and Social Issues award went to Gemma O'Doherty for two ``well researched and timely'' pieces on refugees and water flouridation. Irish Independent editor Vincent Doyle said it was a tremendous result for the newspaper. ``The awards are great because they cover the depth of talent that lies in the newsroom. They were right across the board in news, investigative news, business and sport - the main arteries of a paper. It was really terrific,'' he said.
Sunday Independent's Gene Kerrigan won the Print Analysis and Comment award for his ``style, depth and breadth of knowledge and keenness of perception''. The newspaper's editor Aengus Fanning said Gene was one of the finest journalists in the country and everyone in the newspaper group was thrilled for his, and the other Independent reporters' achievements.
In the other print categories, the Arts award went to Con Houlihan for his column in Magill, the Provincial Press award went to Angela Doyle of the Roscommon Herald and the Features prize went to Brendan Glacken of the Irish Times.
In the Journalist of the Year categories, Susan McKay of the Sunday Tribune won the Print section, RTE's Paul Cunningham was presented with the Radio award and TV3's Ursula Halligan took the TV section. The Young Journalist of the Year award went to Carl O'Brien of the Irish Examiner.
The overall Journalist of the Year award went to RTE's Mary Wilson for her coverage of the Catherine Nevin trial on both radio and television. Speaking before the presentation of the awards, chairman of the judging panel Michael Mills spoke about the urgent need to reform the libel laws. He said recourse to the European courts may be the only way to force action on the laws.