Last night’s British Press Awards proved that there is still a wealth and diversity of great talent in our newspapers. It also proved that award ceremonies are largely meaningless.
This was probably one of the last of these occasions that could ignore online journalism, although so much of that is still relatively parasitic of the mainstream organs. Indeed, tomrrow night at POLIS a group of online hacks and entrepreneurs will gather to discuss if it is possible to have a viable online journalism business that is truly independent of the Old Media companies.
Last night’s awards confirmed the vitality of much of newspaper writing with some great younger names being recognised alongside veterans such as Polly Toynbee. But if you look closely you will see that every single newspaper (I think except the Daily Star) gets a prize and some are more arbitrary than others. Why for example, is the Observer Newspaper of the Year? It hasn’t really scooped or campaigned particularly well this year. It’s readership is down and to me, a previously loyal reader, I find it increasingly missable. Still, I shouldn’t complain about awards. They are great fun to win, the award nights are a laugh and I’m serving on a jury for a top telly award next week. We’re all winners, hooray!!