Tuesday 24 November 2009

Political agenda award for Heather Brooke

Campaigning FoI journalist Heather Brooke has won a Political Studies Association "Influencing the Political Agenda" award.
The judges said they chose Heather Brooke for her "tireless and inspiring" campaign to bring details of MPs’ expenses to light.
They noted: "With a background in American journalism, she pursued a 5-year legal battle using the new Freedom of Information Act. Her actions paved the way for the flood of recent revelations and she has provided a role model for investigative journalism."
The PSA said: "The parliamentary expenses scandal that has dominated the news since the Daily Telegraph began its exposés in May might never have come to light if it had not been for the work of Heather Brooke. "
The Daily Telegraph was named Political Publication of the Year because of its key role in exposing details of MPs’ expenses.
BBC business editor Robert Peston was the PSA Political Journalist of the Year. The judges pointed to the outstanding significance of his contribution to the understanding of the current financial crisis.
Cartoonist Gerald Scarfe won the Best Political Satire award "in recognition of his extraordinary images, which have influenced the way that we see politics." His career has spanned nearly 50 years, 42 of them as a cartoonist for the Sunday Times.
A satire award also went to Jon Stewart for the Daily Show in the US. The jury said the show has consistently combined satirical humour with trenchant coverage of such topical developments as the 2008 Presidential election campaigns and the emerging financial crisis.
BBC 2's Newsnight was Political Programme of the Year and commended by the judges for the consistently high quality of its reporting and range of stories.
Heather Brooke has already been named Reformer of the Year by the Reform think tank.

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