We live in hugely challenging and complex times. War in the Ukraine and now the Middle East. Turmoil across the governments of Europe and America. And in Britain – if the polls are to be believed – an administration stumbling towards its end but showing the occasional sign of life; whilst the Labour opposition appears to be heading for power but remains nervous of the huge proportion of voters currently in the “don’t know” camp.
Amid such uncertainty, home and abroad, the value of a free and fearless Press cannot be overstated, not just to ensure that the facts of such complicated issues are set out clearly and correctly – and that the powerful are held to account – but also to provide the voice of balance, perspective and context in a world where such basic virtues can often be in short supply.
Journalists themselves – a bit like politicians – tend to get a rough press, but it is worth remembering that the UK has the most highly regulated media in the world: it’s tough to get stories printed, even for the writers themselves, and perhaps this is part of the reason why the UK’s media landscape remains one of the most admired in the world. Readers, viewers and listeners around the world tend to hold our media in higher regard than perhaps we do ourselves – a common theme amongst us cynical Brits and our principal institutions.
Pagefield’s annual Press Awards – now in its second year – is not just a demonstration of great examples, and exemplars of the art, but a celebration of the media’s continuing good health and success on the world stage. The pen is having to work ever harder to be mightier than the sword in 2023, but we hope our awards are proof that the nib is sharper than ever.
We will be identifying the very best of the UK media in five categories – Campaign of The Year, Scoop of The Year, the finest journalists of 2023 in both broadcast and business, and the journalist whose influence has grown and grown over the past twelve months.
I’d like to thank our panel of judges for the not inconsiderable commitment of time they have made to whittle down our shortlists to a worthy winner in each category. They are: Aubrey Allegretti, Yalda Hakim, Anna Isaac, Ian King, Daniel Lanyon, Samantha McClary, Oliver Shah, Ranvir Singh and Marianna Spring.
And my personal thanks go again to Stewart Purvis CBE, for his invaluable support marking the homework of the Pagefield team and narrowing down our long list to the shortlists for each category.
We’re looking forward to announcing the winners at our annual ‘Negroni’ party on 28th November – and my thanks go in advance to Yalda Hakim, Sky News’ Lead World News Presenter, for taking time out of her broadcasting schedule to announce the winners of each award that evening.
Oliver Foster is Pagefield’s Chief Executive.