HEALTH WRITING AWARDS 2010 HONOURS LEADING HEALTH JOURNALISTS

Leading journalists in the health and medical field were recognised this week in the Guild of Health Writers Awards for 2010.

Health journalists across eight categories won awards for their outstanding work in reporting and writing on a diverse range of subjects, including the storage of women’s unfertilised eggs for use in later life; the practice of some NHS therapists in their aim to ‘cure’ homosexual men and women; how physiotherapists play their part at the Glastonbury festival; and the arguments for and against flu vaccines.

The Guild’s Health Writing Awards, held at the Royal Society of Medicine in London on Nov 4, presented awards in eight categories, which were: Best Regional Newspaper Health Feature; Best Trade and Specialist Feature; Best Online Health Feature; Best Health Campaign; Best TV Health Programme/Item; Best Consumer Magazine Feature; and Best National Newspaper Health Feature. The Guild also presented a Lifetime Achievement Award for the first time .

Around 120 people attended the event, including many leading personalities from TV, radio and print journalism, including Dr Hilary Jones, TV doctor on ITV’s Daybreak, Dr Chris Steele, TV doctor on ITV’s This Morning and BBC health reporters.

Chair of the Guild’s judging panel Paul Dinsdale said: “At a time when many journalists are facing tighter editorial budgets, reduced issue sizes and even redundancy, the winning entries displayed a fantastic range of subject matter and a very high standard of work, which shows that good health journalism is thriving despite the recession. “We were particularly pleased about the number of younger journalists producing high-quality work and the range of subjects that they tackled, which is very encouraging for the future of health journalism.”

The judging panel were: Justine Hancock, Good Health editor, Daily Mail; Fergus Walsh, BBC medical correspondent; Lee Rodwell, health editor Take a Break; Dr Carol Cooper, GP and Sun columnist; Barbara Rowlands, director of the MA in journalism course at City University, London; Kathryn Bingham, Live Well editor, NHS Choices; and chair Paul Dinsdale.

The awards presented were as follows:

  • Best trade & specialist publication health feature, sponsored by BMI Healthcare
  • Best regional publication health feature, sponsored by Medtronics
  • Best health campaign – any media, sponsored by Spink
  • Best online health feature, sponsored by Anthony Nolan Trust
  • Best TV health programme, sponsored by Vertese
  • Best consumer magazine health feature, sponsored by Bupa
  • Best national newspaper health feature, sponsored by Vitabiotics
  • Lifetime achievement award, sponsored by Shire Pharmaceuticals

Winner & Runners-up were:

BEST TRADE/SPECIALIST FEATURE sponsored by BMI Healthcare
Winner: Janet Wright - Party without pain, Frontline
Runner up: Deborah Cohen with Channel 4 – Complications: tracking down the data on oseltamivir, BMJ

BEST REGIONAL PUBLICATION FEATURE sponsored by Medtronic
Winner: Adam Morris - Mum’s tragic plea: Don’t let me die in here, Edinburgh Evening News
Runner up: Warren Manger - Richard’s medical marvels, Coventry Telegraph

BEST HEALTH CAMPAIGN – ANY MEDIA sponsored by Spink
Winner: Edward Davie - Private firms refuse to treat patients with mental illness, BMA News
Runner up: Miranda Akhurst, Paula Pohja & Jenny Hiley - Which? NHS hospital car parks campaign

BEST ONLINE HEALTH FEATURE sponsored by Anthony NolanWinner: Kate Kelland - Special report: In austere times can bribery be healthy? www.reuters.com
Runner up: Ellen Widdup - Positive mental attitude – a way back to health, www.childrenfirst.nhs.uk

BEST TV HEALTH PROGRAMME sponsored by Vertese
Winner: Jane Hughes – Alzheimer’s, BBC News
Runner up: Dorothy Byrne – Dispatches: What’s in your Breakfast, Channel 4 Television

BEST CONSUMER MAGAZINE FEATURE sponsored by Bupa
Winner: Anna Magee - Can you really buy time on your biological clock?, Marie Claire
Runner up: Susannah Hickling - I guess that’s why they call it the Hughes, Reader’s Digest

BEST NATIONAL NEWSPAPER FEATURE sponsored by Vitabiotics
Winner: Patrick Strudwick - The ex-gay files, The Independent
Runner up: Robin Mckie - How America became hooked on prescription drugs, The Observer

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD sponsored by Shire Pharmaceuticals
Winner: Dr Chris Steele, nominated by Janette Marshall

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