AS journalism prizes go, the annual Paul Foot Award for Investigative Journalism has been one of the most coveted among those aspiring to the West Hampstead writer’s standards. So it’s sad that after ten years, the awards are set to be discontinued by organisers at Private Eye and the Guardian.
Foot died eleven years ago after a mischievous career in which he exposed injustice, took on the big boys and sprung innocent people from jail. He set the bar. If there are to be no awards in his name, some other way should be found to mark this remarkable journalist’s contribution. I’d advise any aspiring journalist who wants to do more than re-write the wires to read something like Foot’s Murder On The Farm. You can get lost for days in his old Daily Mirror columns.
With so many newspapers seemingly more interested in clickbait hits and listicles, the hope must be that the end of the PF awards are not simply another indication of investigative journalism’s decline. If we, as journalists, only care about who tweeted it first, everybody loses out.