Won for journalism published by The Observer. Melanie Phillips is a journalist and writer whose column currently appears in the Daily Mail. She joined the Evening Echo in Hemel Hampstead after reading English at St. Anne’s College, Oxford, and from there moved to The Guardian, via the New Society magazine. After a period as the paper’s news editor, she began writing her column in 1987, taking it to The Observer and the Sunday Times before joining the Daily Mail in 2001. She was one of the first British media figures to start a blog in 2003, moving it to The Spectator website in 2007. Her books include All Must Have Prizes, a critique of Britain’s education system; The Sex-Change Society: Feminised Britain and the Neutered Male, published by the Social Market Foundation; America’s Social Revolution, published by Civitas; The Ascent of Woman, a history of the ideas behind the female suffrage campaign, published by Little, Brown; and Londonistan, a bestseller in 2006. Her most recent book is The World Turned Upside Down. She also wrote a play, Traitors, which was performed at the Drill Hall in London in 1985.
Won for a special report in Private Eye: Not the Scott Report – Thatcher, Major and the Merchants of Death. Paul Foot (1937-2004) was a pioneering investigative journalist who worked for Private Eye, the Daily Mirror and The Guardian. He exposed the Poulson scandal, stood by the Bridgewater Four who were released 18 years after their wrongful conviction in 1978, and wrote a well-received critique on the Private Finance Initiative for Private Eye only a few weeks before his death. A former columnist for the Daily Mirror and The Guardian, Foot was well-known for his socialist views and attacks on Thatcherism, and was a founder member of the Socialist Workers’ Party. Since 2005, the Paul Foot Award has been awarded by Private Eye and The Guardian for investigative or campaigning journalism. Tim Laxton was a journalist, working as an investigative reporter for The Economist from 1998. In June 2007, he joined the investment-management organisation, AKO Capital LLP.
Won for journalism published by The Independent on Sunday. Neal Ascherson is a Scottish journalist and writer who has written for The Guardian, The Scotsman, The Observer and the Independent on Sunday. Educated at Eton and King’s College, Cambridge, he was described by Eric Hobsbawm as ‘perhaps the most brilliant student I ever had. I didn’t really teach him much, I just let him get on with it.’ Despite offers to become an academic, Ascherson declined and moved into journalism instead. His books include The King Incorporated (1963), The Polish August (1981), The Nazi Legacy (1985), The Struggles for Poland (1987), Games With Shadows (1988), Black Sea (1995) and Stone Voices: The Search for Scotland (2002).