It’s all too easy to muddle today’s debates over the future shape of the media and particular media channels with a doom laden view of the future of the media and journalism as a whole.
Instead, we at MHP believe that the future of journalism is strong. But it will be a journalism shaped by individuals who are creating the most interesting content and analysis, and who are willing to think and work across channels in getting that content out into the world.
So that is why we chose to focus our awards, our own oscars for journalism, on the very best in new talent.
We had some clear ground rules.
Only journalists aged 30 or under were eligible to be considered as one of the 30 to Watch, and when deciding on the finalists and winners, the judges looked at a range of factors across the quality, quantity, impact and channel reach of each journalist; as well as career paths to date, to spot people whose career trajectory is above and beyond what you would expect at such an early stage in their working lives.
Being a finalist is an achievement in itself.
But we hope that being a 30 to Watch winner will be a real mark of recognition of excellence.
So, the winners of the MHP 30 to Watch 2012, announced at the awards party held on Thursday 12 January, are (in alphabetic order):
1. Harry Cole, News Editor of Guido Fawkes; recognised by the judges for providing the policy addicted with a continual stream of exclusive insider news from the Westminster village
2. Rob Davies, City Reporter at the Daily Mail, for his entertaining and insightful approach to all the essential City stories
3. Amber Elliott, Political Editor at Total Politics, for her continually excellent high profile political interviews
4. Toby Green for keeping the world up to date with all the very latest market movements, at both The Evening Standard and The Independent
5. Ed Hammond, at the Financial Times, for his indisputable position as the property market commentator
6. Joshi Herrmann at the Evening Standard for his hard hitting features, noted by the judges for really getting to grips with the issues London faces
7. Matthew Holehouse at the Daily Telegraph for his investigative prowess and especially his use of freedom of information laws to uncover key stories
8. Sam Jones at the FT for making the latest Hedge Fund industry news accessible to all
9. Billy Kenber at The Times for his outstanding reporting on the 2011 London riots and his superb use of social media
10. Patrick Kingsley at The Guardian for hugely entertaining and insightful features for G2
11. Daniel Knowles at the Daily Telegraph for consistently engaging and provocative comment pieces, and best-in-class use of social media
12. Rowena Mason at the Daily Telegraph for her ability to cover almost any issue, political, financial or green, with utmost clarity and excellent writing
13. Simon Neville at the Daily Mail for making an incredibly effortless and seamless transition from City to Showbiz journalism
14. Laura Pitel at The Times for her fantastic reportage on the latest movements in Syria over the last year and particularly during the Arab Spring
15. Alex Ralph at The Times for fusing top class business journalism with a keen investigative style
16. Sophy Ridge at Sky News for her authoritative political reporting, great use of social media, and (although she might not put it like this herself!) keeping Adam Boulton on his toes
17. Graham Ruddick at the Daily Telegraph – already a firm and recognised thought leader on British industry
18. Matt Sandy at the Mail on Sunday for his excellent investigative reporting – culminating last year with a number of key investigative political pieces
19. Michael Savage at The Times for continued excellence in political journalism, and leading great Whitehall investigations
20. Masa Serdarevic in recognition of her rapid ascent through the FT – a future thought leader
21. Oliver Shah at the Sunday Times for expertly providing us with a weekly dose of insight into the key city and business news issues
22. Jack Sidders at Construction News for industry leading exclusives and excellent use of social media to break stories
23. Kiran Stacey at the FT for his excellent political reporting both in the print edition and on the Westminster blog
24. Alexandra Stevenson at the FT – a lead source of emerging markets coverage
25. Peter Stiff at The Times for a continually high level of insight into all the need-to-know business stories of the day
26. Jennifer Thompson at the FT for her superb reporting from Paris as part of the FT graduate scheme – the judges felt sure to be a future leading commentator on Europe
27. Lucy Tobin at the Evening Standard for superb journalism covering a huge range of topics and fantastic use of social media
28. Emma Wall at the Daily Telegraph – a go-to source of information on where to put your savings, who to get a mortgage from and on top of all the latest ups and downs in the personal finance sector
29. Kate Walsh at the Sunday Times for keeping all PRs on their toes with Prufrock, and for great retail sector reporting
30. Amy Williams at Citywire in recognition of the brilliant work – both print and broadcast – that has led to her recent promotion to Editor of Citywire Global.
In addition, all 30 winners were then judged by a Gold Award panel, made up of Peter Kellner (now President of YouGov and formerly Political Editor of the New Statesman, political analyst at Newsnight and journalist at the Sunday Times, the Independent and the Evening Standard), Carol Lewis, Business Features Editor at The Times and Joe Lynam, the Business Correspondent at the BBC.
The Gold Award judges looked to see which 5 of the 30 winners deserved additional recognition, for taking their career so far already, especially while at such a young age.
Peter, Carol and Joe chose the following of the MHP 2012 30 to Watch to be the winners of the MHP 30 to Watch 2012 Gold Awards:
Billy Kenber, Patrick Kingsley, Daniel Knowles, Sophie Ridge and Lucy Tobin.
On behalf of everyone at MHP, I want to congratulate all the 30 to Watch finalists, but especially the winners and Gold Award winners on their excellence in journalism. And I want to thank everyone who joined us last night at the awards party (photos here) to celebrate their success, and to show our appreciation to journalists of every age for their contribution to a vibrant and lively civil society.