Comment Awards, 2015
Teenage ebola diarist honoured
Tuesday 24 November, 2015
A 13-year-old girl whose diary of life during the ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone made the Observer splash became the youngest winner at the EI Comment Awards in London today.
Bintu Sannoh was named young commentariat of the year for this piece about the crisis and two further articles about the stigma and poverty and hunger that came in the wake of the disease. Six months later she was able to return to school - but she writes about how everything had changed, with only a third of pupils having survived.
Janan Ganesh emerged the sole double winner of the morning as the Financial Times took pride of place at the ceremony at the RIBA headquarters. He won the top accolade of commentariat of the year, having earlier been named political commentator of 2015.
His paper won the award for the best comment pages, Gillian Tett was business commentator and Michael Skapinker won the new prize for business ethics commentary.
The Times also claimed a clutch of prizes: David Aaronovitch was honoured for comment piece of the year for this article after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Jenni Russell won the new diversity award, Hugo Rifkind was arts and culture commentator and Sathnam Sanghera media commentator (in succession to SubScribe).
Other winners included Simon Jenkins, Gary Younge and Cory Doctorow of the Guardian, Allister Heath of the Telegraph, Channel 4, and the science writer Philip Ball.
The chairman's award went to Andrew Rawnsley, of the Observer, while the Sun punctured the domination of the broadsheets (even if few of them are physically broadsheets these days) by winning the eiDigest special award for its leader column.
SubScribe was honoured and surprised to find a place on the individual blogger shortlist, but delighted to see the award go to Matthew Scott, whose excellent Barrister Blogger can be seen here
You can see all the winners here and the full shortlists here.
The commentators 24-11-15
...on the strategic defence review
It is telling that we crave the simulation of strategy. This busy week is the outstanding example of our times. The two reviews look more rational than they are, or ever can be in a system such as ours. The defence plan is a dart thrown at a board by competing departments of state, who will doubtless overcorrect for their mistakes in 2010 and prioritise the threats that happen to have manifested most recently. The spending review does not review spending, not really. We have the elaborate, well-choreographed pretence of strategy. It is harmless, unless it fools us that we are doing all we can about our problems - Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
Over the past five years the UK has increasingly been seen by its allies – both in the US and in Europe – as a power in retreat, focusing on its domestic political and economic crises at the expense of its international activism. This review, and the stability which it provides, should help to reverse this perception. Over the coming period outside observers will pay particular attention to the imminent Commons vote on Syria, and to the forthcoming referendum on EU membership. If the prime minister can get what he wants from both votes, then this review will have played an important role in restoring the UK’s reputation as a reliable security partner
- Malcolm Chalmers, The Guardian
The Government’s long-awaited Strategic Defence Review undoes some of the damage caused by David Cameron’s last one, in 2010, when he inflicted cuts on the Armed Forces, and especially the Army, more brutal than any in their modern history. But the underlying reality is that Britain’s debt blackhole — together with rising welfare, pensions and NHS costs — consumes so much cash that there is woefully little left for anything else, defence included - Max Hastings, Daily Mail
Money reveals priorities. This Strategic Defence and Security Review shows that the Government, understandably, remains determined to crush the adversaries of today on the physical rather than digital battlefield. That is not as forward thinking as it could be. But it represents a marked improvement. It is often said that Britain’s military is set up to fight the battles of yesterday, tomorrow. Now we will fight the battle of today, tomorrow
- Lewis Page, Daily Telegraph
Only a few years ago, the puff would have been chucked out the moment the scale of a story like this became apparent, partly as a matter of taste and partly to maximise the potential for display and give the story room to breathe.
Last night only the Telegraph dispensed with the blurb - and that decision may have been influenced by the oversized ad at the foot of the page. The Times had signed up Bake-Off's Nadiya and wasn't about to surrender a millimetre of her promo. The Guardian was similarly wedded to its taste of autumn and the Mail to its Lego toy... but journalism was still the winner
How the papers covered the Paris attacks
Comment archive, 2015
Britain and Europe
Sinai jet crash
Lords v Commons
Xi Jinping visit
Xi Jinping's visit
Virginia TV shootings
Boris Johnson, Greece
If you would like
to help to keep SubScribe going,
please click here