“The judges were impressed by the tenacity of Amelia Gentleman’s work, her determination to tell the stories of the victims of the government’s hostile environment policy, and the enormous impact her work had, proving that good reporting really can make a difference,” said Padraig Reidy, the chair of the judges.
Ian Hislop, the editor of Private Eye, which runs the awards, said: “Congratulations to Amelia Gentleman for a campaign that was revelatory, important and amazingly effective. This was the Windrush scandal – where a cabinet minister was thrown overboard and the ship of state nearly sank.”
The Guardian’s editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner said: “Amelia Gentleman’s determined and empathetic reporting exposed a national scandal, and gave a voice to the Windrush generation. Amelia has shown brilliantly that independent, investigative journalism can hold power to account and change the world. I’m really delighted for her.”
The young journalist award went to Emma Yeomans and Ben van der Merwe of the London Student for their Toby Young and UCL’s secret eugenics conference investigation.
Gentleman’s work focused on immigration troubles wrongly forced upon Commonwealth-born British citizens.
Other nominees included the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr, whose work on the Cambridge Analytica files was praised, the Times’ Sean O’Neill, whose name was put forward for his reporting on the Oxfam sex abuse scandal, and Madison Marriage of the Financial Times for her work on a charity fundraiser where female hostesses were “put on show”.
The Sunday Post’s Gordon Blackstock was nominated for his investigation into the burials of hundreds of orphans in a mass grave, as was BuzzFeed’s investigations team for its “From Russia with blood” reporting.