2017 MJA Awards shortlist

By June 3, 2017Public

Judges in session: From left, Vivienne Nathanson, Penny Smith, Catherine Collins, Clare Ryan and Danny Buckland

Our judges have debated, and deliberated, and decided the shortlists for the 2017 MJA Awards.

In some categories, the competition was incredibly tight — which ensured some very lively discussions at the judging day, which was held at the Wellcome Trust. While in others,  there were exceptional entries which emerged as clear winners.

Our decision to present an award for Mental Health Story of the Year for the second year in a row was more than vindicated by the record number of entries, and the judges were incredibly impressed with the work health and medical journalists are doing to break down the stigma surrounding mental health.

The introduction of a new award for Freelance of the Year has also proved a hit, and illustrated the versatility now demanded of freelancers.

All will be revealed at the ceremony on June 22, at the Barber-Surgeons’ Hall in the City of London, but in the meantime, we congratulate everyone who has made the shortlist. With around 300 entries, making it this far is a major achievement.

Click here to RSVP for the 2017 Awards


Blogger of the Year

This could be a personal blog or posts written for a blogging platform. The judges were looking for evidence of the blog’s impact, reader engagement and online hits.

Miranda Barry (pseudonym), BMA

Example blog posts submitted: Employers don’t give a teabag for our moraleWhy we should stop saying sorry for NHS cuts; How the poor get managed off waiting list

Mary Higgins, BMJ

Example blog posts submitted: The second victim in modern healthcareThe echoes of adverse events; Where dartboards and dominos meet after an adverse event

Shaun Lintern, HSJ

Example blog posts submitted: Does the NHS have its eyes wide shutThe signal and the noiseThinking like a patient, acting like a taxpayer


Charity Writer or Broadcaster of the Year

This award is for the best written, visual or audio communications for a charity publication and/or website. The judges were looking for content engaging with the charity’s audience.

Sarah Brealey for Material Change published in Heart Matters a publication of the British Heart Foundation

Julie Penfold for Back to Business published in Connect a publication of Crohn’s and Colitis UK

Donna O’Brien for Delivering an Equal Right to Sight written on behalf of SeeAbility published online by the Down’s Syndrome Association

Freelance of the Year

Judges were looking for a range of work, ability to adapt to different genres and publications. Entrants submitted three pieces of work.

Jane Feinmann, for her work for Mosaic, the Daily Mail and the BMJ

Salma Haidrani, for her work for VICE, The Establishment and Refinery29

Faye Kirkland, for her work for BBC news, BBC Radio 4 You and Yours, and Radio 5 Live investigates

Anna Sayburn, for her work for NHS Choices: Behind the Headlines, RCS Bulletin, and WebMD


Regional Reporter of the Year

Jonathan Gibson, for his investigation for BBC Inside Out, West Midlands, to expose the disturbing trade in repeat prescriptions provided to patients in good faith who are then illegally selling them on.

Pamela McGowan, for Maternity plans are not safe published by North West and Cumbria’s News & Star

Aasma Day, for The great NHS gamble published by The Lancashire Post


Mental Health Story of the Year

News, features or broadcast package.

Alison Abbott, for The mental health crisis among migrants published by Nature

James Gallagher, presenter; Rachael Buchanan, producer; Andrew Luck-Baker, producer, for The Inflamed Mind, broadcast on BBC Radio 4

Sophie Hutchinson, for Revealed: Britain’s mental health crisis a Panorama programme for BBC One

Catherine Jones, for Mental health services in England are failing patients, a 5 News exclusive

Katie Silver, for The heritability of mental illness a podcast for ABC Australia


Newcomer of the Year

Sponsored by Healthcare At Home

Entrants who have been working in health and medical journalism for less than 36 months. Judges were looking for evidence of impact, engagement, topicality and balance.

Layla Haidrani, for Every picture tells a story published in Learning Disability Practice a publication of RCNi

Stephen Matthews, for The IVF clampdown published by Mail Online

Patrick Russell, for Over half of mental health trusts cut crisis beds despite Government £1 billion funding pledge for ITV news


Feature of the Year, Broadcast

Sponsored by MSD

These are features for a television or radio audience

Mike Hally, Producer, Mark Whitaker, Executive Producer for Farewell Dr Finlay, made by Square Dog Radio LLP and broadcast on BBC Radio Four

Barbie Maclaurin, for The drug trial emergency at the hospital, a BBC 2 Drama Documentary

Fergus Walsh, for Tremors an exclusive story for BBC TV News


Feature of the Year, Specialist Audience

Sponsored by Astellas

These are features for a specialist audience usually appearing in a publication dedicated to health, medicine or science.

Kat Arney, for The power of the unfocused mind published in TES

Gareth Iacobucci, for NHS in 2017: the long arm of government published in the BMJ

Natasha Loder, for Hello, again, Dolly published in the Economist

Meera Senthilingam, for Sex in the UK: how culture and society can define your sexual health published by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Emma Young, for Iceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse but the rest of the world isn’t listening published by Mosaic

Feature of the Year, General Audience

Sponsored by Novo Nordisk

These are features for a general, consumer audience.

Sarah Boseley, for Think the Aids epidemic is over? Far from it – it could be getting worse published in the Guardian

Oliver Moody, for Century-long war on Alzheimer’s edges towards uncertain endgame published in The Times

Good Housekeeping team: Julie Powell, Health Director; Lindsay Nicholson, Editorial Director; and Michelle Hather, Deputy Editor. Plus Liz O’Riordan, Breast Cancer Surgeon and Anne Montague, Health Writer  for GH guide to breast cancer by the women who know published in Good Housekeeping

Katie Silver, for UK doctors heading to Australia published in The Saturday Paper

Patrick Strudwick, for This is what it’s like to be dying of AIDS and then survive published by Buzzfeed


News Story of the Year, Broadcast

Sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim

These are news stories for a television or radio audience

Rachael Buchanan, for a report on the controversial work to grow human organs within pigs for the BBC Ten O Clock news. This news piece also served as a taster for a Panorama the following evening, Medicine’s Big Breakthrough: Editing Your Genes. Which was co-produced by Howard Bradburn, who directed the filming. Interviewing and scripting was by Fergus Walsh.

Shamini Bundell, for a report on the ‘paperfuge’ for Nature Video


News Story of the Year, Specialist Audience

Sponsored by Shire

These are news stories for a specialist audience usually appearing in a publication dedicated to health, medicine or science.

Peter Blackburn, for Capital crisis: STP money fails to materialise published by the BMA online

Jessica Hamzelou, for ‘3-parent’ baby success published in New Scientist

Stephanie Jones-Berry, for Exclusive: I had to use food banks as I have had literally no money published in the Nursing Standard

Shaun Lintern, for Exclusive: Huge leak reveals BMA plan to draw-out junior doctors dispute published in the HSJ

Clare Wilson, for Massive drop in London HIV rates may be due to internet drugs published in New Scientist


News Story of the Year, General Audience

Sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim

These are news stories for a general, consumer audience.

Laura Donnelly, Bullying ‘led 999 staff to attempt suicide’ published in The Daily Telegraph

Andrew Gregory, for HIV organs used in NHS transplant for first time ever in medical breakthrough published in The Mirror

Billy Kenber, for ‘Extortionate’ prices add £260m to NHS drugs bill published in The Times

Chris Smyth, for Junk food ban dropped after ministers bow to lobbyists published in The Times

Nick Triggle, for NHS Consultant paid £375,000 in overtime published by BBC News Online

Case Study of the Year

Sponsored by Lilly

These add human interest to complex medical stories making them more relevant to readers, listeners, and viewers.

Aasma Day, for Make an end a beginning, published by the Lancashire Post

Rachel Ellis for We are proof Dry January really IS worth doing: 5 drinkers who gave up alcohol for a month reveal their astonishing results published by Good Health, Daily Mail.

Andrew Gregory for HIV kidney transplant patient reveals why he decided to be medical pioneer published by the Daily Mirror

Rob Osborne for In Focus: Struggling to cope broadcast by ITV Wales

Caroline Scott, for Tom, who was so full of life, was killed in a tragic hockey accident at the age of 22: Now his organs have helped up to 50 people in need of transplants published by Daily Mail, Good Health.


Science Explained

Sponsored by Roche

Judges were looking for complex or emerging science stories made clear for a lay or specialist audience. Matching explanation to audience is vital.

Linda Geddes, for The complex circumstances that defined your gender, published by BBC Future

Jacqui Thornton, for When the miracle of childbirth turns to life and death published by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Kat Arney, for The viruses that made us human for BBC Focus Magazine

Natasha Loder, for Adding ages: the fight to cheat death is hotting up published in The Economist

Geoff Watts, for The engineer who fixed his own heart published by Mosaic 

Editor of the Year

Sponsored by Sanofi

This category is for editors of publications, health pages/sections, and websites. Entrants were allowed to submit three pieces of their work.

Lilian Anekwe, Deputy Editor of Chemist and Druggist (C+D)

Chrissie Giles, Editor of Mosaic

Justine Hancock, Editor Daily Mail Good Health

Nigel Praities, Editor of Pulse

Nick Triggle, for leading and editing the BBC’s online coverage of three major projects the Cost of Care Guide, the Ambulance Pressure day and the week-long NHS Health Check.


Outstanding Contribution to Health or Medical Journalism

Sponsored by NHS Confederation

The entry our judges thought was the best of the best.

The shortlist for this category is revealed at the ceremony.

We value our sponsors support but in keeping with the MJA motto — Independent and bloody minded — sponsors are not involved in the judging process in any way.
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