MJA Awards 2022: Meet the finalists

By August 9, 2022Public

Congratulations to all the finalists in the MJA Awards 2022  and thank you to the hundreds of talented health and medical journalists who entered our awards..

Winners will be announced at the MJA Awards Ceremony, September 15, 2022 at the Barber-Surgeons’ Hall, London EC2Y 5BL.  All finalists, members, judges and sponsors are invited to celebrate but RSVP is essential. View the ceremony invite and RSVP.


NB: Links are provided to finalists work where available

Newcomer of the Year

36 months or fewer in health/medical journalism

Samuel Lovett

The Independent: Inside Britain’s flagship Covid lab that no one knows what to do with

An impressive piece of investigative journalism. Samuel’s hard hitting, well researched feature included a number of inside sources as well as revealing key documents. This was the product of a three-month investigation that raised important questions about the mismanagement of public funds during the COVID-19 pandemic

Caitlin Tilley

Pulse Today: Taxi sent to GP practice after staff waited nine hours for ambulance

Caitlin impressed us with her dogged determination to discover the real reason behind the ambulance delays and she clearly has a great eye for a story. She sensed that handover delays were more than the odd unfortunate incident and was tenacious in her approach, amassing all the supporting evidence from a variety of reputable sources, as well as securing strong quotes from key individuals.

Mental Health Story of the Year — supported by Edelman

Dr Ellie Cannon

Mail on Sunday: Anti-depressants are worth the risk – I should know I’ve been on them for 15 years

By putting herself in the patient role Ellie Cannon brought incredible honesty and personal experience to her article on anti-depressants. The result was journalism that was accessible, personal, honest, balanced, impactful, and informative. The article had a clear and informative purpose and at the same time made an absorbing read.

Jessica Hamzelou

New Scientist: Rethinking Trauma

This article was an excellent exploration of the debate surrounding how we diagnose trauma. It captured different sides of the debate and presented the evidence without making a judgment. As such it showed the complexity of defining trauma in a way that was both accessible, balanced and thought-provoking.

David Robson

BBC Worklife website: The complicated truth of post-traumatic growth

A very thoughtful and accessible piece of work into the complexity of post-traumatic growth. The article raised important issues about mental health including how we assess it and whether we can be over-optimistic in our ability to manage mental health problems or recover. The article was brave. It avoided simple conclusions and explored the areas of grey and the result is an excellent piece of journalism.

Patrick Strudwick

The i paper: Mental health patients turned away by NHS under controversial scheme

An important piece of original journalism combining powerful exclusive research and using multiple sources in evidence. This piece raised disturbing questions about how we categorise mental health patients and who we give or deny care to. The implications are profound and the challenge it makes of the utmost seriousness.

Mark Thompson, Ashish Joshi, Rachel Lucas, Andy Portch

Sky News: Groomed by a psychiatric unit predator

An incredibly powerful interview which laid bare the failings of the care of a young person in a psychiatric setting. Key to this was the articulacy of the interviewee and the fact she had waived anonymity. The interview was sensitively handled and the story-telling clear, methodical and supported by external evidence and wider comment.

New Award: The Gordon McVie Award for reporting cancer research — supported by Roche

Kat Arney

NEO.LIFE website: The sex, lies and videotape of cancer cells

This was original research, innovative, intriguing, and very cleverly written. We used the Gordon McVie test..was this exciting, was this original, was this simply explained, could this change mindsets?

David Cox

The Guardian: The epic battle with cancer’s ‘Death Star’

Great investigative work, concisely and intelligently explained

James Gallagher

BBC News: Vaccines could mean only one smear test a lifetime

Sensitive handling of case study to explain new research into the possibility of once in a lifetime screening

The Dr David Delvin Award for sex and sexual health journalism — supported by Christine Webber

Natalie Healey

Reader’s Digest: Sexual bereavement: the grief we don’t talk about

The David Delvin Award recognises the relationship between a person’s sex life and their wellness. This article addressed the sexual and emotional needs of a group of the population for whom the very idea of a sex life can be seen as unthinkable smashing the stigma of sexual bereavement

Patrick Strudwick

The i paper: Women are developing late-stage HIV, but face huge barriers to get anti-HIV drug PrEP

After reading this piece we couldn’t believe the issue hadn’t received more attention, providing clear insight into a little explored public health crisis. We believe this piece will lead to meaningful initiatives to improve the wellbeing of women affected

Mark Thompson, Ashish Joshi, Rachel Lucas

Sky News: ‘Treated worse than an animal’: Virginity testing on women and girls at levels ‘never seen before’

This piece handled the topic with great sensitivity and balance, whilst also articulating the horrific impact of this practice without sensationalising the topic. The attention this piece brought to harms of virginity testing was undoubtedly a contributing factor in the legislative reform ever seen before

Podcast of the Year

Entrants submitted three episodes for judging

James Gallagher, Beth Eastwood, Geraldine Fitzgerald

BBC Sounds/BBC Radio 4: Inside Health

Episodes submitted: Long Covid revisitedNew Years’ ResolutionsCovid vaccines: their legacy & vaccinating teens

James Gallagher, as presenter, had an easy to listen to style and regularly ‘spoke’ to the listeners asking them to feed back their views or submit questions – which felt very inclusive. Two of the three entries featured a good mix of lived experience and authoritative experts in discussion providing a good balance with the final entry looking into the future of vaccines in a very accessible way.

Hilary Guite, Maria Cohut

Healthline Media’s Medical News Today: In Conversation

A HiViz Radio production for Healthline’s Medical News Today

Episodes submitted: Long-neuro-Covid, Blood transfusions- getting to the heart of the matter, What does the latest research say about multiple sclerosis?

Another series utilising lived experience. The first entry covering long Covid dealt very sensitively with an interviewee whose suffered series brain fog and loss of memory. In other episodes dialogue between those with lived experience and the expert provided an interesting format

Julia Robinson, Dawn Connelly, Geoff Marsh, Carolyn Wickware

Pharmaceutical Journal: The PJ Pod

Episodes submitted: Pale and stale: decolonising the pharmacy degree, Pandemic plus? The antibiotic resistance lurking in our rivers, Pharmacy’s mental health crisis: building back better post-pandemic

Aimed at pharmacists the three podcasts entered provided a diverse mix of really strong stories across the world of pharmacy from the issue of decolonising the pharmacy curriculum to changing hospital roles during covid – all from a personal perspective. All entertaining but also challenging.

Feature of the Year (specialist audience)

Claire Ainsworth

Nature: Mark of Resistance

Clearly written and informative drawing on a number of evidence sources and case studies to paint a vivid picture of the stigma of living with Hep B.

Anita Makri

Nature Medicine: “I had to be with bodyguards with guns”—attacks on scientists during the pandemic

Important public interest piece that places itself at the nexus of politics, science and social media, examining the spotlight into which scientists were unduly thrust during Covid.

Amy Maxmen

Nature: Inequality’s Deadly Toll: A century of research has demonstrated how poverty and discrimination drive disease. Can COVID push science to finally address the issue?

Important, thorough, well-written and detailed piece tackling the thorny intersectionality of health inequalities that contributed to, and flew from the impact of the Covid pandemic. Quality journalism.

Jacqui Thornton

The Lancet: Researchers slam UK cuts to global health research

Crusading journalism driven by insight from senior scientists and academic researchers highlighting the immediate damage and longer-term consequences of dramatic cuts to the UKRI

Clare Watson

Nature Medicine: Rise of the preprint: how rapid data sharing during COVID-19 has changed science forever

Excellent article on the rise of preprints during Covid and the benefits and risks to the gold standard of peer review in research. Well researched with good case studies.

Feature of the Year (broadcast)

Alys Cummings, Michael Buchanan, Eleanor Plowden, Diana Martin

BBC Panorama for BBC One: Maternity Scandal: Fighting for the Truth

This was a heart-breaking documentary which covered five years of investigations and a scandal spanning two decades causing the death and damage of babies. It sensitively used the tragic personal experiences of parents who had lost babies leading to the Ockenden report into midwifery and the ongoing casualties which continued even as the report was being made public.

Faye Kirkland, Charles Young, Max Hudson, Michael Simkin

BBC Panorama for BBC One: Hospital Secrets Uncovered

A shocking and valuable expose of the number of Royal Society enquiries into hospital issues which are never made public

Fergus Walsh, Mike Radford, Tamsin-Lee Smith,
Agata Krasicka, Jennifer Shaw

BBC2 and BBC iPlayer: AstraZeneca: A Vaccine for the World?

BBC Current Affairs, commissioned by Joanna Carr and Jo Smith

This documentary cleverly and clearly lays out some of the genuine dilemmas and challenges around the roll-out of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Feature of the Year (general audience) – supported by Mearns & Pike and IVI

Rosa Furneaux, Olivia Goldhill, Madlen Davies, Chrissie Giles, Paul Eccles

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism: How Covax failed on its promise to vaccinate the world

Incredibly thorough expose with a global impact. Comprehensive and compelling.

Shaun Lintern

The Sunday Times: A fatal obsession.

Excellent and tireless reporting that scooped the on-diary story. In a year when we were spoilt for choice, this piece stood out because of the commitment of the journalist and the sensitivity of the reporting on an issue of concern to everyone.

Samuel Lovett

The Independent: Covid and lockdown: What we’ve lost

Sensitive and dogged reporting on a subject that the rest of the media had left behind.

Patrick Strudwick

The i paper: ‘My brother died of ovarian cancer’: Why Deputy Lords Speaker Ian Duncan is campaigning for trans health

Raises a little discussed issue on an otherwise well covered topic – and avoids the polarised fury of other reporting

Rosie Taylor

Mail on Sunday: Why is the NHS still dishing out 10,000 prescriptions a year for the dangerous, banned painkiller co-proxamol?

Well researched and balanced feature – with a strong case study

News Story of the Year (specialist audience)

Peter Blackburn

The Doctor magazine: A fight for fairness

This powerful story of surgeon Omer Karim, recently subject to a tribunal judgement which found that the GMC racially discriminated against him, goes behind the growing data highlighting discrimination against ethnic minority healthcare professionals in the NHS. Catalytic and compassionate journalism at its best.

Nicholas Carding

Health Service Journal: Watchdog says new hospital building programme is ‘unachievable’

An excellent piece of old school investigative reporting. Months of establishing contacts paid off with a high profile piece picked up by several national outlets.

Gareth Iacobucci, Elisabeth Mahase

The BMJ: Head of BMA committee steps down in row over patients’ access to GPs

The inside story on a high-profile early departure from a key role in the BMA. Any follower of medical politics will have read this avidly as it gets under the skin of machinations at the nation’s medical trade union.

Elisabeth Mahase

The BMJ: Doctors question NICE recommendation to induce labour at 39 weeks in ethnic minority women

An important story on ethnicity in pregnancy that led to a change in proposed NICE guidance. Well-researched with multiple sources – highlighting the ambition to ‘do good’ should not follow a one-size-fits all when it comes to health.

Katharine Sanderson

Nature: High-profile autism genetics project paused amid backlash

Important piece surfacing the ethics around large research trials and the sensitivities around meaningful consultation with communities involved. Thoroughly investigated, with comments from all sides, it gets beneath the power dynamics of academic research and who it is serving.

News Story of the Year (broadcast)

Louisa Felton, Rebecca Barry

ITV News: Traumatic births caused by a chronic shortage of midwives

Not a widely told story with strong human emotion. Sensitively told.

Katie Goodman, Tessa Chapman, Christina Michaels

5 News: Eating Disorders in Children; huge rise in Tier 4 referrals

Excellent expose of the ticking time bomb of failing in mental health and eating disorder care. Outstanding expose of the exponentially growing problem of care for young people with eating disorders post covid.

News Story of the Year (general audience) — supported by Vaxart

James Gallagher

BBC News website: Trigger of rare blood clots with AstraZeneca jab found by scientists

A complicated story, expertly unravelled and made easily understandable and compelling

Andrew Gregory

The Guardian: Damning race report reveals vast inequalities across health service

An important exclusive that made good use of sources to highlight issues too often overlooked

Kat Lay

The Times: MeToo moment for NHS as female surgeons speak out

Kat’s story and storytelling was essential reading written with empathy and force. It shone a light on a dark subject lurking in a dark place. An important story well told.

Case Study of the Year — supported by Medtronic

James Gallagher, Andrew Luck-Baker

BBC News website/BBC Radio 4: Sickle cell: ‘The revolutionary gene-editing treatment that gave me new life’

James shone a light on an exciting new area of clinical research which will improve the lives of millions of patients especially from ethnic minority groups.

Katie Goodman, Ruth Liptrot

ITN for Channel 5 News: Long Covid Kids

Beautifully brought to life a little-known condition and demonstrated the devastating impact long Covid is having on children.

Andrew Gregory

The Sunday Times: Young lives saved by world-first surgery

Andrew brought to life an amazing scientific breakthrough that will save hundreds of lives. Expertly written and well presented. Two fabulous case studies.

Nicola Hill

Daily Mail: Mother who lost her hands and legs to sepsis reveals the humbling courage that’s seen her life transformed by a stranger’s gift

Extraordinary story of a double hand transplant, with a remarkable case study.

Shaun Lintern

The Independent: Dozens of baby deaths after errors at one of UK’s largest hospitals

Shaun sensitively handled a harrowing series of care failures and brought to the public’s attention the shocking care that was provided. Expertly written with strong interviews.

Science Explained supported by Yakult

Kat Arney, Beth Sagar-Fenton, James Beard, Penny Murphy

BBC Radio 4: Ingenious Season 2 – Omnibus

Produced by the BBC Radio 4 Current Affairs unit

A great listen, weaving abstract concepts with beautiful story telling

David Cox

The Guardian: Burn, baby, burn: the new science of metabolism

Fascinating and relatable read on emerging research

Lucy Elkins

Daily Mail: Grown in a lab, the mini organs that could save your life

Lively, well-paced and engaging story telling on bench to bedside science. An outstanding entry, packed with the people, scale and potential impact of the science.

Andrew Gregory, Ben Spencer

The Sunday Times: The blood clot scare is just a bump in the road – the wheels aren’t coming off

Compelling story telling with clear convincing explanation on a timely issue

Layal Liverpool

New Scientist: How medical tests have built-in discrimination against black people

Balanced, thoughtful approach to a complex and important issue

Freelance of the Year — supported by Leigh Day

Entrants submitted three pieces of work for judging

Chris Baraniuk

For his work published in the BMJ, Wired and BBC News Online

From in-depth to breaking news, detailed explainers and strong features, Chris’s work is varied and compelling.

Helen Gilbert

For her work published in MCA magazine, the Sun and Acuity magazine

Burnt Chef – this was a standout article. An excellent examination of mental illness in the high stress world of restaurants and professional kitchens.

Faye Kirkland

For her work for BBC Panorama BBC One, BBC Online and BBC One o’clock News and BBC Online and BBC News Channel

Her investigation into medical malpractice was thoroughly researched and well executed. It put the patients and families front and centre while also including a whole range of experts.

Warren Manger

For his work published in the Daily Mirror

England star Dave Watson’s dementia battle: It is heartbreaking… you’re watching your soulmate disappear

Little Anthony’s legacy of hope: How bone marrow register saved 20,000 lives

My Star Wars heart op… wide awake and looking at the docs

In the best traditions of tabloid journalism, Warren’s stories were thoroughly researched, slickly presented and well written.

Rosie Taylor

For her work published in the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail

A solid and varied body of work, combining strong human interest with expert input. A fascinating investigation into why a banned drug is still being prescribed on the NHS was particularly powerful.

Editor of the Year — supported by Real Chemistry

Entrants submitted three pieces of work for judging

Barney Calman

Health Editor, The Mail on Sunday

What possible justification is there for GPs still refusing to see patients face-to-face?

Why the chaotic way deaths were recorded in the pandemic could mean thousands were wrongly blamed on Covid?

Why the most vulnerable are missing out on their third vaccine – while healthy over-50s are getting theirs

It’s the question everyone is asking and one of the most important for our post-pandemic NHS – why can’t patients see GPs? The MoS health section launched a punchy campaign on the continuing problem totally in tune with readers’ concerns with a slew of distressing stories from them. Features and news stories showed how to run a popular campaign – with commitment and gusto. There was a high quotient of comment but signposted and appropriate to the many talking points. The MoS entry package as a whole was focused, creative and often provocative, but for impact the GP access campaign stood out. Editing means making judgments: about readers, about the questions to put to those in power and about what to make of the answers – and Calman got the balance right.

Jaimie Kaffash

Editor, Pulse

Building a Better General Practice

How systemic racism affects general practice

Private eyes on the prize

Giving us a positive light through which to view the prism of GP access, Pulse launched a new campaign for a better vision of the profession for GPs and patients. The aim was to offer positive thinking driven by GPs and create a context in which their skills could be used to revive primary care through simple changes. The constructive approach, a panel of GPs as a sounding board and GP surveys, led to a list of principles devised to make NHS leaders and ministers pay attention. Acknowledging that GPs were losing the PR war, Pulse made a creative stab at tackling the negative messages in a manner designed to serve both readers and patients.

Outstanding Contribution to Health or Medical Journalism

This award is not by self entry but chosen by the judges from entries across all categories both the finalists and the winners are announced at the MJA Awards Ceremony. Supported by Bristol Myers Squibb, Principal Sponsor of the 2022 MJA Awards. 

Sallie Robins

Author Sallie Robins

 MJA Administrator

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