MJA Awards 2022: Meet the winners

By September 15, 2022Public

The class of 2022: Winners & Highly Commended

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

Winners were announced at the MJA Awards Ceremony, September 15, 2022 at the Barber-Surgeons’ Hall, London EC2Y 5BL.

Watch the live broadcast of the ceremony.

Watch video clips of key winners and view pictures from the ceremony

With thanks to our sponsors:




NB: Links are provided to work where available

Newcomer of the Year

36 months or fewer in health/medical journalism

Winner – 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

Winner – 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.

Highly Commended – 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.

Highly Commended – 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

Winner – 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?

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

Winner – 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

Highly Commended – 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

Winner – 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.

Highly Commended – 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

Feature of the Year (specialist audience)

Winner – 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.

Highly Commended – 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.

Feature of the Year (broadcast)

Winner – 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.

Highly Commended – 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

Winner – 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.

Highly Commended – 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)

Winner – 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.

Highly Commended – 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.

News Story of the Year (broadcast)

Winner – 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.

Highly Commended – 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.

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

Winner – 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

Winner – 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.

Highly Commended – 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.

Highly Commended – 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

Winner – 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.

Highly Commended – 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

Freelance of the Year — supported by Leigh Day

Entrants submitted three pieces of work for judging

Winner – 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.

Highly Commended – 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.

Editor of the Year — supported by Real Chemistry

Entrants submitted three pieces of work for judging

Winner – 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.

Highly Commended – 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 – Supported by Bristol Myers Squibb, Principal Sponsor of the 2022 MJA Awards. 

This award is not by self entry but chosen by the judges from entries across all categories

Winner – 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.

Winners of the Feature of the Year (broadcast) category

Sallie Robins

Author Sallie Robins

 MJA Administrator

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