Congratulations to openDemocracy author Clare Sambrook who has been named winner of the Paul Foot Award 2010 for her reports on the UK's shameful detention of asylum seekers' children.
The award, which recognises the best campaigning journalism of the year, was announced this evening at the London BAFTA headquarters by Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye.
Clare won with a remarkable shortlist which included Nick Davies, of the Guardian, for his investigations of phone-hacking at the News of the World when Andy Coulson was editor, and Jonathan Calvert and Clare Newell, of the Sunday Times, for their reports on MPs and peers seeking cash for influence.
Clare’s journalism is rooted in End Child Detention Now, a citizens' campaign to end the scandal of child detention by the UK immigration authorities — formed in July 2009 by six friends.
Clare submitted work that exposed government attempts to bury medical evidence that detention harms children, and the cosy relationship between government and the security companies that run prisons and detention centres for profit. The seven articles she submitted from openDemocracy are:
- When they said ‘We will end child detention,’ they meant ‘Keep on arresting babies’
- Let’s make sure they really do end child detention now
- Election time: asylum seekers lose their last safety net
- Surveillance + detention = £Billions: How Labour’s friends are ‘securing your world’
- Has Meg Hillier gone mad?
- Take one traumatised child
- Roll calls, body searches and sex games
Clare's full back catalogue for oD can be read here.
Responding to the award, Clare Sambrook said: ‘Reading Paul Foot’s books when I was fresh out of university gave me a strong sense of what journalism could and should be. This is a massive honour, hugely encouraging and a real boost to the End Child Detention Now campaign at a time when the government has reneged on its commitment to stop this inhumanity.’
Anthony Barnett, Founder of openDemocracy and Co-Editor of It's OurKingdom blog that was the main publisher of her reports, said: "We were proud to publish Clare Sambrook's exceptional reports on the scandalous imprisonment of children in Britain and their ruthless mistreatment by the authorities. She joined meticulous research with beautiful, energetic writing to expose a shocking reality. We hope her reports will indeed help bring child detention to an end".