During the most unpredictable and turbulent year in living memory, the Financial Times continued to deliver the news and insights that businesses and governments required to stay informed and make sense of a fast-changing world.
The FT Group received 78 awards in 2020, including the News Provider of the Year at the British Journalism Awards for the third year in a row. Prizes for agenda-setting scoops, as well as those for innovative forms of visual journalism, recognise how the FT has navigated the challenges posed by Covid-19 and continued to be a trusted guide for subscribers in a time of crisis.
The Press Gazette British Journalism News Provider of the Year
The Press Gazette British Journalism Awards celebrate exceptional journalism in the public interest and in naming the FT the News Provider of the Year, judges commended the coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, which attracted millions of readers.
2020 was more than just about Covid though, and FT journalists demonstrated many admirable feats of investigative reporting throughout the year. George Parker and Peter Foster landed a string of Brexit scoops as the end of the transition period loomed large, while Miles Johnson revealed how the Mafia had infiltrated Italy’s public services, to give just a few examples.
Judges from across the news industry praised the FT for high standards of journalism not just in relation to its reporting of the pandemic, but across the board. "The FT has continued to punch well beyond its niche with quality journalism which has been quite simply exemplary," the panel remarked.
Showcasing the best of business journalism
The FT’s biggest story of 2020 was the remarkable investigation into payments group Wirecard, exposing one of Europe’s biggest ever accounting frauds. The FT received two British Journalism Awards for the multi-year investigation as Dan McCrum picked up journalist of the year, as well as winning in the Best Business Journalism category along with Olaf Storbeck and Stefania Palma.
McCrum also won the prestigious Ludwig Erhard Prize, which recognises excellence in business journalism, for the reporting that led to Wirecard’s collapse and an arrest warrant being issued for chief operating officer.
Anybody who thinks investigative journalism is dead should read the long feature in today’s FT about how, despite formidable corporate and regulatory opposition, the FT exposed Wirecard as fraud and sham. Amazing journalism.Chairman of the Spectator and Apollo Magazine, Former Editor of The Sunday Times
Awards for digital design and innovation
The FT was widely acclaimed in 2020 for its use of visual journalism to bring greater clarity to readers on the most important issues. The coronavirus data tracker, which offered 'trajectory charts' of countries' virus cases and deaths, brought in thousands of new subscribers, and was cited across the world.
The reputation of the FT as an industry leader in data journalism was strengthened further when it took home 20 awards at the 2020 European Newspaper Design Awards. The coronavirus tracker, which has been used by industry experts, academics and national governments, received special recognition from the judges. The US election poll tracker and live results pages became the top two most-read FT.com pieces ever by US readers, and earned an award in the online news category.
The work of John Burn-Murdoch and others from the FT’s Visual and Data Journalism team has influenced media organisations across the world to adopt similar techniques in enhancing their own digital storytelling. The FT’s innovative journalism stood out and stood tall in 2020 and subscribers can be assured the FT will continue to produce thorough, factful and impactful news and analysis in 2021 and beyond.
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