THE supreme award of "Journalist of the Year" in the 2004 ESB Media Awards went to RTE’s Primetime Investigates for their "superb body of work over the course of the year". In all 18 awards were presented at the ceremony which took place in the Berkeley Court Hotel on Tuesday, November 2nd, last. The awards were hosted by ESB Chairman, Tadhg O’Donoghue, with the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Mr Noel Dempsey, TD, the guest of honour.
In presenting the award to Primetime the judges said: "The award for Journalist of the Year is an open one: it can be awarded to any one of the category winners, or for a body of work. In a year characterised by much good journalism, choosing between any of these winners would have been a difficult task. However, there are also years in which the task is made easier by the fact that behind an individual winner there is a team, and a body of work, which has set new journalistic parameters for the year in question.
For these reasons the award for Journalist of the Year goes to the team behind the superb series of investigative reports under the generic title "Primetime Investigates …".
Mr Vinnie Doyle, editor of the Irish Independent was presented with a special judge’s award for his outstanding contribution to Irish journalism over many years. Speaking of the award John Horgan, Chairman of the Judging Panel, said; "The judges award is one for which there are no entries and no shortlist. It is given to someone who, in the opinion of the judges, has made a significant contribution to journalism and who enjoys a high reputation among his peers… Our recipient whose tough hands-on style has been a feature of his editorship of not one but two national newspapers continues to draw the admiration of his colleagues and the exasperation of his rivals …. The winner is the long-serving editor of the Irish Independent Vinnie Doyle."
Speaking at the ceremony Tadhg O’Donoghue, Chairman of ESB, said "The ESB media awards are about the achievements of those in the media who entertain, inform and on occasions enrage us. We trust our sponsorship of the awards contributes to the high standards that exist across all forms of Irish media".
The complete list of award winners were as follows:
OVERALL JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR AWARD RTÉ’s Primetime Investigates. SCOOP OF THE YEAR Deirdre Tynan, Ireland on Sunday. YOUNG JOURNALIST Michael Brennan, Irish Examiner. IRISEOIR NA BLIANA AS GAEILGE Rónán Mac Con Iomaire, Nuacht TG4. POLITICAL/CURRENT AFFAIRS Carole Coleman, RTÉ. ARTS TJ Flynn, Clare Champion. FEATURES Mary Carr, Ireland on Sunday. TV DOCUMENTARY Paul Loughlin & Rita O’Reilly, RTÉ. RADIO DOCUMENTARY Karen Coleman, Newstalk. SPECIAL JUDGES’ AWARD Vinnie Doyle, Irish Independent. OPINION Liam Fay, Sunday Times. BUSINESS FEATURES Bill Tyson, Irish Independent. BUSINESS NEWS Conor Keane, Irish Examiner. SPORT PRINT Keith Duggan, Irish Times. SPORT BROADCAST Conor Moloney, Karen McGrath and Paul Giles, Independent Pictures. PROVINCIAL/REGIONAL SPORT Jonathan Mullin, Athlone Voice. PROVINCIAL/REGIONAL BROADCAST Fran McNulty, Shannonside Northern Sound. PROVINCIAL/ REGIONAL NEWS Chris Thornton, Belfast Telegraph.
The overall winner receives a specially commissioned piece of sculpture and a cheque for €5,000. Each of the category winners receive a similar piece of sculpture and a cheque for €1,500