Statistical Excellence in Journalism awards 2016 - winners

Written by Web News Editor on . Posted in News

The winners of the RSS Statistical Excellence in Journalism Awards 2016 have been announced as follows:

Explaining the facts

Alberto Nardelli, The Guardian
The government’s intention of reducing net migration to the “tens of thousands' is directly at odds with its fiscal target

Investigative journalism

Tom Bateman, Today programme, BBC Radio 4
2,000 schools ‘missing’ from exam help data

Regional journalism

Kathryn Torney, The Detail
Abortion exported: the women travelling for terminations

Data visualisation – winner
John Burn-Murdoch & Pilita Clark, Financial Times
Climate Change calculator

Data visualisation - commendation
Mona Chalabi,
Guardian USA


Now in their tenth year, the awards have become increasingly popular, with a high number of entries reflecting the rise of data journalism and the increased awareness of the importance of statistics and data in underpinning high-quality journalism.

Like last year, the awards were run under four categories, including excellence in ‘investigative journalism’ and in ‘explaining the facts’. Again an award was made in a separate category for regional journalism and in the ‘data visualisation’ category the judging panel decided to award a ‘runner up’ as well as a winner.

Alberto Nardelli’s entry from The Guardian won the award for Explaining the Facts. The judging panel commented that the piece made a clear contribution to the public understanding of the complexity of setting targets and explains how data can draw attention to potential conflicts in simultaneously attempting to achieve different policy aims.

In the category of Investigative Journalism, Tom Bateman from BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme won the award with a piece on schools data. The judges thought the piece made a real contribution to the debate around the help provided to pupils in GCSE and A-level examinations, and praised the investigation for spurring a public body into making the relevant data publicly available.

Kathryn Torney from The Detail won the award for Regional Journalism with a piece on the magnitude of women from the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland travelling to the UK mainland to get access to abortions. Prizing the piece for its non-emotive handling of the subject, the judging panel commented it was refreshing to see a piece which used data to illuminate a delicate matter of regional interest.   

Finally, in the category of Data Visualisation the judges gave the award to a piece by John Burn-Murdoch and Pilita Clark from the Financial Times, for the Climate Change calculator, which was published at the time of the Paris Climate Change summit. The judges thought the piece clearly explained the scale of the challenge of climate change through inviting readers to explore different possible future scenarios.

As a runner-up, the judges decided to commend Mona Chalabi (Guardian USA) for her work on Datasketch which they thought was a fun and engaging way to make data fun and accessible for those with limited knowledge of statistics.

A list of the winners, along with full citations from the judges, is available to download (PDF). The awards will be made at our annual awards ceremony in London which takes place on 6 July, followed by our annual summer reception.

You can register to attend the ceremony on our events page.

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