Previous Winners 2011 | The Comment Awards

Previous Winners 2011


Commentariat of the Year sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover

WINNER: Matthew d’Ancona, The Sunday Telegraph & London Evening Standard

Matthew d’Ancona is Political Columnist for The Sunday Telegraph, London Evening Standard and GQ. He was previously Editor of The Spectator, where he founded the influential Coffee House blog and steered the magazine to record circulation. He was named BSME Current Affairs Editor of the Year in 2007, and Political Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards in 2004. He has published three novels and is a judge for the Man Booker Prize 2011. He is currently writing a book for Penguin on the Coalition and, with John Cleese, a history of England.

Best Comment Pages sponsored by the ei Digest

WINNER: Financial Times


Best Online Comment Site sponsored by Alpine Interactive UK

WINNER: Mumsnet

Mumsnet has over one and a half million unique visitors. Established in 2000, it hosts a frank and lively talkboard that attracts around 25,000 posts a day, as well as many editorial content areas, peer-to-peer reviews, local listings and a bloggers network. The site received a great deal of attention from politicians and the media during the 2010 General Election, and continues to host regular webchats with senior politicians, as well as public figures of all kinds.

Columnist of the Year sponsored by Chartwell

WINNER: Hugo Rifkind, The Times

Hugo Rifkind is a columnist and leader writer for The Times. Formerly a columnist for The Herald, he joined The Times in 2005 as a diarist and features writer. He now writes a weekly opinion column and a weekly diary parody (My Week). He also writes regular columns for The Spectator and GQ, and is a frequent panellist on BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz. His novel, ‘Overexposure’, was published in 2006.

Business Commentator sponsored by Vodafone

WINNER: John Gapper, Financial Times

John Gapper is Chief Business Commentator and an Associate Editor of the Financial Times. He writes a weekly column on business and finance. John is one of the most senior and experienced FT writers. In addition to his award-winning industrial coverage, John was formerly Editorial Page Editor of the FT. He is co-author with Nick Denton of ‘All That Glitters’, the definitive account of the collapse of Barings bank, and has written a financial novel, to be published by Random House in 2012.

Cultural Commentator

WINNER: Simon Kuper, Financial Times

Simon Kuper has been working for the Financial Times since 1994, and now writes a general column and features for the newspaper. He is British but lives in Paris, and is the author of several books including ‘Football Against the Enemy’ (winner of the William Hill prize for Sports Book of the Year in 1994), ‘Ajax, The Dutch, The War: Football in Europe During the Second World War’ (2003), and – as co-author with Stefan Szymanski – ‘Soccernomics’ (2009). He also writes for magazines in Japan, the Netherlands and other countries.

Economics Commentator sponsored by ICAP plc

WINNER: Irwin Stelzer, The Sunday Times

Irwin Stelzer is US Economic and Political Columnist for The Sunday Times, where his ‘American Account’ appears weekly. He is Director of Economic Policy Studies at the Hudson Institute in Washington, and a visiting fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from New York University, and his doctorate in economics from Cornell University. He is the author of books on regulatory policy, European economic affairs, and neoconservatism, and has served as director of the Energy and Environmental Policy Centre at Harvard University.

Foreign Commentator sponsored by Investcorp

WINNER: David Pilling, Financial Times

David Pilling is the Asia Editor and an Assistant Editor of the Financial Times. As Asia Editor, he oversees coverage for the newspaper and, covering Afghanistan to Australia. In addition to overseeing the paper’s editing and commissioning team in Hong Kong, he writes the Asian leaders. He also writes a weekly column on Asian business, politics and economics for the FT’s Comment and Analysis page. He has won several reporting prizes, most recently for coverage of Japan and China, both individually and as part of FT teams.

Independent Blogger

WINNER: Sunny Hundal, &

Sunny Hundal is Editor of the group blog/ magazine Liberal Conspiracy, which aims to reinvigorate British left liberalism through online campaigning and discussion. He also spends a lot of time linking to articles via Twitter. As a journalist and commentator, he has written for The Guardian, The Independent, Metro, The Times and the Financial Times on media, the environment and race relations.

Mainstream Media Blogger

WINNER: Robert Peston, BBC

Robert Peston is the BBC’s Business Editor. He has won numerous awards for his journalism, including Journalist of the Year and Specialist Journalist of the Year from the Royal Television Society. His book, ‘Who Runs Britain?’, was the UK’s business bestseller in 2008–09. He is the founder of Speakers for Schools (, which organises free talks in state schools by inspirational speakers. His blog, which has 3.5 million page views per month, can be found at

Media Commentator sponsored by Vodafone

WINNER: Peter Wilby, New Statesman

Peter Wilby, aged 66, has been a journalist since 1968. After working as Education Correspondent for The Observer and The Sunday Times, he became Education Editor of The Independent at its launch in 1986, and Home News Editor of its Sunday sister from 1990. He later became Independent on Sunday Deputy Editor and then Editor, before taking the editorship of the New Statesman in 1998. Since 2005, he has been a columnist for the New Statesman and The Guardian

Political Commentator sponsored by Weber Shandwick

WINNER: Daniel Finkelstein, The Times

Times Columnist Daniel Finkelstein joined the paper in 2001 and was its Comment Editor from 2004–08, becoming Chief Leader Writer in 2008, and is now Executive Editor of Digital Content. He was advisor to both Prime Minister John Major and Conservative leader William Hague.

Sketch Commentator

WINNER: Ann Treneman, The Times

Ann Treneman has been the Parliamentary Sketch Writer for The Times since September 2003. She has also worked as a feature writer for The Times and The Independent and, previously, was foreign editor of The Observer. She is the author of a new book, ‘Nick & Dave: The Year of the Honeymoon”. Her first book, ‘Annus Horribilis: The Worst Year in British Politics’, was published in 2009.

Sports Commentator

WINNER: Mike Atherton, The Times

Mike Atherton is Chief Cricket Correspondent of The Times and has been since May 2007. He was formerly Captain of the England cricket team between 1993 and 1998, during a career which spanned 13 years. He won more than 100 caps for his country. He began writing for The Sunday Telegraph in 1993, contributing a regular Sunday column for which he was three times shortlisted for the Sports Journalists Association Sportswriter of the Year award. He was named Sports Journalist of the Year at the 2010 British Press Awards.

Twitter Commentator sponsored by Wardour

WINNER: David Aaronovitch, @DAaronovitch

David Aaronovitch, of The Times, has worked for ITV, BBC TV, in radio and for five broadsheet newspapers, and has edited, produced, researched, presented, commissioned, critiqued, written books, blogged and – most recently – tweeted. This serial communicator is now a columnist with The Times.

Chair’s Choice chosen by Harvey Goldsmith CBE

WINNER: London Evening Standard

The London Evening Standard has gone from success to success in the two years since it became the only free, high-quality daily newspaper in the world. More than 700,000 copies are picked up every afternoon and the Standard now has a daily readership of 1.7 million. During the past year, the Standard’s ‘The Dispossessed’ campaign raised £7 million to help the disadvantaged in London. In recent months, its ‘Get London Reading’ campaign raised money to provide 1,000 children with one-to-one help after it revealed the scandal of one in four children leaving primary school unable to read or write.


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