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UCD Smurfit School Business Journalist Awards 2019 recognises six journalists for excellence in business journalism

  • Date: Mon, Dec 2, 2019

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Dublin, Monday, 2 December 2019: Ireland’s leading business journalists were recognised today at the 13th annual UCD Smurfit School Business Journalist Awards held at the Westbury Hotel, Dublin. The awards, which recognise excellence in business journalism – in print, broadcast and online formats – were sponsored by Bank of Ireland and run in conjunction with the Business Journalists Association of Ireland.

The winners of the six categories for 2019 are:

Business News Story – Mark Tighe, The Sunday Times for his submission, ‘Delaney’s unexplained €100,000 cheque to FAI’

Economic Commentator/Business Analyst – Mark Paul, The Irish Times for his two submissions, ‘Primark shows a consumer paradox’ and ‘After 15 years of marriage to Google, is it still as good for us as it is for them?’

Business Feature – Adrian Weckler, Independent News & Media for his submission. ‘Who’s afraid of Huawei? Inside China’s controversial tech giant'

Specialist Business Reporter – Adrian Weckler, Independent News & Media for his two submissions, 'So, is your smartphone really secretly listening to you?' and 'The four biggest complaints about the National Broadband Plan'

Business Interview – Will Goodbody, RTÉ for his interview with Mark Zuckerberg, the first-ever Irish interview with the Facebook founder, 'Zuckerberg says Facebook cannot guarantee it can stop those trying to interfere in European Elections'

Upcoming Journalist of the Year – Ellie Donnelly, Independent News & Media, based on the following articles: 'From Iraqi factions to finding a vast under-sea kettle off Cork', 'Musgrave: Our family structure gives group edge over listed firms' and 'In person: Galway scientist giving elite athletes the inside track'

In addition to the six categories listed above, an Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Karlin Lillington of The Irish Times for her contribution to business journalism. In 2014, the Courts of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) struck down an EU directive on data retention, based largely on Karlin’s coverage of the issue in The Irish Times from 2005. From her reporting, Digital Rights Ireland took a case in the Irish High Court in 2007, which was then referred by the High Court to the ECJ. It was a landmark case, and assertion by the ECJ of overreach by the EU when it comes to EU citizens’ rights.

In winning this award Karlin joins a distinguished group of eight previous Outstanding Achievement Awardees: Frank Fitzgibbon; Brendan Keenan; Cliff Taylor; Damien Kiberd; Richard Curran; Matt Cooper; Charlie Weston; Ingrid Miley; and last year’s awardee, Tony Connelly.

Professor Anthony Brabazon, Dean, UCD College of Business, said: “Now in its thirteenth year, the Business Journalist Awards remain an important initiative for UCD Smurfit School as we seek to acknowledge the very best of business journalism, work which enriches the public’s understanding of critical issues of the day and how they impact business and society. The individual and collective endeavours of business journalists are hugely important in an increasingly uncertain and complex world where independent, trusted and high quality business journalism plays an increasingly crucial role. We would especially like to acknowledge the contributions of our Outstanding Achievement Award nominee, Karlin Lillington. Her tenacious pursuit of data protection rights inevitably weaves into the world of business, ethics and society. We applaud her work with Digital Rights Ireland and Frontline Defenders as she fearlessly stands against online harm, hate speech and electoral interference. ”

John O’Beirne, Director of Products, Bank of Ireland added: “Bank of Ireland is delighted to partner with UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in sponsoring this awards programme and extend our congratulations to today’s award winners. The range of categories and the breadth of subject matter dealt with in the winning entries demonstrates clearly the versatility and capability of Irish business journalists who, irrespective of broadcast or publication format, deliver extensive reporting at the highest standard consistently.”

This year’s independent panel of judges includes academic, journalistic and business representatives chaired by Breege O’Donoghue, Chair of Design and Craft Council of Ireland, Chair of Real World Analytics & Former Board Member at Primark; Jim Aughney, media and financial consultant; Alison Cowzer, Co-founder of East Coast Bakehouse; Professor Gerardine Doyle, Director UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and Associate Dean, UCD College of Business; Professor John Geary, Professor of Employment Relations and Human Resource Management, UCD College of Business; Professor Susi Geiger, Professor of Marketing, UCD College of Business; Jerry Liston, former Chairman of UCD Smurfit School, BWG Group, Kevin Broderick Ltd., Balcas Timber Ltd and former Board Member of Glanbia plc.; Gary McCann, Gary McGann Chairman of Flutter Entertainment and Aryzta, and former CEO of Smurfit Kappa and Aer Lingus. Anne Nolan, Board Member, Cricket Ireland & Advisory Board Member, Irish US Council; Jane O’Sullivan, writer and journalist; Aileen O’Toole, Co-founder of The Sunday Business Post, a Digital Strategist and a Chartered Director, whose board roles include the Governing Body of the Technological University Dublin; Anton Savage, Broadcaster and Director of the Communications Clinic; and Professor Karan Sonpar, Professor of Management, UCD College of Business.

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