Irish Examiner's Michael Clifford named overall winner at Journalism Awards

Irish Examiner columnist and journalist Michael Clifford was today named 2016 NewsBrands Ireland Journalist of the Year at a ceremony in Mansion House, Dublin.

Clifford, who also won Broadsheet Columnist of the Year, was singled out by the judging panel for a body of work that consistently demonstrated the “basic characteristics of good journalism”. 

Professor John Horgan, Chairman of the judging panel, spoke of the decision-making process that saw Michael Clifford crowned Journalist of the Year.

"You are not just comparing apples and oranges: you’re comparing them with all sorts of other exotic fruit," he said. "Features and news, broadsheets and popular papers, scoops and series, sports and crime, columnists and reporters – they are all in the mix, and properly so."

"That said, the person who emerged as the overall winner is a journalist who has demonstrated that, although he is a winner in one category, he would be equally at home in several others," Professor Horgan said.

"In everything Michael Clifford does – commentary, analysis, exposés – he is driven by the three basic characteristics of good journalism in any paper, on any topic, and in any age: evidence, accuracy, and fair-mindedness. And good writing, of course – that goes without saying."

Mr Clifford’s citation for Columnist of the Year praised "a writer whose commentaries and analysis are invariably grounded in careful research and inquiry. They are distinguished by their sharp insight and their balanced judgment. They are presented in a writing style that is strong, courageous, lucid and accessible. They are always constructed on a solid factual framework and the distinction between fact and opinion is always made clear.

"[He] uses sources skilfully and is meticulous in protecting them even when his work is challenged. The range and variety of his work is extensive, encompassing many issues from sexual equality to rural decline, to politics, to crime, policing and criminal justice.

"He is an exemplar of considered, thoughtful, researched journalism in an era when these qualities are increasingly rare and often under threat.”


Journalist of the Year: Michael Clifford, Irish Examiner

Business Journalist of the Year: Tom Lyons, The Sunday Business Post

Business Story of the Year: Fearghal O’Connor, The Sunday Business Post

Columnist of the Year – Broadsheet: Michael Clifford, Irish Examiner

Columnist of the Year – Popular: Paddy Murray, Sunday World

Crime Journalist of the Year: Nicola Tallant, Sunday World

Crime Story of the Year: Alan Sherry, Sunday World

Critic of the Year: Patrick Freyne, The Irish Times

Digital Innovation Award: The Irish Times, Remembering the 1916 Rising

Feature Writer of the Year (Popular): Catherine Fegan, Irish Daily Mail / The Irish Mail on Sunday

Feature Writer of the Year (Broadsheet): Susan Mitchell, The Sunday Business Post

Foreign Coverage of the Year: Jason O’Brien, Irish Independent

Front Page of the Year: The Herald, ‘Hotel Killers’

Headline of the Year: The Irish Sun, ‘Charlie Chaplain’

Investigative Journalism of the Year: Peter Murtagh, The Irish Times

News Analysis of the Year: Rosita Boland, The Irish Times

News Reporter of the Year: Patrick O’Connell, Irish Daily Star / Sunday World

Political Journalist of the Year: Jody Corcoran, Sunday Independent

Political Story of the Year: Niamh Horan, Sunday Independent

Showbiz Journalist of the Year: Ken Sweeney, The Irish Sun

Showbiz Story of the Year: Maeve Quigley, Irish Daily Mirror

Sports Story of the Year: Vincent Hogan, Irish Independent

Sports Writer of the Year: Neil Francis, Sunday Independent

Scoop of the Year: Sunday World Crime Team, Sunday World

Young Journalist of the Year: Sean Dunne, Irish Daily Mail


Arsenal v Liverpool is the big game in the Premier League, while Cate Blanchett continues in her role as Mrs AmericaWednesday's TV highlights: Mrs America and live soccer action

More From The Irish Examiner