Deborah Haynes wins inaugural Rat Up A Drain Pipe

Deborah Haynes won the inaugural Rat Up A Drain Pipe Award at the Society of Editors gala last night. The new award was presented by the BBC’s Andrew Marr for her reports on the persecution Iraqi translators faced when the US and British forces withdrew.

“Here is somebody who dug out a difficult story, pursued it in one of our great national newspapers again and again and caused no doubt intense embarrassment in Whitehall as a result and who has actually changed things and made things better,” Marr said.

The Rat Up A Drain Pipe Award, in memory of investigative journalist Tony Bevins who died in 2001, aims to “recognise journalists who have rocked the boat and broken genuine exclusives.” At the award gala, Marr went on to make an impassioned plea for newspaper owners to protect frontline journalists from the present day cost cutting across the business,

“We have all been brought up in a world where it was obvious that journalism mattered. We didn’t have to talk about it – they would buy our product. That seems to be beginning to end. That seems to be in trouble. Please, trash the supplements, trash the columnists, fire the editorial writers but don’t fire the frontline reporters. Those are the people we depend on.” link