As 2016 draws to a close many UK journalists will reflect on another tough year for our craft.

The digital giants appear to be sucking advertising out of our trade at an increasing rate. Regional newspapers groups like Archant, Johnston Press and Trinity Mirror have had to resort to ever more savage cost cutting in order to stay afloat.

This Christmas there is another tabloid journalist behind bars for a crime committed  in the course of his work (Mazher Mahmood) and the Government is pondering Leveson part two and the imposition of compulsory state-backed press regulation.

But there is another more uplifting story about British Journalism in 2016 which was told at Stationers’ Hall on 6 December.

The British Journalism Awards for public interest journalism reminded me that we work in a special industry, which does a huge amount of good and which we should feel proud to be part of.

This year there were more than 500 entries and, as someone who reviewed all of them, I can say without doubt that investigative journalism which holds those in power to account and provides a voice to those who don’t have one is alive and kicking in the UK.

From journalist of the year Laura Kuenssberg quizzing the Chinese premier over human rights abuses to Health Service Journal reporter Shaun Lintern’s work exposing cover-ups and conspiracies in the NHS.

From the Birmingham Mail securing an inquest into the deaths of 21 terrorism victims in the city 40 years on to The Guardian investigation which secured basic employment standards for thousands of Sports Direct employees.

Most moving of all was the speech from Abdalaziz Alhamza, from Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, who reminded us that words can be used to effectively counter murderous hate  -and which deservedly received a moving standing ovation.

See the full list of 2016 British Journalism Awards winners here.

Read an interview with Laura Kuenssberg.

Read Abdalaziz Alhamza’s speech.

Watch the highlights video:

Source: BJA