Christina Lamb OBE, Chief Foreign Correspondent at The Sunday Times, has been honoured with an Outstanding Contribution to Journalism Award at the Society of Editors ‘Future of News’ conference today.
Taking place on Wednesday 11 May 2022 in London, the Society said that Lamb had “brought the brutal reality of war home to all her readers” in her recent despatches from Ukraine and that “there was no better example of the power of story-telling.”
Martin Breen, President of the Society of Editors said: “Today has been a celebration of the importance and vital role of the news media and Christina Lamb, the recipient of today’s award, has undoubtedly made a big contribution to reporting and giving a voice to the voiceless. Her work is more vital than ever as we all watch in horror at what is happening during the biggest war in Europe since 1945.”
Accepting the award via a pre-recorded message from the East of Ukraine, where she is currently reporting from for The Sunday Times, Lamb paid tribute to the “amazing people” who have allowed her to tell their stories and said that she hoped that, this time, coverage of the war “made a difference” and effected change.
Addressing the situation in Ukraine, Lamb said that although some of the things happening in the country were “horrific” and “uncomfortable” to watch and read, this made it “more incumbent” for journalists to report on it.
She said: “Most of us do this job partly because it’s so fascinating but also because we want to expose injustice and to make a difference. Personally, the hardest thing for me is when I pour my heart out writing something and nothing changes. These days we stay in touch with those we interview through Whatsapp and Messenger and I find it heart-breaking when people message “I told my story but what difference does it make?” I hope fervently that with this war in Ukraine, as there is so much interest, that it will make a difference.”
One of Britain’s leading foreign journalists as well as a bestselling author, Lamb has reported from most of the world’s hotspots starting with Afghanistan in 1987. Her despatches with the mujaheddin fighting the Soviet Union saw her named Young Journalist of the Year and she has been awarded Foreign Correspondent of the Year five times as well as Europe’s top war reporting prize, the Prix Bayeux and was Feature Writer of the Year in last year’s Society of Editors awards.
Considered a major highlight of the industry calendar, the Society’s first in-person conference since 2019 took place on Wednesday 11 May 2022 at Mary Ward House in London. Topics included coverage of the war in Ukraine, engaging new audiences on social platforms, the next steps for industry inclusion and diversity and the future for Making News Pay. Speakers for the conference included Alison Phillips, Editor at the Daily Mirror, BBC Digital Director Naja Nielsen, Jonathan Levy, Director of Newsgathering and Operations at Sky News, Simon Robinson, Reuters Global Managing Editor and BBC News presenter Ros Atkins
The Society’s campaigning work on behalf of press freedom is made possible thanks to the support of Camelot, Cision and Google.