Ray Fitzwalter Award
Thursday 19 April sees the presentation of the inaugural Ray Fitzwalter Award, recognising outstanding investigative journalism outside London. Launched at the 2017 Nations and Regions Media Conference, the award was established in memory of the distinguished investigative journalist Ray Fitzwalter, who was the longest-serving editor of Granada Television’s flagship current affairs programme, ‘World In Action’.
During 23 years working on the series, Ray developed a reputation as a fearless programme maker. He created hard-hitting documentaries dealing with corruption in business and government, and famously ended the career of home secretary Reginald Maudling after uncovering his links with architect John Poulson. He also covered the slaughter in East Pakistan which led to the birth of Bangladesh and, as head of current affairs at Granada, commissioned a series of documentaries on the Birmingham pub bombings which exposed one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in British legal history.
Later, he formed his own production company and became a founding member of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. He also chaired the Nations and Regions Media Conference for several years and became a visiting professor at the University of Salford. Ray was awarded two BAFTAs during his illustrious career and was a fellow of the Royal Television Society, before sadly passing away at the age of 72 in 2016.
The award is open to early career journalists working on investigations in any medium, working and based within the UK but outside London. The winner will receive a £4,000 cash prize to be partly spent on a future investigation during 2018, alongside the opportunity to be mentored by a panel of distinguished investigative journalists.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a VIP award ceremony at the University of Salford’s MediaCityUK campus on Thursday 19 April 2018, where the winner will be announced. The event will be hosted by ITV presenter Lucy Meacock.