Laura Kuenssberg named Broadcaster of the Year Award at PSA Awards

BBC Political Editor, Laura Kuenssberg, was named Broadcaster of the Year at tonight’s (29 November) Political Studies Association (PSA) Awards ceremony in Westminster.

Now in its 15th year, the PSA Awards pays tribute to those that have made outstanding contributions to politics in the past year. The prize was in recognition of Kuenssberg’s huge contribution to the public understanding of politics, especially surrounding the recent EU Referendum and subsequent developments.

Laura Kuenssberg was appointed as the BBC's Political Editor in July 2015. She is the first woman to hold this position and follows Nick Robinson, Andrew Marr, Robin Oakley and John Cole in the role. Before taking up her current role Kuenssberg was Chief Correspondent and a presenter on Newsnight and previous to that the Business Editor at ITV News between 2011 and 2014.

The PSA judging panel who selected the winner praised Kuenssberg’s “consistently succinct, astute and engaging analyses of events not just through BBC News but also online and across social media”.

In May of this year the campaigning website 38 Degrees took down a petition calling for Kuenssberg to be sacked due to a perceived bias against the Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn, after it had become a focal point for misogynist abuse on social media. The issue was discussed during Prime Minister’s Questions, where the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, condemned the harassment, stating that “We must have a robust and lively democracy. But some of the things people say on Twitter, knowing that they are in some way anonymous, are frankly appalling and people should be ashamed of the sort of sexist bullying that often takes place.”

The award was presented to Kuenssberg by Conservative MP, Sarah Wollaston, who herself was named Parliamentarian of the Year by the PSA in 2015. Previous PSA Broadcasters of the Year include James Landale (2015), Stephanie Flanders (2012) and Evan Davis (2011).

Master of ceremonies, Jon Snow (Channel 4 News), noted 2016 has been an important year for journalism: “This year, more than any other, we have relied on those at the very heart of politics to inform, influence and analyse a number of key issues and debates.”

Other figures honoured at this evening’s ceremony include Grayson Perry (Contribution to the Arts and Culture), Michael Ignatieff (International Recognition Award) and Ruth Davidson (Best Use of Social Media).

ENDS //

Background

Kuenssberg started covering politics in 2003 as a political correspondent at the BBC working across programmes including Daily Politics and the Today programme, Breakfast and the News at Ten. She then became the BBC’s Chief Political Correspondent from 2009 to 2011. Before joining the BBC in 2000 as a trainee journalist in Newcastle, Kuenssberg worked in local radio and TV and studied at Edinburgh and Georgetown Universities.

 

The full list of winners:

Parliamentarian of the Year

Baroness Smith of Basildon

Politician of the Year

Sadiq Khan

Broadcaster of the Year

Laura Kuenssberg

Best Use of Evidence - Politician

Lord Stern of Brentford

Enlightening the Public

The Iraq Inquiry

Lifetime Achievement in Politics

Gordon Brown

Best Use of Social Media

Ruth Davidson

Campaigners of the Year

Margaret Aspinall and Professor Phil Scraton

International Recognition Award

Professor Michael Ignatieff

Journalist of the Year

Rachel Sylvester

Contribution to the Arts and Culture

Grayson Perry

Democratic Innovation

Democracy Matters Citizens’ Assembly Project

Innovation in Teaching Politics

Dr Matthew Wyman

Political Studies Communicator

Professor Anand Menon

W. J. M. Mackenzie Book Prize

Professor Christopher Hood and Dr Ruth Dixon

Sir Isaiah Berlin Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Political Studies

Professor Anne Phillips

PSA Student Short Video Competition

Christleton High School, Chester

 

Notes to editors

  • The 15th Annual PSA Awards was held at Church House, Westminster, London on 29 November 2016 to celebrate noteworthy academics, journalists, politicians, political campaigners and policy-makers who have made significant contributions to the conduct and study of politics.
  • The master of ceremonies on the evening was Jon Snow (Channel 4 News).
  • This year’s Awards Jury included Robert Barrington (Executive Director, Transparency International), Stephen Khan (Editor, The Conversation) Marjorie Wallace (CEO, SANE) and Professor Matthew Flinders (Chair, PSA).
  • Photos from the event will be available from Wednesday 30 November via the PSA Flickr account.
  • The Awards ceremony will be broadcast by BBC Parliament and available to view on BBC iPlayer after the event.
  • Follow social media coverage of the awards at @PolStudiesAssoc and #PSAAwards.
  • Please contact Stefanie Mair, Communications and Media Relations at the PSA with any other media enquiries: stefanie.mair@psa.ac.uk // 07938 128242
  • The Political Studies Association has been working since 1950 to develop and promote the study of politics. It is the leading UK Association in its field, with an international membership including academics in political science and current affairs, theorists and practitioners, policy-makers, researchers and students.