Organised by the British Journalism Review (BJR) in conjunction with the University of Westminster, the annual presentation of the Charles Wheeler Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcast Journalism was awarded to Hugh Pym, Health Editor at BBC News.
Now in its twelfth year, the Wheeler Award has become one of the most prestigious awards in the journalism calendar.
Hugh Pym, winner of the 2020 award, has become a familiar face and voice of authority during the pandemic. He began his journalism career in radio, before moving to Channel 4 as a producer of Business Daily and then spent 10 years as an ITN correspondent. After a short stint at Sky news, Hugh joined the BBC in 2001, and rose to become Chief Economics Correspondent and then acting Economics Editor. He was appointed as Health Editor in 2014.
The online event was chaired by Professor of Communications Steven Barnett, and was attended by over 200 guests. Hugh Pym’s acceptance speech was followed by a keynote address from ITV Chairman Sir Peter Bazalgette, who emphasised the continuing democratic, cultural and economic benefits of public service broadcasting, and the vital role that impartiality plays in ensuring that broadcast journalism provides “a gold standard of trust and reliability”.
During the event, both Shirin and Marina Wheeler paid tribute to their late mother Dip Wheeler who passed away earlier this year and who until recently had presented the award personally. They thanked both the University of Westminster and the BJR for the annual ceremony in honour of their father, and celebrated Lady Wheeler’s support for his career. Marina Wheeler also spoke about her own book in tribute to Lady Wheeler.
The keynote was followed by a short Q&A, where questions were submitted in advance via the event’s registration page.