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    Shane Pearse

    Maybe I am naive, but if the sponsor of an awards night has no role in the judging, and the judges are independent, where is the harm? Or is merely that the association of an interested party with the awards can create a perception of impropriety?

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      Hi Shane
      Yes I think you are being naive. When organisations, whether it’s the ophthalmologists or pharma companies, get involved in sponsoring or setting up journalism prizes, they’re not doing it because they want to see hard-nosed critical reporting of their particular industries. It’s usually done as a PR or marketing initiative – all the kudos, connections and other such spinoffs that flow from such arrangements. I’ve accepted a number of these awards myself, and often with mixed feelings. It’s nice to be recognised, of course, and often these awards help journalists in their internal organisational jockeying. But the idea of smiling nicely while being handed a cheque by the head of an industry you’re charged with critiquing is not quite comfortable.


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