CIPR National Education Journalist of the Year

14 Oct 2008

Mike Baker and Helen Wickham honoured at CIPR awards


House of Commons, London, 9th October 2008: 120 journalists, PR professionals and senior representatives from the education and skills sector gathered at the House of Commons to honour top education journalists at the fourth Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) ‘Education Journalist of the Year Awards’.

Having already won the Ted Wragg Award for sustained contribution to education reporting in 2006 when he worked at the BBC, this year Mike Baker picked up the award for ‘outstanding education reporting by a national journalist’ for a joint entry submitted in his freelance capacity in collaboration with co-author, Helen Wickham, a filmmaker with Brook Lapping Education.  Their winning entry was a piece produced on behalf of Teachers TV examining the impact of a media crisis on a school, its teachers and its pupils.

Commenting on the winning entry, the judges said:

‘Well constructed, fascinating in detail, great editing – very subtle.’

‘Rare to find this kind of reporting for this audience – something new.’

‘A superb piece of reporting, beautifully constructed – a fascinating mix of historical footage, emotional interview and information.  Sympathetic, yet realistic and critical.’

‘The issue is very creatively presented.’

‘Excellent presenting and conveyance of subject matter.’

‘A clear winner.’


Mike Baker said:


“I am delighted to have won this award for a film made for Teachers TV.  It shows the channel's commitment to independent analysis of education issues.  The programme about The Ridings School epitomised what I have always tried to do, namely to go behind the headlines to find the real story.  In this case, it was the very moving story of Will Long, a teacher who'd spent most of his professional career at the school, doing his very best for the children there despite extraordinarily difficult circumstances.  I hope the film also offered some practical advice for any school that finds itself in similar difficulties under a media spotlight.

“The award is also a wonderful tribute to my co-winner – the film’s producer, Helen Wickham – who was making her debut as director/producer with this series and showed dazzling talent and energy.”

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