Inside Housing was named Publication of the Year at last night’s inaugural British Journalism Awards for Specialist Media, with news editor Peter Apps named Journalist of the Year.
The awards – run by journalism magazine Press Gazette – recognise the achievements of specialist titles and trade media, and specialist journalists working on national titles.
Inside Housing beat titles such the Health Service Journal, The New European and Architects’ Journal to win publication of the year.
Peter, our news editor, took the overall prize for journalist of the year, while Luke Barratt, business reporter at Inside Housing, won the prize for the Built Environment sector.
The judges said: “Inside Housing is the exemplar of a tough B2B title which knows its patch well and does not pull its punches.
“It led the way on exposing issues around fire safety in tower blocks, sticking with the story both before the mainstream media became interested in it and after it had largely lost interest.
“It has performed a huge service to tower block residents across the country and completely owned the Grenfell Tower story.
“It is a hugely deserving winner of our inaugural British Journalism Awards for Specialist Media publication of the year prize.”
Of Peter, they added: “Peter Apps has consistently and doggedly led the way on exposing the scandal around fire safety in tower blocks. Uniquely, he flagged up the issue of flammable panels in advance of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
“He has then consistently led the way not just with his own reporting but leading the news team at Inside Housing. All the judges had a vote on journalist of the year and Peter was the deserving and popular winner.”
On Luke’s win they said: “Built Environment was one of the highest quality categories but Luke Barratt’s entry stood out due to the quality of his writing, the depth of his research and the size of the importance of the targets picked for his investigations.”
Reporter Nathaniel Barker and former deputy news editor Sophie Barnes were also nominated in this category.
A selection of the work the reporters were nominated for is available below.
These are some of the pieces the judges considered:
On the anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, research by Sophie Barnes shows the scale of fire safety issues in high rises. She secured 1,584 fire risk assessments to reveal more than 70% were identified to have fire safety issues.
Pete Apps traces through 10 years of official documents, both public and private, to tell the story of the build up to Grenfell Tower. The research reveals the impact of limits placed on the refurbishment by the government's borrowing cap and an apparent failure to carry out fire door safety work in the aftermath of the Lakanal House fire
Luke Barratt presents an investigation into leaked notes from insulation giant Kingspan which suggest safety tests by other insulation manufacturers had been 'doctored', as well as other revelations.
Luke Barratt, Pete Apps and Sophie Barnes investigate the story of how building regulations came to permit so much flammable cladding and insulation on high rises, and the warnings of disaster that were missed.
Inside Housing Spotlight is a series of pieces showcasing the best of our investigative and data journalism.
14 December 2018: Starting to bite - how Universal Credit is making people homeless: we reveal new figures showing a clear link between Universal Credit and homelessness
9 November 2018: First Priority - the inside story of a housing association which almost went bust When a small supported housing provider entered into a series of leasing deals with investment funds, it nearly spelled disaster for its vulnerable tenants. We investigate why.
12 October 2018: The ballad of Knowsley Housing Trust the inside story of the first housing association made non-compliant by the sector's watchdog for fire safety issues
13 September 2018: How tweaked building guidance led to combustible insulation on high rises: an investigation shows how lobbyists from the plastic insulation industry supported a quiet tweak to building guidance to permit combustible insulation on tall buildings
31 August 2018: The true cost of homelessness Freedom of Information requests reveal the soaring costs of temporary accommodation
30 August 2018: The forgotten threat to high rise tenants We investigate the threat posed by combustible window panels on social housing high rises
13 June 2018: The Biggest Ever Survey of Fire Risk Assessments Data journalism revealing widespread fire safety issues in more than 1,500 tower blocks across the country
12 April 2018: A Section 106 Story An investigation into allegations of "sham transactions" involving Section 106 deals in south London
23 March 2018: The Paper Trail: The Failure of Building Regulations A lengthy investigation into the failures of building regulation that may have contributed to the Grenfell Tower disaster, and the many missed warnings
23 February 2018: The Kingspan Papers Leaked meeting notes reveal some worrying issues, including allegations of fire safety report doctoring by manufacturers
9 February 2018: Gentoo: a Sunderland story We look back at the recent history of Sunderland’s largest housing association.
25 January 2018: Homeless families face long stays in council-owned hostels we reveal how councils in London are skirting the law by using hostels to house people in temporary accommodation for more than six weeks
7 December 2017: Council house to private rent We reveal the percentage of former Right to Buy homes in the private rented sector has passed 40%
17 November 2017: Rent to buy, or rent to rent? A look at how successful the government's Rent to Buy schemes have been
7 September 2017: Once upon a time in the west The history of KCTMO in the years before the Grenfell Tower fire
11 August: 2017 Grenfell: The paper trail - our news editor Pete Apps examines seven years of council documents to tell a story of the missed opportunites to prevent the Grenfell tragedy
4 August 2017 : Knowing the risks – the most common fire safety problems in tower blocks
26 May 2017: Rents hiked for RTB replacements – Sophie Barnes reveals less than half of Right to Buy replacement homes are for social rent
12 May 2017: A stark warning – a prescient piece looking at lessons to be learned from the Shepherds Bush tower block fire
13 April 2017: Where the axe will fall – a look at plans to axe housing benefit for younger people
10 Feb 2017: Circle of Despair – the inside story of Circle's repairs and maintenance troubles
3 Feb 2017: The Benefit Cap Tightrope – Sophie Barnes unveils the first exclusive analysis of the lower benefit cap
Inside Housing is calling for immediate action to implement the learning from the Lakanal House fire, and a commitment to act – without delay – on learning from the Grenfell Tower tragedy as it becomes available.
We will submit evidence from our research to the Grenfell public inquiry.
The inquiry should look at why opportunities to implement learning that could have prevented the fire were missed, in order to ensure similar opportunities are acted on in the future.
Inside Housing is launching the Inclusive Futures Summit
Our high-level summit will bring together respected people leaders and exemplars from the across sector and wider business to debate, discuss and learn how to embed diversity and inclusion in your organisations and harness the myriad benefits that this creates and to ensure that your workplace is reflective of the diverse communities you serve.
Themes being discussed include why being an inclusive organisation can help you be more successful, how to make inclusion visible in your organisation and the best approaches to encourage diversity at board level.
Discussions will also focus on how to future-proof your recruitment processes, promote inclusion through talent management, build working environments safe from prejudice and tackle unconscious bias.
The summit will take place on October 11 at the Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester.