Meet Your Champions – The Annual Press Awards

Welcome, welcome, to the Annual Journalist Poll Winners announcement. While I look at you data for the supplementary awards, we all know one in particular gets the passions burning on here. BUt we’ll come to that after this year’s Best Journalist of the Year award.

Winners – 2014 George Dobell, 2015 – Jarrod Kimber






Melinda and George
George thrilled with the news he has won this again.

And now, the top ten “worst” journalists as voted by the readers of this blog and the editorial staff. It is usually one of the most awaited posts of the year, for some reason, and I have no idea why!

From last year’s top 10 we lose Alec Swann (10th), Martin Samuel (9th), JOHN ETHERIDGE (8th) and Jim Holden (4th).

So, here we go, with a logjam at 8th!

8th = Stephen Brenkley (down 2), Peter Hayter, Mark Nicholas, Will MacPherson, Malcolm Conn (all new entries)

All garnered two points for the cause. Slightly surprised that Stocks wasn’t in there given your love for him on here, and slightly surprised a self confessed non-journo like Conn popped up. But there’s enough to get your teeth into here.

7th – Andy Bull (new entry)

Nominated by quite a few, the author of The Spin certainly gets pulses racing around these parts. Me? Never been on my radar.

6th – Oliver Holt (new entry)

A new entry, almost impacting on this poll like Jim Holden did last year, for one article/cause celebre. Unlike Holden, Holt has no track record worth a light on cricket, and his nonsense appeared to be bandwagon jumping rather than something set deep in his cricket soul. Placed this high because one of the editorial staff was really pissed off with him.

5th – Derek Pringle (Up 2 places)

Pringle Missing

Old habits die hard. Way clear of fourth, but due to lack of meaningful pulpit, he’s slipping down the table. Still can’t mention an intense cricketer without invoking Ramprakash, and still can’t mention anyone who isn’t a ra-ra team man without mentioning Pietersen, this plank of the Essex media has delighted us for year, irrelevancies that we are. He works, though. Without him, The Cricket Paper is bereft of something to give a toss about.

4th – Simon Hughes (down 1 place)


#39 was placed fourth on my chart, and he indeed finished clear of Pringle but well adrift of the podium. Despite placing higher in his own influential chart than the three winners, the thing is that we think he’s a bit of a joke. A conceited one, never failing to insert himself into stories, but a joke nonetheless. But enough of the pretenders….

So to the TOP THREE

THIRD – MIKE SELVEY (down 2 places)


Our champion is dethroned. He threatened the top spot, and secured a number of first choices, but he’s now not the figure he used to be, and the Pringle drop is sure to happen. Unless he sets up the long-promised blog. Selvey has been the bete noire of many on here, and many feel he has let them down, been a disappointment, had a fall from grace. Me? Never liked him, never cared that much about him, until he nailed his colours to the Giles Clarke / ECB mast, and now he’s just seen as a management stooge. I didn’t rejoice in his dismissal, but I also wasn’t putting a candle out in sorrow. It was a close fight between him and second, but the runner-up pulled it out…..

SECOND – ED SMITH (unchanged)


I placed him second. Selvey got more first place votes, but my weighting and the fact the editorial staff placed him very high meant he pipped the retired one into second. I mean, what can you say? Let’s keep this brief. You write long words. You read lots of books. You are educated. But you copied a piece and got caught. And your credibility will never recover. You may hope it goes away, that people forget what you did, that the New Statesman doesn’t care. But you did what you did and we all know.

FIRST – PAUL NEWMAN (Up 4 places)


More will be written on this award in due course (which rather gives away one of the Dmitris this year). It was a very close thing this year, and Newman has moved into the slot that Selvey occupied because of the tone, the outlet, and really, due to his consistency. His consistency in writing annoying prose. His consistency in attacking all but those who need to be attacked. His consistency in just not making sense. There always seems to be a personal edge to all of his work. The usual suspects cop it. Always right about Pietersen being sacked. Until very very recently, a supine, pro-Cook stance. There’s attacking Compton. There’s the illogical pushing for Buttler. And beneath the surface lays Andy Flower, and this year’s Jim Holden Article of the Year (as highlighted by nonoxcol). I had my say on that nonsense.

I voted him number 1, a good number of you did too. It seems like he should have won it before, but he has now reached the summit. He benefited from Selvey’s release, and FICJAM’s relative (imposed) silence on cricket matters, and stormed through. He is this year’s Being Outside Cricket Worst Journalist of the Year, as voted by us on the site.

Until next year……will we have our first repeat champion, after Derek, Mike and Paul have taken one prize each? Will Dobell get his third award for best journalist?

More poll results around or after Christmas, but I know how much you all like this one. So have it now!


39 thoughts on “Meet Your Champions – The Annual Press Awards

  1. Rooto Dec 4, 2016 / 7:55 pm

    “this plank of the Essex media”
    You nailed it! Cheers!


    • Rooto Dec 4, 2016 / 7:56 pm

      BTW, my prediction for next year: Bull, all the way. By name and by nature.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. nonoxcol Dec 4, 2016 / 8:16 pm

    I placed him #4, but knew it was coming. The timing was *perfect* for him (re the Morgan farrago).

    Congratulations to George Dobell. Perfect top three, correct order for 2016.


  3. BoredInAustria Dec 4, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    No objections at all. Thin Men.

    I think Ballad of A Thin Man has a verse dedicated to each one of them. (“You’re very well read / It’s well known” for Ed). But certainly “There ought to be a law Against you comin’ around” is for Newman.


  4. SimonH Dec 4, 2016 / 9:26 pm

    Scyld Berry’s mistimed his run to get into the Worst Journalist category by posting some epic nonsense too late this year. After yesterday’s article, today we have:

    Berry’s dislike of Hales is starting to reach Newman-Compton standards. When England’s record ODI score is described as “only 171” – whereas sixties by Duckett and Billings are incontrovertible cases for retention in the team – the sleep of reason is producing monsters. Berry gets away with it because we all think his views – however bizarre – are his own and he’s not acting as anyone’s stooge. Hmm. Whether his acting as an outriding hatchet-man for ECB target No.1 of Strauss’s “disappointment” because he believes it or because it curries favour, who knows and who cares, because the effect is the same.

    Hales’ record in ODIs is to only average 38 with an SR of only 95. He’s only 20th in the ICC rankings and only the third highest Englishman. This year he averages only 61 and is only the 6th leading runscorer in ODIs in the world (all those above him played more games). Two batsmen in the world have better ODI averages this year (Kohli and Rohit). You can see why leaving him out for Duckett is the only reasonable course!

    Don Strausseone and “disappointment” head in only one direction:


    • nonoxcol Dec 4, 2016 / 10:49 pm

      I didn’t realise until today that our new no.7 had accused you of “such self-righteousness” regarding his truly wretched Stanford article from 2008. Haven’t read it for a while, but was he not the one who thought he knew better than Mike Atherton and Gus Fraser? Was there not someone else on the same paper (Booth) who was never fooled? Did he not make much the same mistake with the ICC in 2014, while at the same time using his frequent BTL interaction to tell people they were talking misty-eyed cobblers?

      Quite disappointed you didn’t go back for seconds. 🙂 Though I guess the snivelling wretches would be enough to put anyone off.


      • SimonH Dec 4, 2016 / 11:29 pm

        Self-righteousness? That’s a cute turn of phrase….

        Newman’s article on the ODI squad is really quite restrained. Send for #6?

        Both Berry and Newman seem exercised by fitting all the batsmen into the ODI squad – Vic Marks’ simple solution of resting one of the regulars doesn’t seem to occur to them.


  5. Mark Dec 5, 2016 / 9:58 am

    The list is a rather depleted this year as so many have been either sacked or pensioned off.

    Number 8, Stephen Brenkley has gone from the Indie. Number 5, Pringle was booted out of the Telegraph. And number 3, Mike Selvey has been made redundant. Number 2 is hardly a full time cricket journalist. He calls himself (rather pompously) an “essayist.” He can be found spinning yarns at The New Statesman. Some have found a home at the Cricket paper or the other retirement home for useless ECB propagandists, The Cricketer magazine.

    The number 1 is a good choice because he is both completely hopeless, and also one of the very few who still writes for a major daily newspaper. These people all thought it was a wonderful idea for cricket to hide itself behind a pay wall, and become invisible. But in helping to promote the idea of cricket becoming invisible, they made themselves invisible as well. There could never be a better example of an exception to the rule…….In the case of cricket journalism…… Turkeys really do vote for Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

    • "IronBalls" McGinty Dec 5, 2016 / 11:19 am

      You’ve just about nailed it there Mark. It led me to muse as to how long, if ever, it will be before the ‘ECB conduits”, in particular Selvey, so recently feted by his masters, and perhaps vaguely hoping they would be “looked after” realise that the hand that fed them has been vigorously and permanently withdrawn, and might well, in the fullness of time, start to turn on their former patrons??


      • Mark Dec 5, 2016 / 12:25 pm

        Yup, the gravy train has run dry……time for them to start clucking.


  6. thebogfather Dec 5, 2016 / 3:12 pm

    I did vote Selfry at 1….but that was two months ago and his bitter twisted exit still resonated deep… if only his money-spinner (greater revs than Adil, obviously) blog had appeared, then I’m sure he would have reigned supreme. newman isn’t a journalist, he’s a Straussword and a nasty smelling turd.
    However, it must be remembered how much free access online can affect our thoughts, the G and Obs are still at present free to view, even if we hurrumph at btl controls.
    newman, etheridge, atherton, berry and the rest are paywall hid, so only get flagged up here with a link, and the connected btl comments are minimal if not non-existant.
    Even cricinfo rarely features abundant comment, apart from India fans, so although we may target the G and Obs more than most, at least they are availiable to us.
    Oh, and FFS George! You win this ‘Top Journo’ and get to work with Melissa…. SMILE!

    Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH Dec 5, 2016 / 5:34 pm

      I think only Atherton is paywall-hid of the four you mention, BF. Newman definitely isn’t; Berry has become slightly less accessible after the recent DT revamp but can still be read for free easily enough if one wants to; ‘The Sun’ has dropped its paywall recently so Etheridge is open to view (I haven’t actually tried to be fair – but I’m sure I saw this somewhere).

      Simon Wilde is someone who might feature here more if he wasn’t behind the same paywall as Atherton. However I think a bigger factor might be who we think in some way matters. I don’t bother looking up Gideon Brooks for example because I don’t think the Express matters – but I do think the Mail matters and hence always check what Newman’s saying.


  7. "IronBalls" McGinty Dec 5, 2016 / 8:47 pm

    Paywall’s make things disappear!! Hmmm!


  8. SimonH Dec 5, 2016 / 11:32 pm

    And the deserving winner was:

    Smell a rat about that 2 50s in last 16 ODI innings stat? 16 innings (which is from the 2nd ODI in UAE) is such a natural cut-off point, isn’t it? Well, surprise, Morgan scored 1 century and 7 50s in the 11 innings before that up until the end of the WC.

    It’s not quite “he doesn’t sing the national anthem” or he scored “only 171” levels of bonkersness, but it’ll do to be going on with.

    If Morgan and/or Hales don’t make runs in January, this is going to get ugly (or uglier).


  9. Andy Dec 6, 2016 / 10:16 am

    I’ve got to admit that I don’t really follow the press’s musings, beyond the articles pointed out here and the odd Atherton article (the sandwich shop I frequent normally has the times).

    I long ago got bored of the tone they dished out (which is quite probably why I ended up here!)

    It’s all a race to the bottom to chase the final clicks/page turns. As Dmitri has pointed out before, this blog gets spikes when angry articles come out – the papers are doing it deliberately to generate ad revenue. Dmitri (the royal Dmitri – I obviously include all writers and commentors) does it cause he cares.


    • northernlight71 Dec 6, 2016 / 11:08 am

      Indeed. The traditional media are engaged in a race to the bottom. Over here it’s more like a race to the pub.


      • LordCanisLupus Dec 6, 2016 / 1:24 pm

        Just to let you all know. Adelaide et al put on hold as I’ve been suffering from migraines and limiting vdu / IT time as much as possible. Both articles this weekend had been written a while back. I get this occasionally and it usually rights itself in a few days.

        Why now? Busiest time of year.


      • thebogfather Dec 6, 2016 / 3:08 pm

        LCL – get well soon Sire! I’m loving the ‘Adelaides’ and really looking forward to seeing ‘Mount Outside Cricketmore’ – I’m sure you’ve done a wonderful photoshop for it! – btw, which app/prog do you use for those fab fakeries?


  10. northernlight71 Dec 6, 2016 / 4:18 pm

    Don’t read The Spin today. Just don’t. I’m telling you this as a service. Trust me. I’ve taken one for the team by reading it for you all. It’s just not worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • SimonH Dec 6, 2016 / 5:21 pm

      It’s taken two hours for BTL to start re-fighting the battle of KP and for a comment that Strauss had it right about Pietersen to appear and start piling up the ‘Likes’.


    • Sean B Dec 6, 2016 / 6:10 pm

      OH. DEAR. GOD. I wish I’d read this warning before it popped into my inbox…


  11. SimonH Dec 6, 2016 / 5:31 pm

    What is Scyld Berry on?

    “England could still use a number three to let Joe Root resume his more natural spot at four. Alex Hales could be reincarnated at three, and if let loose next winter in Australia – where he has thrived – he could make a powerful century at the some stage; as could James Vince”.

    Yesterday Hales was getting the heave-ho from the ODI squad, today he’s scoring a brilliant Ashes’ century at No.3 in the Test team?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alec Dec 7, 2016 / 2:24 pm

      The question is not just “what is Scyld Berry on” but also “where can I get some”?


    • Mark Dec 6, 2016 / 8:45 pm

      No, I’m not going to read it. Even though you try to tempt me with the link. I wont read his drivel anymore. He talks horseshit.


      • Rohan Dec 6, 2016 / 9:08 pm

        Please read it Mark, because then you will write about how bad it is on here and what rot Smith writes and I really enjoy your ‘rants/critiques’. They make me laugh, but they are always spot on and very insightful!


      • hatmallet Dec 6, 2016 / 9:51 pm

        But think of the insights you’ll gain! For example, he says politicians should be “incorruptible” – I’d never thought of that before, don’t think I’ve seen it said anywhere for that matter. Truly groundbreaking.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mark Dec 6, 2016 / 9:58 pm

        You are too kind Rohan, but alas no. My rants don’t do any good. The NS keep giving him a platform to promote his crack pot theories, and Cook is still captain.


  12. SimonH Dec 6, 2016 / 6:19 pm

    Good read from Atherton on Kohli:

    (Try going in directly through Twitter if this link hits the paywall).


    • Rohan Dec 6, 2016 / 9:04 pm

      Thanks for linking Simon H, I really enjoyed that read. A good article….


  13. man in a barrel Dec 6, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    LCL, if you hold back much longer on the piece I submitted, I will have to update it.


    • SimonH Dec 6, 2016 / 11:19 pm

      “As for Alastair Cook, all the talk about his position seems to be coming from outside the camp at the moment, and my guess is he will want to go back to Australia in a year’s time and try to avenge that 2013-14 whitewash. There’s no guarantee that Joe Root will come in and be an exceptional leader, so why burden one of your best players with the captaincy at this stage?Equally, why risk it when you have a good leader in Cook? And that’s what he is. He’ll never be in Mike Brearley’s league as a tactician, but he’s improved in that regard and the players all like him. He brings stability to the side”.

      So’s Hussain….

      When did Hussain decide that being liked by all the players was a crucial part of cricket captaincy?

      Liked by 1 person

  14. man in a barrel Dec 6, 2016 / 11:56 pm

    Wow… In whose universe is Cook a good leader? The guys might respect him but he lets his 2 lead bowlers tell him what to do….. Just thinking of Close, Illy, Brearley in those situations. The answer would never be “bowl 3 feet outside off stump and give no runs away.”


  15. Mark Dec 7, 2016 / 1:30 pm

    My theory on all the rowing back on Cooks sacking is this is typical of the way Cook plays the game. Remember he threatened to walk out before until Alice talked him round? Cook has played this martyr figure that will walk away if he doesn’t get what he wants.

    Personally I have always thought it was complete bullshit. More like a cry for help. “Please please ask me to stay.” So now he and his team are not doing very well. We start getting stories about how he might be close to resigning, or getting the sack. Then we get all the articles saying……

    “Oh please Alasdair do stay….we want you as captain, everyone agrees with you Blah blah”

    So Cook plays some bullshit pious benevolent king who says……….”ok, I will stay….. seeing as you want me so much.” ……… It comes off as needy, not steely.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. man in a barrel Dec 7, 2016 / 5:24 pm

    On a lighter note, I see that Marcus Wareing has opened a new restaurant called Tredwell’s. Does this mean that the eminent drinks’ carrier for England in the last 5 years has finally got a job worthy of his talents and experience?


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