British Journalism Awards 2023: Yorkshire Post journalist Chris Burn wins accolade for Sheffield trees reporting

A Yorkshire Post journalist has won a national accolade in recognition of his reporting on the Sheffield tree-felling saga.

Business and features editor Chris Burn won the Local Journalism award at the British Journalism Awards 2023, an annual event organised by the Press Gazette which celebrates the best of the country’s media industry.

The award was given for his seven years of reporting on the Sheffield tree-felling saga in which the city council attempted to cut down half of the city's street trees as part of highways work despite repeatedly denying it had a contractual target to do so.

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Felling was stopped in early 2018 in the face of growing protests and public pressure and earlier this year the council admitted it had misled the courts, the public and press over the year and issued an extensive apology.

Chris Burn was a winner at the British Journalism Awards 2023.Chris Burn was a winner at the British Journalism Awards 2023.
Chris Burn was a winner at the British Journalism Awards 2023.

The judges said of Mr Burn’s coverage: “The sheer scale of this story is extraordinary. This reporter showed huge tenacity to lift a veil of misinformation, misrepresentation and downright dishonesty.”

In the same category, judges highly commended fellow nominees Liam Thorp of the Liverpool Echo and Sam McBride of the Belfast Telegraph.

Mr Burn said: “I am truly honoured to have won this award.

"There are lots of people to thank but particularly the campaigners who shared their stories and information with me over the last seven years as well as our editor James Mitchinson for believing so much in the story and allowing me to put a lot of time into unpicking a complicated issue.

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"I know how lucky I am to work for The Yorkshire Post and be able to pursue stories like these.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​The Guardian was the big winner of other awards on the evening, taking home four prizes including News Provider of the Year.

Gabriel Pogrund, Whitehall editor at The Sunday Times, was presented with the Journalist of the Year prize.

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