Of the British Press Awards 2009.

At least two of this year’s British Press Awards were well deserved.

Critic of the year
Winner: Philip French, The Observer

“He weaves his impressive knowledge into each review and uses his 31 years experience as a full time critic to skilfully illuminate the films of today. Outstanding writing from a doyen of his craft”.

Website of the year
Winner: The Guardian

The judges said the winner is being given “a close run for its money, but it is still a clear choice when you are asked which newspaper is making the most of all the online technologies at its disposal. From its podcasts to its interactive blogs and coverage of Obama it continues to lead the way. It remains the big daddy of newspaper websites. Others are getting better but it’s still the best – attracting as many as 30 million readers a month.”

I find it heartening to see that the experience of the septuagenarian French has been properly acknowledged as being valuable. Congratulations, Philip. Long may you continue.

The Guardian has certainly done some splendid work in developing its website. It has, from its launch, been visited at least once daily -and sometimes as many ten times daily – by me. I use it as a supplement to the print edition of the paper, and, as any regular reader of this diary will probably have worked out, I have found it a most useful one. 

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