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Regional press journalist in line for Foot award

An exposé of the country’s biggest credit union which resulted in fraud squad detectives investigating its former chief executive could land a regional press journalist £5,000 and a prestigious award.

Rob Waugh, from the Yorkshire Post, is going head to head-to-head with reporters from national newspapers in the annual Paul Foot Award for Campaigning Journalism.

His long-running investigation into Leeds City Credit Union revealed wholesale mismanagement, complete with a chief executive attempting to run the institution as her own personal business, according to his award citation.

Rob’s stories triggered the unravelling of the credit union’s chronic mismanagement, promoting the sacking of chief executive Sue Davenport who was later declared bankrupt.

West Yorkshire Police fraud squad is now conducting an inquiry into Davenport.

Rob’s award submission also included an exposé of a cavalier spending regime at Leeds Metropolitan University after he painstakingly went through thousands of staff credit card statements obtained through a Freedom of Information request.

His third piece was an investigation into a takeover bid of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club which he discredited through developing links with the FBI and tracing America prison records.

If victorious, Rob would become the second regional press journalist to win the Paul Foot Award following the success of Deborah Wain, from the Doncaster Free Press, in 2007.

Also shortlisted this year are:

Jonathan Calvert and Clare Newell, Sunday Times
Ian Cobain, The Guardian
Ben Leapman, Sunday and Daily Telegraph
Paul Lewis, The Guardian
Stephen Wright and Richard Pendlebury, Daily Mail

The Paul Foot Award was set up by the Guardian and Private Eye in honour of the campaigning journalist following his death in 2004.

The winner, who will be revealed on Monday in London, will receive £5,000 and each runner-up will pick up £1,000.


Ex-JP editor (27/10/2009 11:48:47)
Fingers crossed for you, Rob. I have admired your work over the years and you fully deserve this shortlisting. It would be great if you could join Deb in the hall of fame