Monday, October 31, 2005

Great Briton of 2005 Award

The search for the second annual Great Briton is underway, organised by national newspaper The Daily Telegraph in conjunction with Morgan Stanley and the Commission for Racial Equality. The Morgan Stanley Great Britons 05 honours seek to celebrate British success and recognise outstanding achievement. The public is able to nominate people in seven categories covering the Arts, Business, Campaigning, Creative Industries, Public Life, Science & Innovation, and Sport. A panel of judges will create a shortlist from all the nominations and then decide winners in each of the categories. The overall Great Briton of 2005 winner will then be chosen by public vote during an awards ceremony at London's Guildhall on 26th January (2006). The winner of last year's inaugural Great Briton award was Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the World Wide Web. These public honour awards tick many of the boxes for best practice in running an awards scheme - they benefit from the publicity reach of the Telegraph newspaper titles; they have a big-name backer in the form of Morgan Stanley; they have a prestigious venue for the awards ceremony; and the awards event will be presented by TV personality (and seasoned presenter) Clive Anderson. The only blot on this scorecard is the credibility element. Last year's shortlist included a former editor of The Daily Telegraph. This year's publicity includes reference to a Daily Telegraph campaign among the suggested contenders for the Campaign category. Given this bias, the awards run the risk of alienating other newspapers and media networks and thereby failing to get the publicity they deserve.