Commentator of the year

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The Independent Online
Polly Toynbee, The Independent's associate editor, was yesterday named Britain's Commentator of the Year. During a ceremony in London, she was applauded for her insight, passion and courage at the prestigious What The Papers Say awards.

Her attacks on humbug, and her battles with conservative commentators, were praised by the judges, who were impressed by "her awareness of where she is in the moral maze". They added: "Subjecting news to a battery of large moral questions is the task of a commentator. The idea that there is no such thing as society could never enter this commentator's head". Presenting the award, Russell Davies, said: "To take up a moral stance without being punitive or preachy is difficult. But Polly Toynbee manages to pull it off."

Veronica Guerin, of the Irish Sunday Independent, who was murdered last June, was named Journalist of the Year. Ms Guerin (below) was shot while investigating some of Ireland's most ruthless gangsters. The award was presented to her seven-year-old son, Cathal, by Tony Blair, the Labour leader. Picture, page 2

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