Star reporter Emma Youle wins investigative journalism award for the Gazette’s Hidden Homeless campaign

Emma Youle with Private Eye editor Ian Hislop. Picture: Philippa Gedge Photography

Emma Youle with Private Eye editor Ian Hislop. Picture: Philippa Gedge Photography - Credit: Archant

Star reporter Emma Youle has scooped her second top national award in weeks for the Gazette’s Hidden Homeless series, which dragged Hackney’s housing crisis into the spotlight.

Hackney Gazette's The Hidden Homeless campaign logo.

Hackney Gazette's The Hidden Homeless campaign logo. - Credit: Archant

Emma bagged Private Eye’s Paul Foot Award for investigative journalism despite strong competition from much bigger news operations.

It’s a fantastic result for a local reporter, even one as good as Emma – national titles almost always win the gong.

“I was stunned, amazed and thoroughly delighted to win this incredible award,” said Emma.

“To be recognised among the best in our industry is a huge honour, particularly as the shortlist included some phenomenal journalism. I’d like to thank Private Eye and the judges.

“I’d also like to thank [Gazette publisher] Archant for investing in investigative journalism. And of course the biggest thank you goes to the brave people living in homeless hostels in Hackney who shared their stories with us. I hope they will feel vindicated that they have helped to shine a spotlight on the acute housing crisis in the capital.”

Everyone we spoke to for the Hidden Homeless campaign has since secured more stable accommodation.

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Private Eye’s firebrand editor Ian Hislop said: “A fine winner with a really strong topical story, Emma Youle has been making news, making trouble and making a difference. What more could you ask?”

Specialist investigations journalist Emma also works on the Gazette’s sister papers across London, including the Islington Gazette and East London Advertiser.

The honour comes after she was crowned weekly reporter of the year at the Regional Press Awards in May.

The Gazette, too, was commended in April in the “weekly paper of the year” category at the News Awards 2017, with judges calling it “a great paper”.

The Paul Foot Award was set up in memory of passionate investigative journalist and campaigner Paul following his death in 2004.

You can read all the stories Emma wrote for The Hidden Homeless here. The page will be updated as the year goes on.