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Nation.Cymru features editor wins Sports Journalist of the Year award

26 Mar 2022 6 minute read
David Owens

Nation.Cymru’s features editor has won Wales’ Sports Journalist of the Year award for his work on the site.

David Owens scooped the award at the annual Wales Media Awards in Cardiff last night.

He joined Nation.Cymru in June of last year as features editor to spearhead the news service’s push into the fields of culture, the arts and sport.

David Owens described it as the “best 48 hours ever” after watching Wales beat Austria at the Cardiff City Stadium of Friday night.

“I’ve worked as a journalist for 34 years. This is the first award I’ve ever won,” he said.

“I’m in shock. Wales winning last night. This tonight. Best 48 hours ever.

Thanks to my superb colleagues at Nation.Cymru for all their encouragement. And thank you Wales Media Awards.”

The judges said praised his “well-researched insight into the subject matter combined with enthusiasm and an ability to write engaging copy is a winning formula”.

“David Owens’ high profile transfer to Nation Cymru has given the Welsh sports media landscape the spark and edge it needed,” they said.

“He writes from a fan’s point of view, but with authority and plenty of humour: ‘air miles that would tip Greta Thunberg over the edge’ is just one example of his original tone. and style, he has a much wider frame of reference than your average sports scribe which is so refreshing.”


WalesOnline and Western Mail journalist Will Hayward was left needing an awards cabinet extension after being named Journalist of the Year 2022 as well as Feature Writer of the Year, Newspaper Journalist of the Year and Political Journalist of the Year.

Chairman of the Wales Media Awards judging panel, emeritus editor of the Press Association Jonathan Grun, said Hayward produced “brilliant journalism at a time of national crisis and catastrophe which spoke up for ordinary people, explored the detail to expose inequalities and demanded answers from those in power. In a year when all journalists across Wales rose to the challenge of a lifetime, Will showed why a free press is important to society.”

Former BBC Wales and ITV Wales reporter-turned-TV-executive Clare Hudson was awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award at the ceremony in Cardiff.

The prestigious Awards aim to highlight the importance of a free and vibrant press and celebrate the quality of reporting coming out of Wales.

The event also paid tribute to the work of reporters in war-torn Ukraine with a pre-recorded video address from one of the county’s top journalists.

Vadym Karpiak, who hosts the political talk show ‘Freedom of Speech’, has been working and living in the programme’s television studios in Kyiv after Russian shelling of his home forced him and his family to evacuate.

“These few weeks of working in a bomb shelter under missile attacks have taught me one simple thing,” he said. “At war, thoughts become clearer and words become sharper.

“When you are this close to death, you become very sensitive to other people’s grief and happiness. This very sensitiveness towards other people is now the sense of journalism to me. Because any journalist must not only stick to the standards but have a heart too. They only work when combined.”

The Awards are organised on behalf of the Journalists’ Charity – which supports working and retired journalists in urgent need with advice, grants and other forms of financial assistance – by Spencer David with the support of headline sponsor Camelot.

Other sponsors are Cardiff University, Celf Creative, Cleartech Live, Cowshed, ITV Cymru Wales, Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff Natasha Hirst Photography, National Union of Journalists, NUJ Training Wales, Openreach, S4C, Spencer David and Welsh Government.

Tim Rogers, chair of the Journalists’ Charity in Wales, said almost 200 entries had been received for the competition this year.

He said that even with the pandemic taking its toll on revenues and businesses, the media fought hard to deliver news and information and to maintain the tradition and value of a free press which many other countries around the world could not take for granted.

“The Journalists’ Charity Wales Media Awards are a celebration of the best of Welsh journalism – a showcase for some of the finest work online, in print, on TV and radio during the last 12 months,” he said.

“Even in the best of times journalists play an important role keeping us informed and in touch. Never has that work been more vital than during the last two years of the Covid pandemic.

“For some, these will have been, to borrow a phrase from our founder Charles Dickens, the ‘worst of times’ that have brought personal challenges and the loss of family members or friends. For others there has been uncertainty of employment. For many, the Journalists’ Charity has been ready and willing to help.”

Full list of winners

Magazine of the Year

Sponsored by The Journalists’ Charity

Western Mail Weekend magazine


Camera Operator of the Year

Sponsored by Celf

Tom Brown, BBC Sport Wales


Independent Community Journalism

Sponsored by ITV Cymru Wales

Cwmbran Life


Feature Writer of the Year

Sponsored by S4C

Will Hayward, Wales OnLine & Western Mail


Columnist of the Year

Sponsored by Mercure Holland House Hotel

Sara Robinson, Western Mail


Photographer of the Year

Sponsored by Natasha Hirst Photography

Joann Randles, Cover Images


Vlog/Blog of the Year

Chris Knight,


Newspaper Journalist of the Year

Will Hayward, Wales OnLine & Western Mail


Audio News Journalist of the Year

Sponsored by The Journalists’ Charity

Mark Hutchings, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 5 Live


TV Journalist of the Year

Sponsored by Spencer David

Rob Osborne, ITV Cymru Wales


News Website of the Year

Sponsored by Openreach

BBC Cymru Fyw


Daily/Sunday Newspaper of the Year

Sponsored by Cowshed Communication

South Wales Echo


Weekly Newspaper of the Year

Powys County Times


Specialist Journalist of the Year

Sponsored by Welsh Government

Hannah Thomas, ITV Cymru Wales


Political Journalist of the Year

Will Hayward, Wales OnLine & Western Mail


Audio News & Current Affairs Programme of the Year

Sponsored by Cleartech

BBC Radio Cymru – Dros Frecwast


Sports Journalist of the Year

Sponsored by School of Journalism, Media and Culture, Cardiff University

David Owens, Nation.Cymru


Ed Townsend Student Journalist of the Year

Sponsored by National Union of Journalists

Nest Jenkins, Cardiff University CJS News


TV News & Current Affairs Programme of the Year

ITV Cymru Wales – Coronavirus: A Care Home’s Story


Young Journalist of the Year

Sponsored by NUJ Training Wales

Joe Robinson, Flintshire & Wrexham Leader


Journalist of the Year

Sponsored by Camelot

Will Hayward, Wales OnLine & Western Mail


Outstanding contribution

Clare Hudson

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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 years ago

Congratulations David Owens on your award.

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