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Times scribe nabs top award

13:07 18 April 2008

Times reporter Jenny Engstrom saw off fierce competition to win Scoop of the Year at a prestigious national journalism award. Her talents were recognised at the Newspaper Society's Circulation, Editorial and Promotions Awards held at a prestigious cere

Times reporter Jenny Engstrom saw off fierce competition to win Scoop of the Year at a prestigious national journalism award.

Her talents were recognised at the Newspaper Society's Circulation, Editorial and Promotions Awards held at a prestigious ceremony at Crewe Hall in Cheshire last week.

The senior reporter was nominated after securing a world exclusive interview with newly released Guantanamo Bay detainee Jamil el-Banna when interest from local, national and international media was great.

She was one of six others shortlisted for the hotly contested category.

Tim Cole, editor of the North West London Newspapers, said: "It was a wonderful achievement to win the Scoop of The Year Award, which Jenny Engstrom picked up for her exclusive interview with Jamil el-Banna after his release from Guantanamo Bay at the end of the Times' Justice for Dad campaign.

"The judges commented that the scoop had been the result of two years work and the building of confidence with his family. Jenny deserves all the credit she gets for the hours of dedication she put into the campaign and for landing the exclusive while reporters from nationals were left baying at the family's door."

Jenny said: "During the course of the Justice for Dad campaign, I have had the fortune of getting to know the el-Banna family on a very personal level, and eventually their fight for a normal life has become much more than just a story to me.

"When the day we all had been waiting for finally arrived, the trust I had built up over the years proved more worth than any trick or sum of money offered by the big newspapers and TV channels. I am so thrilled to have been recognised in this way."

Sabah el-Banna, the wife of Jamil, was also thrilled to hear the news.

Speaking on behalf of the whole family, she said: "This is wonderful news. Jenny deserves this for all the hard work and support she has given us during the campaign.

"Her intention has always been to help us and write the truth and that's why she deserves this award. The whole family is so pleased for her."

The Times was also shortlisted for Campaigning Newspaper of the Year following a series of successful campaigns run throughout the year.

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