GPonline's news editor wins medical journalism award

GPonline news editor Nick Bostock has won News Story of the Year (specialist media) at the 2020 Medical Journalists' Association awards for his reporting on sexual harassment and discrimination at the BMA.

GPonline news editor Nick Bostock
GPonline news editor Nick Bostock

The judges said that the story was 'investigative journalism at its very best'.

Presenting the award during an online programme, judge David Brindle, public services editor at the Guardian, said Nick had 'seized on comments on social media and then through classic legwork cast a light on the culture at the heart of one of our most respected institutions, triggering an independent inquiry'.

He added that the story was 'outstanding'.

Sexism at the BMA

Nick's story exposed a culture of institutional sexism within the BMA's GP committee (GPC) in April last year. It was published alongside a piece written by GPs Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer and Dr Zoe Norris who spoke out about their experiences on the GPC, explaining that women leaders in general practice had been pushed out by sexism, bullying and unfair treatment.

The story was picked up widely in the national media and forced the BMA to apologise and launch an independent investigation into the behaviour

The investigation resulted in a damning report that condemned a 'failure of leadership' in the BMA over sex discrimination, sexual harassment, rudeness and bullying. It made clear that the problems with unacceptable behaviour were not limited to the BMA's GP committee, but arose 'across the BMA'.

The review made 31 recommendations, all of which are being implemented by the BMA

On receiving the MJA award, Nick said: 'It's a real honour to win this award from the MJA for a story I was really proud to have been able to write. Clearly, the real credit must go to the women who took the difficult decision to speak out about their experiences of sexism and harassment within the BMA - and whose bravery hopefully will help to transform the experiences of future generations for the better.'

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