The British Press Awards are set to undergo a 'root and branch' review following a chaotic awards ceremony and subsequent boycott by the UK's leading editors.

During an impromptu speech at the event at the Park Lane Hilton on Tuesday, Bob Geldof congratulated the Sun for its coverage of the Band Aid campaign for Africa but went on to attack the rest of the industry.

He said the Daily Mail's coverage of Comic Relief was 'a disgrace' and criticised Independent editor Simon Kelner for failing to deliver a front-page story on the crisis in Africa. Daily Mirror editor Richard Wallace, reportedly furious with the rock star's pro-Sun rant, later argued with Mr Geldof outside the event.

Ten editors released a joint statement on Friday withdrawing their support for the awards because of the 'decline in conduct and prestige' of the event.

"The editors of the Guardian, the Observer, the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph, the Independent, the Independent on Sunday, the Daily Express, the Sunday Express, the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday believe the organisation of these awards brings little credit to the industry or to the newspapers who win them," said the statement.

"Discussions are now going on about what should happen in the future."

The Evening Standard has since joined the boycott and the Financial Times and Mirror Group are also expected to follow suit.

"There seems to be a widespread feeling that we could, as an industry, come up with awards - and an awards ceremony - which better reflected the best of British journalism," said Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger.

The British Press Awards are organised by the UK trade publication Press Gazette.

"What's annoyed us is that some of the stuff written over the weekend has been about improving the judging process - some of it even implying there is something corrupt about it," said Press Gazette editor Ian Reeves.

"That is absolutely ludicrous. It's a rigorous process - and there is no way it is corrupt."

Mr Reeves was not able to say whether a category rewarding online journalism would be reintroduced for next year's awards. The award for best online journalist was only offered in 2001 and 2002.

"Some editors are saying there are too many categories," he told dotJournalism.

"It will be a root and branch review."

More news from dotJournalism:
Top prize-giver snubs online journalism
'Myopic' press awards neglect UK web journalists
British broadsheet site scoops more awards

More coverage:
Guardian Unlimited:,7495,1438881,00.html
The Sun:,,2-2005122447,00.html
Media Week:

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).