GuardianWitness, Powered by EE, marks first anniversary with inaugaral awards

GuardianWitness has celebrated its first year by announcing the winners of the inaugural GuardianWitness Awards, at a ceremony hosted by comedian and writer David Mitchell.

GuardianWitness is the Guardian's user-generated content platform, which launched in April 2013 in partnership with digital communications company EE.

Since its launch just under one year ago, 28,000 users from every continent on the planet have submitted over 60,000 contributions through the platform, with over 10 million page views on the desktop and apps to date.

From groundbreaking art and agenda-setting journalism, to compelling human interest stories and pet pictures, the breadth and variety of content is testament to the values that power GuardianWitness - transparency, public participation and a global, digital-first outlook.

The GuardianWitness Awards were created to showcase this ethos and to celebrate its users, and at a ceremony on Thursday 27 March, winners were announced across nine categories, with one overall winner crowned EE Contributor of the Year.

The top honour on the night, the EE Contributor of the Year award, was presented to Andy Luck, collecting on behalf of himself and co-director George Tymvios, for their short film Pasty Child, which also won the Best short film award. This quirky animated short, which follows the growing pains of a young girl with a pasty for a head, was praised by judges as "absurdist and dark yet warm and sympathetic" with "a simplicity and clarity that's always welcome."

The News contribution of the year award went to a photo taken at the scene of the Woolwich murder, which was captured by an anonymous bystander who chose to collect the award under the name Vince Lee. One judge described the picture as "the purest definition of the word 'witness'."

Other winners included Exhausted seal pup sheltering among mounds of plastic waste by Claire Wallerstein, winner of the Bigger picture award, and Soar by Souvid Datta, winner of Best original still.

Speaking about the awards, Clare Margetson - the Guardian's network editor and chair of the awards judging panel - said: "The overall winner demonstrates a fantastically exciting way of using GuardianWitness. This was about creativity rather than journalism. And that's something we feel strongly about - just as the Guardian as a whole has a fine history of supporting the creative arts in so many forms, so GuardianWitness should showcase not just journalism but the creative arts as well.

"The winner combined ingenious tech, a singular aesthetic, perfect characterisation, a brilliant compressed narrative and pitch-black humour. Its 180 seconds stay with you as long as many full-length movies."

Spencer McHugh, Director of Brand at EE, said: "Congratulations to all of tonight's winners. We're extremely proud of this innovative partnership. Open journalism has thrived on the public's ability to document and share news as it happens, quicker than ever before, and our record-breaking roll out of 4G across the country supports this growing trend."




Notes to editors:


About GuardianWitness


Available both as apps and a desktop site, GuardianWitness was created in partnership with EE to empower readers to share their own videos, images and stories with Guardian journalists, putting users at the heart of the Guardian's award-winning reporting, and helping to foster a new model of open, collaborative journalism.


Judging panel


The judging panel was drawn from across the worlds of journalism, film, photography, science and food, and included Guardian News & Media's Director of Digital Strategy Wolfgang Blau, vice-president of EMEA CNN Deborah Rayner and acclaimed British filmmaker Andrea Arnold.


Full list of winners


EE Contributor of the Year Award

Andy Luck for his film Pasty Child


News contribution of the year

Woolwich attack photographed by Vince Lee


Award for a series of contributions

Giles Bennett for his photographs of floods in Aberystwyth and Barbaros Kayan for his series on the Turkey protests

The Bigger Picture award

Exhausted seal pup sheltering among mounds of plastic waste by Claire Wallerstein

Human interest award

Mum in hospital by Caroline Johnson

Best Original Still Award

Soar by Souvid Datta


Food Award

Mombasa meat market by Matt Wood

Original Short Film Award

Andy Luck for his film Pasty Child

Science Award

Science is everything: Higgs boson explainer by Dom Burgess

Pet of the Year Award

Mila contributed by Harpal Padwal

For further information please contact:

Guardian News & Media press office, / +44 (0)20 3353 3696

About EE

EE is the largest and most advanced digital communications company in Britain, delivering mobile and fixed communications services to consumers, businesses, government and the wholesale market. With approximately 15,000 employees and 600 retail stores, EE serves more than 27 million customers on EE, Orange and T-Mobile mobile and broadband plans.

EE runs the UK's biggest and fastest mobile network, having introduced the UK's first superfast 4G mobile service in 2012. EE's 4G coverage reaches over 70% of the UK population.  EE’s 2G coverage reaches 99% of the population while 3G reaches 98%. EE's superfast fibre broadband service covers 54% of the UK population, and ADSL broadband service covers 98.7% of the population. 

EE has received extensive independent recognition including being ranked the UK's best overall network by RootMetrics®, Fastest Network at the 2013 uSwitch Awards, Best Network at the 2013 Mobile Choice Consumer Awards and What Mobile Awards, Network Innovation at the 2013 Recombu awards and Best Network for Business at the 2013 Mobile Industry awards. 

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