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2018 Awards

2018 was the usual mixed bag: much to celebrate in clear communication but plenty of individuals and organisations still in dire need of our help.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges did excellent work on behalf of confused medical patients everywhere. Their ‘Please, write to me’ initiative cast an unflattering light on doctor-patient communications, and demanded improvements. Great work was also done by the likes of Shawn Burton, Charlie Corbett, Dementia UK, George Eliot Hospital Maternity Services, Nuffield Health, By Miles and regular award recipients, Independent Age.

James O’Brien was still the best bet as a guide through the Brexit minefield, and Carole Cadwalladr exposed a few of the spin merchants responsible for hoodwinking the electorate. Plain facts might well be especially uncomfortable just now, but we need those far more than we need opinion and vested interest.

As well as heroes, there were the usual villains.

Elon Musk ranted his way into trouble, but at least gets the Foot in Mouth award for his baseless ‘Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it’ tweet. Musk would eventually leave his role as Tesla chairman. Alpha males don’t enjoy being denied, but staying off Twitter when you’re in a combative mood is usually a good idea.

Dominic Raab had no idea the Dover-Calais trade route was so important and actually admitted as much just before he left his role as Brexit Minister. No more need be said.

Northern Rail continued to fob off their customers with drivel as the standard of their services worsened. In 2018, we received more complaints about Northern Rail than any other organisation or individual, and their moves to lessen ticket and announcement jargon, while welcome, is too little, too late.

And our Golden Bull round-up is chock-full of unreadable wibble that’s as bafflingly fun to read as it is incomprehensible.

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