Top prize from the Chinese Government for a former Gainsborough News reporter

Andrew Moody
Andrew Moody

A former Gainsborough News reporter has received a major honour from the Chinese government.

Andrew Moody, 59, has been presented with the Friendship Award, the highest award that can be bestowed on a foreign citizen working in China.

Andrew was brought up in West Stockwith and began his career on the Gainsborough News, which later became the Standard. He received the award from Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on September 30.

The presentation was followed by a reception hosted by Premier Li Keqiang which was broadcast on national Chinese television.

Andrew is senior correspondent of China Daily, China’s largest English language newspaper, and has lived and worked in Beijing for the past ten years.

During this time he has interviewed China experts and leading politicians from around the world, including former UK prime minister Tony Blair. He has written extensively on the China economy and also on China-Africa relations.

Recipients of the award, which has been compared to France’s legion d’honneur, have included Nobel prize winners and leading scientists, and it is rare for it to be given to someone from the media. He was one of just 100 winners this year and there have only been 1,800 since the award was instigated in 1991.

Andrew said: “It is a truly great honour and beyond all my expectations to win this award. It was particularly special to receive it this year because it was the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, which has been a major celebration here.”

After leaving the Gainsborough News, which he joined in 1983, Andrew also worked for the Scunthorpe Star and was also group news editor of the Lincolnshire Standard Group, which owned the News and more than 20 local titles.

Apart from writing Andrew has also given a number of talks in Beijing, South Africa and in the UK, some of which have been simultaneously web cast to audiences of more than 500,000.

He said: “My work in China has been endlessly fascinating and not something I anticipated doing when I first started my journalistic career in Gainsborough under the then editor, the late Clive Woodhead, who gave me my first opportunity in journalism and who I learnt many things from.”