Sirin Kale

The Guardian

Sirin Kale is a brilliant storyteller, whose painstaking research, determination, and ability to ask the right questions and to understand complexity make for compelling features.

Her article on Britain's worst cyberstalker is an astonishing piece of writing that she has since turned into a podcast, which instantly went to number one in the UK podcast charts. In the piece, Sirin gained the trust of 10 women who were stalked by Matthew Hardy to build a complex and multi-layered picture of how he hounded his victims with harrowing lies, impersonations and hacking into accounts. She details the terrible impact on the women, but also the police failings that allowed him to continue stalking for more than a decade, until one officer finally took notice. It is also a telling story about the early years of the internet and how it became a channel for abuse. In the brilliant Lost to the Virus series, Sirin told the story of the life and tragic death of John Eyres, a fitness fanatic who refused to get the Covid vaccine. In the piece, she speaks to friends and family of John to build a picture of a man who was struggling with lockdown and was sceptical of how widespread the virus was and swayed by misinformation on social media - and confident that his own fitness would be enough to protect him should he fall ill. In heartbreaking detail, she describes his last moments and his final words, including his regret that he was never vaccinated. In her in-depth look at how AirBnB is wrecking small communities in north Wales, Sirin teased out a typically well rounded and sympathetic story. She speaks to people who had lived in the region for generations, who had been driven to desperation after being made homeless when landlords decided there was more money to be made from AirBnB; to local campaigners and politicians as well as estate agents and the landlords themselves, always resisting lazy caricature. Through their stories she also tells the history of how the local community has changed from its roots as a centre for the slate industry, to economic decline and now gentrification and dislocation through holiday homes - all the while conjuring up an evocative sense of place.