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NCTJ announces shortlist for annual excellence awards

The NCTJ has revealed its shortlist for its annual Awards for Excellence shortlist after being inundated with a record-breaking number of entries.

The training organisation received 699 entries for the awards, over 200 more than the previous record in 2021.

A total of 55 students, trainees and training providers have been shortlisted across the 17 categories, which include news journalism, top scoop, podcast of the year, data journalism, student project and apprentice of the year.

The prizes will be handed out at a ceremony in March 2024 with further details to be released in the new year.

Shortlisted candidates await the judges verdicts at this years awards ceremony

Shortlisted candidates await the judges verdicts at this years awards ceremony

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Forbes said: “Once again our judges were impressed by the high standard of work submitted, which showcases the dedication and hard work of our students and alumni and the wide variety of quality journalism they have produced.

“We were also bowled over by the sheer number who put themselves and others forward to win an NCTJ award for their examples of outstanding journalism. Well done to everyone on our shortlist – and good luck.”

The 2023 awards have been supported across the media industry, with News UK as headline sponsor and the Financial Times, i, Sky Sports News and Sky News, Politico, the Market Research Society, British Polling Council, Mark Allen Group, Iliffe Media, The News Movement, Yahoo, Meta and Alder Media all sponsoring individual categories.

Everyone on the shortlist will be invited to the ceremony in March at which the winner of the chairman’s award for outstanding contribution to journalism education and training will be announced

The shortlists for the student and trainee categories are:

 Category Student Trainee/apprentice
News journalism, sponsored by Iliffe Media To be announced Dolly Carter, East Anglian Daily Times
Kia-Elise Green, iNews
Jamel SmithPA Media
Sports journalism, sponsored by Sky Sports News Elise HamersleyNews Associates London
Leon Imber, University of Brighton
Adwaidh Rajan, St Mary’s University
Uma Gurav, talkSPORT
Alec McQuarrie, Freelance
Ben Parsons, Bunkered, DC Thomson
Top scoop, sponsored by Sky News Oliver Murphy, News Associates London
Lily Shanagher, City of Portsmouth College
Bethan Wild, Cardiff University
Harry Baker, Live Science
Ruth Cassidy, KentOnline
Sabrina Miller, The Mail on Sunday and The Daily Mail
Features of the year, sponsored by Mark Allen Group Constance Bowker, News Associates London
Svitlana Morenets, News Associates London
Harry Robinson, The University of Sheffield
Charlotte AltThe Times
Rory Bennett, MyLondon
Bethan Finighan, Kennedy News and Media
Podcast of the year, sponsored by Politico Jonathan Bentley, University of Salford
Michael Johnston, St Mary’s University
Francisco dos Santos / Shing Hei Yip, Nottingham Trent University
George Crafer, BBC
Jacob Evans, BBC
Carla Rosch, BBC
Data journalism, sponsored by Market Research Society/British Polling Council Eleanor Gunn, News Associates London
Max Kendix, News Associates London
Petra Matijevic, NCTJ distance learner
Hayley Clarke, BBC
Eamon Akil Farhat, Bloomberg
Jack Fifield, The Oldh


Shortlisted in the specialist categories are:

Student project of the year, sponsored by The News Movement

  • How to heal a city, by Asher Gibson, News Associates London
  • The hidden heroes, by Megan Sarah Payton, University of Kent
  • Angle News Bulletin from the University of Gloucestershire, by Kaleigh Pritchard, University of Gloucestershire

Innovation of the year award, sponsored by i

  • Lisa Bradley, from the University of Sheffield
  • Mark Bradley and Michelle Rawlins, from the University of Sheffield
  • Polly Mosley, from the University of Sheffield

Equality, diversity and inclusion awards, sponsored by the Financial Times

  • Liverpool John Moores University, journalism department
  • Zeenia Naqvee, Cardiff University
  • Emaan Warraich, journalism researcher, BBC

Community News Project award, sponsored by Meta

  • Maxine Denton, Cornwall Live
  • Jack Fifield, Oldham Times
  • Mirek Gosney, Newbury Weekly News/ Newbury Today
  • Paul McAuley, Liverpool Echo
  • Eszter Tárnai, Glasgow Times

Apprentice of the year award, sponsored by Yahoo

  • Karimah Bangura, ITN, PA Training
  • Eamon Akil Farhat, Bloomberg, PA Training
  • Ayisha Gharu, Haymarket, PA Training
  • Ella Hambly, BBC, University of Kent
  • Amrit Singh Mann, Sky News, PA Training
  • Albert Tait, Newsquest, Darlington College

The chairman’s award will be presented at the ceremony in March.