Robert Moore has been named the British Journalism Awards 2021 Journalist of the Year for his reporting from inside the US Capitol for ITV News.
The Guardian was named News Provider of the Year, breaking the FT’s streak of taking the top prize three times in a row.
Former ITV News editor Geoff Hill, who died in September four years after being diagnosed with leukaemia, was recognised with the second annual Public Service Award.
The Guardian took the most awards in total (four), with Sirin Kale and Lucy Osborne scooping the arts and entertainment prize for their investigation into allegations against actor Noel Clarke, Stephanie Kirchgaessner winning the technology category, and Marina Hyde taking the comment category for the third year running.
Scroll down for the full list of 2021 winners and highly commended entries
The FT’s political team won the politics and investigation categories for their work on David Cameron’s relationship with Greensill while Gabriel Pogrund and John Collingridge at The Sunday Times took the anti-corruption category for their work on the scandal.
The Daily Mail’s Betrayal of the Brave campaign highlighting the plight of former translators for British forces was praised, with the judges saying it had exposed injustice, provided a voice to victims and held the government to account.
And The Sun won Scoop of the Year for its agenda-setting revelation of Matt Hancock’s Covid-19 office affair that led to his downfall as Health Secretary.
Afghan women’s media organisation Rukhshana Media was recognised with the Marie Colvin Award for the way they banded together to provide different perspectives of male-dominated Afghanistan in the face of death threats and intimidation.
Sky’s Alex Crawford and Mark Kleinman, TikTok-savvy journalist Sophia Smith Galer, and the BBC’s Emma Barnett were among the other big winners of the night.
Press Gazette’s tenth British Journalism Awards returned to an in-person ceremony at the London Hilton Bankside after going online last year due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Visitors to the event were required to show evidence of a negative lateral flow test in order to gain entry.
The 29 prize winners were chosen by 70 independent judges who considered 840 submissions from every major UK news organisation with three criteria in mind: revelation, journalistic rigour and public interest.
Press Gazette editor-in-chief Dominic Ponsford said the awards show “probing public interest journalism is in fine health”.
“Despite the tragic times we’ve lived through I feel we all have a lot to celebrate as we approach the end of 2021,” Ponsford said.
“Crooked public figures of all types sleep a little less easily in their beds thanks to the efforts of you all. It has been a year where government corruption, incompetence and hypocrisy has rarely been out of the headlines as journalists have battled obfuscation and cover-up to tell Britain what is really going on at the top.”
Awards presenter Jeremy Vine said: “What an amazing night. You suddenly realise everyone was here and despite covid, journalism has carried on and it’s better than ever and it’s more important than ever, and more exciting than ever as a career and I’m proud to be in it.”
Sky’s Alex Crawford took the inaugural Woman of the Year prize, selected by a special judging session organised by Women in Journalism looking at all of the awards finalists.
The judges praised the “persistence, bravery and vividness” of Crawford’s reports, adding: “From uncovering a war crime in one of the most remote parts of Yemen, to braving active frontlines in Afghanistan to meet the Taliban and showing the world the reality of the forest fires in Turkey, her work has been inspirational.”
The awards were supported by headline sponsor Starling Bank as well as Audi, Camelot, Creative Diversity Network, Gilead, Glide Publishing Platform, Google News Initiative, Iconic Images, Infosys, Newsworks, OVO Energy and Pertemps.
Awards partners were Women in Journalism and The Journalists’ Charity.
Watch the British Journalism Awards 2021 Highlights Video:
British Journalism Awards 2021 winners
Arts and Entertainment Journalism
WINNERS: Sirin Kale and Lucy Osborne – The Guardian
- ‘Sexual predator’: actor Noel Clarke accused of groping, harassment and bullying by 20 women
- How Bafta spent two weeks grappling with Noel Clarke dilemma
- Noel Clarke accused of sexual harassment on Doctor Who set
The judges said: “This winner was a brave investigation which gave a voice to dozens of whistle-blowers and had a huge impact.”
Business, Finance and Economics Journalism – sponsored by Starling Bank
WINNER: Mark Kleinman – Sky News
- Top English clubs in bombshell talks to join European Premier League
- Sir Philip Green’s Topshop empire Arcadia Group faces collapse within days
- Buyout giant CD&R weighs £5bn takeover of supermarket chain Morrisons
The judges said: “This entry comprised three of the biggest stories of the year. For one journalist to break all of them was just awesome.”
WINNER: Jim Pickard, Cynthia O’Murchu, Robert Smith and Arash Massoudi – Financial Times
- Greensill’s demise shines spotlight on government ties
- David Cameron lobbied for Greensill access to Covid loan schemes
- How Lex Greensill and David Cameron tried to woo Saudi Arabia’s crown prince
The judges said the FT’s investigation into David Cameron and Greensill was “one of those stories people will look back on in terms of its impact and exposing how corrupt our politics can be”.
“It was impressive to see the level of collaboration between politics, data and business teams for an-depth investigation which also involved overturning an FoI request refusal.”
Highly commended: Tom Burgis and George Parker – Financial Times
- Elite Tory donors club holds secret meetings with Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak
- Inside Boris Johnson’s money network
- The donor, the Russian deals and the Conservative money machine
Innovation of the Year – sponsored by Google News Initiative
WINNER: Sophia Smith Galer – BBC/Vice World News
The judges said her work on TikTok was “consistently engaging and witty whilst always rigorously fact-based and fresh. Their range, reach and impact have been thoroughly impressive”.
WINNER: Marina Hyde – The Guardian
- With a heavy heart, Johnson will always remind us who the real victim is: him
- What happened to me was nothing – the nothing women know all too well
- Whatever you think of Harry and Meghan, their media critics are far worse
The judges said: “At a time when people are terrified of being thought offensive, Marina Hyde skewers her targets with a fluent savagery.”
Highly commended: Tom McTague – The Atlantic
The judges said McTague’s work was “painstaking, revealing, elegant and accessible”.
Photojournalism – sponsored by Iconic Images
WINNER: Hannah McKay – Reuters
The judges said: “The winning image captured an iconic moment and will form an essential part of the historic record of British life in 2021.”
New Journalist of the Year
WINNER: Nimo Omer – Tortoise
The judges said the winning entry was a great example of compelling and empathetic story telling.
WINNER: Cara McGoogan, Sarah Peters and Theodora Louloudis – The Telegraph
- Bed of Lies
- ‘The man I fell in love with and lived with for five years was an undercover police officer with a family’
The judges said the winning work “was explosive. Their sure-footed and sensitive reporting of this shameful episode was first class”.
Highly commended: Adam Wishart and Neil Grant – BBC/Apple TV+
Local Journalism – sponsored by Pertemps
WINNER: Ria Chatterjee – ITV News London
- Exclusive: Excessive discipline claims at Hackney New School and pupils in detention referred to as ‘detainees’
- More than one in five Londoners in working households live in poverty
- Special report: Are London’s ethnic minorities being ignored when it comes to mental health?
The judges said Chatterjee is a “ferocious interviewer who provides in-depth coverage of important issues”.
Highly commended: Matty Edwards – Bristol Cable
- Revealed: The true story behind the closure of privately-run mental health ward at Priory Bristol
- Another private mental health ward for children has closed. Now Bristol has no residential beds.
- ‘It felt like a prison’: Teenager reveals traumatic time on private Bristol mental health ward
The judges said these were “well written, well sourced reports that helped get results”.
Health and Life Sciences Journalism – sponsored by Gilead
WINNER: Dave West – Health Service Journal
- Exclusive: Top leadership team at NHS Test and Trace includes just one clinic
- Exclusive: new data reveals the 23 trusts with over a third of beds occupied by covid patients
- DHSC ‘playbook’ orders trusts to describe big building projects as ‘new hospitals’
The judges said West submitted “three excellent stories which shed new light on issues of national importance and were told with great technical expertise”.
Highly commended: James Tapper – The Observer
- Low-paid families shun Covid tests because of high cost of self-isolation
- Fury at ‘do not resuscitate’ notices given to patients with learning disabilities
- Global jab production at risk from shortage of crucial components
Highly commended: Nikki Fox and Matt Precey – BBC Look East
WINNER: Al Jazeera Investigations
The judges said: “This was amazing video journalism which revealed the sinister people behind the buying and selling of English football clubs. The sting was brilliant, shocking and ground-breaking.”
Highly commended: Jeremy Wilson – The Telegraph
- Sir Bobby Charlton diagnosed with dementia
- Sir Geoff Hurst exclusive: England legend wants total heading ban for kids after seeing World Cup team-mates die with dementia
- Exclusive: Plans for England to become first country to limit heading in professional training
Highly commended: Molly McElwee – The Telegraph
- Special investigation: The whistleblowers driving Sport’s #MeToo movement
- British Gymnastics face safeguarding questions after delay in striking off coach
- Becky Downie interview: ‘I refused to go back to where I had learnt of my brother’s death’
Highly commended: Sam Wallace – The Telegraph
- World exclusive: Man Utd and Liverpool driving ‘Project Big Picture’ – football’s biggest shake-up in a generation
- Project Big Picture: the inside story of Liverpool, Man Utd and EFL plan to ‘revitalise’ professional game
- Brains behind Super League that no-one wants cannot even run their clubs properly
The judges praised a “very strong performance” from The Telegraph sports team across their three separate entries.
Interviewer of the Year
WINNER: Emma Barnett- BBC Radio 4
The judges said Barnett’s “rigorous research and attention to detail is evident in every interview as she tirelessly gets answers to the questions that matter for her audience”.
Highly commended: Stephen Wright – Daily Mail
- Shameful ‘cover-up culture’ at top of the Met
- I was a witness to Stephen’s murder . . . and it haunts me still
- The Met behaved like the Mob. Now they’ve had to pay me £250,000
The judges particularly praised Wright’s “devastating” interview with Lady Brittan, the widow of Leon Brittan.
Foreign Affairs Journalism
WINNER: Robert Moore, Sophie Alexander and Mark Davey – ITV News
The judges said the ITV News journalists “provided a realtime, eye-witness account of one of the most disturbing days in modern democracy. This was TV reportage at its finest, raw, revealing and honest”.
Technology Journalism – sponsored by Infosys
WINNER: Stephanie Kirchgaessner – The Guardian
- How NSO became the company whose software can spy on the world
- Pegasus project turns spotlight on spyware firm NSO’s ties to Israeli state
- Chinese cameras blacklisted by US being used in UK school toilets
The judges said: “This was a thorough investigation. Well researched and presented with clarity.”
Crime and Legal Affairs Journalism
WINNER: Liam Vaughan, Kit Chellel and Ben Bain – Bloomberg News
- The Essex Boys: How Nine Traders Hit a Gusher With Negative Oil
- The Day Oil Went Negative, These Unlikely Traders Made $660 Million
The judges said: “From Kuwait and Iraq to West Horndon, this entry exposed a colourful trail of skulduggery involving mid-boggling sums of money in a story that was expertly told.”
Highly commended: Sophie-May Clarke – The Lancashire Telegraph
- Criminal past of the man behind murderous plot
- Long jail terms for gang who murdered Aya, 19
- Aya Hachem trial live blogging
The judges said: “It was an amazing effort for a regional title to put time and resources into such an important news story.”
WINNER: Paul Thacker – The BMJ
- Conflicts of interest among the UK government’s covid-19 advisers
- Tracking down John Bell: how the case of the Oxford professor exposes a transparency crisis in government
- Covid-19: How independent were the US and British vaccine advisory committees?
The judges said: “This was expertly researched and written journalism on a subject of huge national importance.”
Social Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion Journalism Award
WINNER: David DeHaney, Rochelle Humes and Lyttanya Shannon – Channel 4 Dispatches
The judges said the winning entry “exposed the shocking scandal of structural inequality in a UK national institution. Absolutely brilliant”.
Highly commended: Athar Ahmad and Georgia Catt – BBC
Energy and Environment Journalism – sponsored by OVO Energy
WINNER: John Ingham – Daily Express
- Victory for Express as Green Bill to protect wildlife is toughened
- Inside the melting heart of a glacier
- It’s time for a GREEN Britain: Express launches historic crusade
The judges praised the Daily Express for “changing its editorial stance in recent years to become a leading voice campaigning for the environment and securing positive change”. Ingham in particular was praised for rigorous and incisive journalism.
Highly commended: Inzamam Rashid and Mickey Carroll – Sky News
Highly commended: Kevin Crowley and Akshat Rathi – Bloomberg
- Exxon Knows Its Carbon Future And Keeps the Data From View
- Exxon’s Plan for Surging Carbon Emissions Revealed in Leaked Documents
- Church of England Unloads Exxon Shares on Failed Emission Goals
Scoop of the Year
WINNER: The Sun – Hancock’s affair with aide
The judges said: “What’s not to like about a scoop that still sends shudders down the spine months later. One can never unsee this. The ‘we’re all in this together’ argument destroyed once and for all. And how.”
WINNER: Gabriel Pogrund and John Collingridge – The Sunday Times
- Sanjeev Gupta’s eight £50m taxpayer Covid loans
- David Cameron’s multiple texts to Rishi Sunak to bail out Greensill
- David Cameron, Jeremy Heywood, Lex Greensill and all that ‘free money’
The judges said: “This was a compelling story which exposed a murky world of corruption and influence peddling.”
Investigation of the Year
WINNER: Greensill Capital – Financial Times
The judges said: “This was an extraordinary team investigation exposing corruption at the highest levels of politics and business.”
Highly commended: Queen’s Consent – Guardian News and Media
The judges said this was an “incisive investigation which exposed allegations of corruption at the very top of the British establishment”.
Campaign of the Year – sponsored by Newsworks
WINNER: Betrayal of the Brave – Daily Mail
The judges said: “This was a great campaign about one of the stories of the year. It did what journalism should do which is expose injustice, provide a voice to victims and hold the government to account.”
News Provider of the Year
WINNER: Guardian News and Media
The judges said: “The Guardian has marked its 200th anniversary in style this year. Its Pegasus Project investigation exposed governments using technology to spy on journalists, politicians and campaigners. Its Noel Clarke investigation gave a voice to ignored victims and secured lasting change to the TV industry.
“The Guardian’s podcasts and innovative digital story telling have reached record audiences. And it has all been underpinned by a pioneering business model which has made it the biggest member-funded newsroom in the world.”
Barbara Blake-Hannah Award
WINNER: Aniefiok Ekpoudom
Barbara Blake-Hannah said: “He says he doesn’t centre stories on the sole themes of racism but he likes to probe deeper to bring stories that are celebrations of joy, community, loss, music and more that have flowered in numerous under-developed corners of the UK. He likes examining various shades of black life. We like that.”
Public Service Journalism – supported by the Journalists’ Charity
WINNER: Geoff Hill – ITV News
The judges said: “Inspiration is the word which crops up again and again when colleagues spoke about former editor of ITV News Geoff Hill and his infectious passion for journalism.
“When Geoff stepped down from ITV in 2020 due to illness he said: ‘Please remember this: what we do – what you do – is a tremendous honour, and a privilege. You have a tremendous responsibility and with it enormous opportunity, one you must embrace each and every day’. They are words we would all do well to remember.
“The British Journalism Awards is proud to posthumously recognise Geoff Hill for its outstanding contribution to public interest journalism and the legacy he left with those who worked with him and remember him.”
Marie Colvin Award
WINNER: Rukhshana Media
The judges said: “Marie would have been thrilled by Rukhshana – by the novelty of women banding together to provide different perspectives of male-dominated Afghanistan in the face of death threats and intimidation; by their tremendous courage in continuing to report as the Taliban took over despite the obvious risks highlighted by the 22-year-old journalist on the run; and by the new ground they’ve broken in the Women Report Afghanistan series, touching on the uncertainties facing divorcees, single mothers and female police officers.”
Journalist of the Year – sponsored by Camelot
WINNER: Robert Moore – ITV News
The judges said: “Journalism is often a case of being in the right place at the right time. But if you work hard enough and long enough some journalists find themselves in the right place more than others.
“This year’s journalist of the year achieved astounding access to produce impeccable journalism – measured, balanced, calm, courageous and informed. The writing of their pieces is beautiful too, sparse, elegant and to the point.”
Georgina Henry Prize – in association with Women in Journalism
WINNER: Rachel Charlton Dailey – The Unwritten
The judges said the £4,000 prize was going to an “important publication at an important time and that this award would make a huge difference to what they’re able to do next”.
Highly commended: Chandni Sembhi – So You Want To Be A Journalist
The judges said: “This was a project that hones in on social media outlets where young people are and has achieved a lot in a short space of time, with high production values.”
Woman of the Year – in association with Women in Journalism
WINNER: Alex Crawford – Sky News
The judges praised the “persistence, bravery and vividness ” of Crawford’s reports, adding: “From uncovering a war crime in one of the most remote parts of Yemen, to braving active frontlines in Afghanistan to meet the Taliban and showing the world the reality of the forest fires in Turkey, her work has been inspirational.”