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July 22, 2021updated 30 Sep 2022 10:28am

British Journalism Awards 2021: Back as live event and celebrating decade of great public service journalism

By Press Gazette

The Press Gazette British Journalism Awards will return this year as a live event for the first time since 2019.

The awards reception and dinner is taking place at the London Hilton Bankside on 8 December with 600 expected to attend, with support from lead sponsor Starling Bank.

Despite being online-only last year, the 2020 British Journalism Awards attracted more than 800 entries – including 200 free entries from BAME and female journalists who did not have a news organisation to support them. Every major news organisation in the UK now submits entries to the British Journalism Awards and attends the event.

Press Gazette will again be offering free entries to those from non-white ethnic backgrounds who do not have a news organisation to underwrite their entry and we will also be making entry free for female freelance journalists. Both these initiatives are helped by sponsorship from Google and are intended to help redress historic under-representation of female and BAME journalists at the British Journalism Awards.

The free entry scheme is also extended to journalists with disabilities.

This year will mark the tenth anniversary of an event which was launched in the wake of the hacking scandal and Leveson Inquiry to celebrate and promote journalism across all media which serves the public interest.

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Last year, Dan McCrum of the FT was named Journalist of the Year for his investigation which helped bring down German financial giant Wirecard. The FT was named News Provider of the Year and the Daily Mail won our Public Service Award for its Mail Force campaign which provided thousands of care workers and NHS staff with potentially life-saving PPE.

Sky’s Stuart Ramsay won the Foreign Journalism Prize for his coverage from inside an Italian hospital which first alerted Britons to the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. And Kuba Shand-Baptiste was the first winner of our inaugural Barbara Blake-Hannah award for the best up and coming journalist from a non-white ethnic minority background entering the event.

Barbara, who was the UK’s first black female TV newsreader, will again have an award presented in her honour at this year’s event.

The 2021 British Journalism Awards will also feature a star presenter for the first time (to be announced nearer the event).

And there will be three new special awards to mark the event’s tenth year:

  • Journalist of the Decade
  • Scoop of the Decade
  • And Investigation of the Decade.

There are also two new categories to reflect growing areas of journalistic interest:

  • Energy and Environment
  • Social Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion

Previous winners of the British Journalism Awards have included Marie Colvin, who was remembered posthumously in 2012 after she was killed reporting from Syria in February of that year. Since then Press Gazette has honoured her memory with an annual prize in her memory handed out to up and coming journalists in her mould.

Press Gazette editor and chairman of judges Dominic Ponsford said: “Since this event launched in 2011 it has provided an annual celebration of the enormous good our industry does.

“This tenth anniversary event will provide a chance to reflect on how our business has changed the world for the better since the dark days of Leveson and the hacking scandal.

“As the current government mulls plans to criminalise public sector whistleblowers and the journalist they speak to, under proposed changes to the Official Secrets Act. The British Journalism Awards remind as what we lose if we undermine reporting which shines a light into the darkest corners of public life.”

Work must have been published between 1 September 2020 and 31 August 2021 and be mainly aimed at a UK audience. For most categories collaborative and individual entries are accepted. The judges ask for up to three articles or broadcast clips to be submitted in evidence as well as brief covering statements.

Entries are open now and close on 1 October.

Full list of categories for the 2021 British Journalism Awards:

  • Anti-Corruption Journalism
  • Arts and Entertainment Journalism
  • Business Finance and Economics Journalism, sponsored by Starling Bank
  • Campaign of the Year
  • Comment Journalism
  • Crime and Legal Affairs
  • Features
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Health and Life Sciences, sponsored by Gilead
  • Innovation, sponsored by the Google News Initiative
  • Interviewer
  • Investigation
  • Journalist of the Year, sponsored by Camelot
  • Local
  • New Journalist of the Year (must have working as a journalists for less than three years)
  • News Provider of the Year
  • Photojournalism
  • Politics
  • Scoop of the Year
  • Specialist
  • Sport
  • Technology, sponsored by Infosys
  • Social Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion, sponsored by Audi
  • Energy and Environment

Special Prizes

  • Marie Colvin-Award – Launched in memory of the late Sunday Times foreign correspondent, this category is free to enter and anyone can make a nomination. The judges are looking for an outstanding up and coming journalist of Marie’s calibre.
  • Public Service – Selected by the British Journalism Awards judges to the entrant who has made the year’s outstanding contribution to public service.
  • Barbara Blake-Hannah Award – Presented to the outstanding journalist from under-represented non-white minority groups who have entered via the supported places scheme, or who are un up and coming newsroom voice.
  • Journalist of the Decade (chosen by judges from all the winners)
  • Scoop of the Decade (chosen by judges from all the winners)
  • Investigation of the Decade (chose by judges from all the winners)

Contact Kalpesh Valdher to enquire about event sponsorship opportunities.

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