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December 14, 2023

British Journalism Awards winners 2023: Guardian wins big, Gabriel Pogrund of Sunday Times is Journalist of the Year

All the winners of the British Journalism Awards 2023 and links to their winning work.

By Charlotte Tobitt

The Guardian was the big winner of the British Journalism Awards 2023, taking home five prizes including News Provider of the Year.

BBC News won four awards, while ITV Exposure won three and The Times, The Sunday Times and The Economist’s 1843 Magazine all took home two apiece.

“Prolific scoop-getter” Gabriel Pogrund, Whitehall editor at The Sunday Times, was recognised as the Journalist of the Year for work that ultimately helped lead to the resignation of BBC chairman Richard Sharp and chief whip Gavin Williamson.

Freelance journalist Ian Birrell was recognised for Public Service Journalism for his work for the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and the i due to his “incomparable” ability to bring public interest investigations to a mass audience.

The 12th annual British Journalism Awards continue to celebrate journalism that shows skill and rigour, is revelatory and serves the public interest.

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The 30 winners were whittled down from 800 entries and 180 finalists by an independent panel of 80 judges.

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Hi-res photos of the awards night are available to download via this link.

Scroll down for the full list of British Journalism Awards 2023 winners and highly commended finalists

Other winners included ITV’s Tom Bradby as Interviewer of the Year for his sitdown with Prince Harry, The Times for Scoop of the Year with its exposure of British Gas debt agents breaking into the homes of vulnerable people, and The Times again for its Clean it Up campaigning work for Campaign of the Year.

Reach won Innovation of the Year for its work using WhatsApp Communities, The Independent’s Bel Trew won the Marie Colvin Award for her work from Ukraine and Antonia Cundy was named New Journalist of the Year for her investigative work at the Financial Times.

The winners were revealed at a sold-out awards ceremony hosted by comedian Kerry Godliman at London’s Hilton Bankside on Thursday night (14 December).

In his opening comments, Press Gazette editor-in-chief and chairman of the judges Dominic Ponsford said: “Our business is important because it is the one which holds all others to account.

“Squeezed as we are by the dark forces of online advertising technology, under attack by litigious oligarchs and in more danger than ever when reporting on conflicts overseas – tonight is a night to forget all that and celebrate a job well done.”

The awards were supported by headline sponsor Starling Bank along with Amazon, Camelot, Google News Initiative, RenewableUK and YouTube. They supported charity partner the Journalists’ Charity.

The Journalists’ Charity is devoted to assisting members of the profession who fall on hard times. If you can, please help a colleague by making a donation via this link.

Full list of British Journalism Awards 2023 winners and highly commended finalists

Social Affairs, Diversity & Inclusion Journalism

WINNER: Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Vanessa Bowles, Bettina Waked, Jasmine Bonshor, Liza Hodgson, Maria Caramelo, Mohamed Salah, Tim Awford, Rosie Garthwaite and Mustafa Khalili – BBC News 

The judges said: “This was a really important piece of journalism with great bravery required by both reporters and sources.”

Highly commended: Maya Wolfe-Robinson, Joseph Harker, Jonathan Shainin, David Olusoga, Gary Younge, Lanre Bakare, Aamna Mohdin, Courtney Yusuf and others – The Guardian

The judges said: “Few publications would be brave enough to subject themselves to such scrutiny.”

Features Journalism   

WINNER: Mick Brown – The Telegraph 

Mick Brown of The Telegraph picks up the Features Journalism prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
Mick Brown of The Telegraph picks up the Features Journalism prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “This work was shocking, insightful and full of fascinating details. It showed true journalistic skills in breaking down the reluctance of people to talk.”

Highly commended: Ian Birrell – Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday

Highly commended: Simon Hattenstone – The Guardian 

The judges praised Birrell’s “exemplary feature writing” and Hattenstone’s “fine writing”.

Local Journalism   

WINNER: Chris Burn – The Yorkshire Post

Chris Burn of The Yorkshire Post collects the Local Journalism prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
Chris Burn of The Yorkshire Post collects the Local Journalism prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “The sheer scale of this story is extraordinary. This reporter showed huge tenacity to lift a veil of misinformation, misrepresentation and downright dishonesty.”

Highly commended: Sam McBride – Belfast Telegraph 

The judges said McBride’s work showed “defiance of authority and sheer courage”.

Highly commended: Liam Thorp – Liverpool Echo

The judges said Thorp successfully “lifted the lid on a shamefully warped culture in a local authority”.

Health & Life Sciences Journalism

WINNER: Mark Hedgecoe, James Rogan, Simon Gilchrist, Lesley Shields, Xinlan Rose and John Moffat – ITV Exposure 

The ITV Exposure team behind The Clinic collects the Health & Life Sciences Journalism prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
The ITV Exposure team behind The Clinic collects the Health & Life Sciences Journalism prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “This was journalism which got to the heart of a huge current topic, cutting through the noise and making a difference.”

WINNER: Emily Dugan – The Guardian 

Emily Dugan of The Guardian collects the Crime & Legal Journalism prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
Emily Dugan of The Guardian collects the Crime & Legal Journalism prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “This was exemplary campaigning work taking place over a number of years and revealing an appalling miscarriage of justice. The story came to represent the failure of the law enforcement, oversight and judicial systems.”

Comment Journalism   

WINNER: Matthew Holehouse – The Economist

Matthew Holehouse of The Economist collects the Comment Journalism prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
Matthew Holehouse of The Economist collects the Comment Journalism prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “This writer has provided unrivalled and influential coverage of the undercurrents driving the Conservative Party’s languishing poll ratings.”

Highly commended: William Hague – The Times

The judges praised Hague’s “incisive writing and original thinking which often impacts public debate”.

Specialist Journalism

WINNER: Peter Blackburn and Ben Ireland – The Doctor magazine/British Medical Association

Peter Blackburn and Ben Ireland pick up the Specialist Journalism award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
Peter Blackburn and Ben Ireland pick up the Specialist Journalism award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “These were meaty investigations with a great blend of data and powerful personal stories. They pull few punches but always keep focus on sustaining a strong narrative.”

Highly commended: Samantha Booth – Schools Week 

The judges praised Booth for “huge investigative effort on a topic which rarely features in national headlines”.

Foreign Affairs Journalism   

WINNER: Handa Majed, Ben Ferguson, Nechirvan Mando, Jamie Welham and David Modell – ITV Exposure 

The ITV Exposure team that made The Crossing pick up the Foreign Journalism award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
The ITV Exposure team that made The Crossing pick up the Foreign Affairs Journalism award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “This was an absolutely immaculate piece of filmmaking providing forensic reconstruction of a historic maritime disaster with powerful testimony from the family of the victims.”

Technology Journalism, sponsored by Amazon 

WINNER: Siân Boyle – The Sunday Times/Daily Mail 

The judges said: “This is a journalist who is ahead of the pack in terms of bringing the big technology themes to a mainstream audience and is completely on top of her brief.”

Built Environment Journalism   

WINNER: Jessica Hill – Schools Week 

Jessica Hill of Schools Week collects the Built Environment prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
Jessica Hill of Schools Week collects the Built Environment prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said of the winner: “A fantastic piece of journalism and a reminder that sector specialist magazines can and should scoop the national media. Jessica highlighted the problem of aerated concrete in schools with a story that became at national obsession nine months later.”

Personal Finance Journalism  

WINNER: Andrew Picken – BBC Scotland News Online

The judges said Picken had “gone the extra yard with his reporting and provided a voice for people who are often overlooked by the media”.

Highly commended: Katie Morley – The Telegraph 

The judges described Morley as an “excellent example of a consumer champion”.

Energy & Environment Journalism, sponsored by RenewableUK

WINNER: Jess Kelly, Owen Pinnell, Carole Bertinet, Mohamed Boteen, Nour Altounji, Inam Talib, Azhar Al-Rubaie, Rosie Garthwaite, Mustafa Khalili and Tim Awford – BBC News

The Under Poisoned Skies team collect the Energy & Environment award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
The Under Poisoned Skies team collect the Energy & Environment award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “This was prescient, influential and thorough. It had the wow factor and was investigative journalism which got results.”

Highly commended: Elisângela Mendonça, Andrew Wasley, Misbah Khan, Grace Murray and Josephine Moulds – The Bureau of Investigative Journalism 

The judges said this was “impactful public interest journalism where the reporters got their hands dirty”.

Highly commended: Rachel Salvidge and Leana Hosea – The Guardian/Watershed Investigations

The judges said this was “important journalism which involved vital original scientific research”.

Arts & Entertainment Journalism   

WINNER: Rachael Healy – The Guardian

Rachel Healy of The Guardian collects the Arts & Entertainment award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
Rachel Healy of The Guardian collects the Arts & Entertainment award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “A big talking point at the time and well executed. This was the definition of a good story, something a powerful person does not want in a newspaper.”

Highly commended: Ashleigh Rainbird – Daily Mirror

The judges said this was a “strong news story, well written and sensitively landed”.

New Journalist of the Year  

WINNER: Antonia Cundy – Financial Times

Antonia Cundy of the FT collects the New Journalist of the Year award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
Antonia Cundy of the FT collects the New Journalist of the Year award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said Cundy’s work was “powerful journalism, exposing unseen truths” and praised her for taking on “the rich and powerful with fearless reporting”.

Marie Colvin Award

WINNER: Bel Trew – The Independent

The judges said: “Marie would have admired Bel’s self-starting courage. Bel is a journalist who has become one of the leading foreign correspondents in the world in recent years. She began her career as a freelance covering the Arab Spring, based in Egypt until she was detained and expelled by the Egyptian authorities for her reporting.

“We particularly admired her steadfast reporting from Ukraine and her excellent feature documentary on the country’s missing war dead put together without the budget of big broadcasters.”

Sports Journalism

WINNER: William Ralston – The Guardian

William Ralston of The Guardian collects the Sports Journalism prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
William Ralston of The Guardian collects the Sports Journalism prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said Ralston’s winning work was “wonderful, professional and in-depth reporting of an issue that is growing in massive significance but has previously been given superficial coverage”.

Highly commended: David Walsh – The Sunday Times

The judges said Walsh “consistently covers difficult issues in a sensitive and professional manner, always making his readers think – year after year”.

Campaign of the Year  

WINNER: Clean It Up – The Times

Times Clean it Up winner of Campaign of the Year at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
Times Clean it Up winner of Campaign of the Year at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “Excellent use of data and strong graphics backed up a strongly organised campaign which has made clear progress on tackling a long-standing UK environmental problem.”

Highly commended: The Bruno and Dom project – The Guardian

The judges said: “This was a mighty reporting effort in a noble cause, to ensure that killing a journalist did not kill the story of criminal environmental destruction they uncovered.”

Photojournalism

WINNER: Christopher Occhicone – 1843 Magazine, The Economist 

Christopher Occhicone spent weeks embedded in a frontline hospital in Ukraine. Picture: Christopher Occhicone/The Economist
Christopher Occhicone spent weeks embedded in a frontline hospital in Ukraine. Picture: Christopher Occhicone/The Economist
Christopher Occhicone  of The Economist’s 1843 Magazine picks up the Photojournalism prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
Christopher Occhicone of The Economist’s 1843 Magazine picks up the Photojournalism prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “These were challenging images documenting the human cost of conflict, captured with subtlety, empathy and honesty.”

Highly commended: Victoria Jones – Press Association 

Press Association photo from Queen Elizabeth II's funeral, part of Victoria Jones's British Journalism Awards 2023 entry. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Media
Press Association photo from Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, part of Victoria Jones’s British Journalism Awards 2023 entry. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Media

The judges praised Jones’s portfolio of “impactful, elegant historic images”.

Interviewer of the Year

WINNER: Tom Bradby – ITV1

ITV’s Tom Bradby picks up the Interviewer of the Year prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
ITV’s Tom Bradby picks up the Interviewer of the Year prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “This was a scoop interview that has stood the test of time – and will continue to do so for, probably, years to come. Executed under tight deadlines with no editorial control and great professionalism despite the interviewer’s closeness to the subject. This interview made headlines around the world.”

[Read more: Interviewer of the year Tom Bradby: Harry ‘never asked me what questions I was going to ask’]

Politics Journalism

WINNER: John Ferguson – Sunday Mail

John Ferguson of the Sunday Mail picks up the Politics Journalism award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
John Ferguson of the Sunday Mail picks up the Politics Journalism award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “This was a huge piece of investigative journalism which has made a huge difference to the whole leadership of the SNP and so to Scotland itself and will likely have ramifications for the next Westminster general election.”

Highly commended: Steven Swinford – The Times

The judges praised Swinford’s “great breadth of stories including one real toast-dropper”.

Business, Finance and Economics Journalism, sponsored by Starling Bank

WINNER: Anna Isaac – The Guardian 

Anna Isaac of The Guardian presented with the Business, Finance and Economics Journalism award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
Anna Isaac of The Guardian presented with the Business, Finance and Economics Journalism award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said Isaac’s CBI investigation “was a real scoop which has had wide-ranging impact. It also required long, and very sensitive, research”.

Highly commended: Gordon Rayner – Telegraph Media Group 

The judges said Rayner’s work featured “detailed reporting and fantastic presentation and helped lead to the boss of one of Britain’s biggest financial institutions resigning”.

Travel Journalism

WINNER: Sophie Pinkham – 1843 Magazine, The Economist  

The judges said this was “brilliant investigative journalism with a kick in the solar plexus. It took headlines, soundbites and government propaganda around immigration and turned into a deeply human story that gets to the heart of the issue”.

Online Video Journalism, sponsored by YouTube

WINNER: Jean MacKenzie – BBC News 

The judges described MacKenzie’s work as “engaging, different and distinct, using a great use of online storytelling techniques to provide a voice for oppressed people in one of the most unreported parts of the world”.

Investigation of the Year

WINNER: Dan Neidle – Tax Policy Associates

The judges said: “This was a determined and forensic investigation carried out in the face of continual legal intimidation.”

Highly commended: Ellie Flynn and Alice McShane – Channel 4/Kalel Productions

The judges described this as “culture shifting work which shed light on an important subject”.

Highly commended: Handa Majid, Ben Ferguson, Nechirvan Mando, Jamie Welham and David Modell – ITV Exposure 

The judges described this as “an immaculate piece of film-making which movingly gave a voice to some of the most forgotten and vulnerable people in the world”.

Scoop of the Year   

WINNER: Exposed: How British Gas Debt Agents Break into Homes of Vulnerable – The Times

Paul Morgan-Bentley of The Times picks up the Scoop of the Year prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
Paul Morgan-Bentley of The Times picks up the Scoop of the Year prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “This was the big scoop around one of the biggest stories of the year, the cost of living crisis. A big story that mattered to people and made a difference to the way things were done.”

Innovation of the Year, sponsored by Google News Initiative

WINNER: Dan Russell, Jenna Thompson and Rachel Gorman – Reach

Dan Russell and team at Reach pick up Innovation of the Year prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
Dan Russell and team at Reach pick up Innovation of the Year prize at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “This was pioneering use of a tech platform, which is ubiquitous yet under-used by publishers, to deliver meaningful audience engagement.”

Highly commended: Sam Coates, Joe White, Katie Riley, Tom Larkin, Tom Rayner, Edward Clowes and David Mapstone – Sky News/Tortoise Media

The judges described this as a “brilliant way of displaying a complex story with huge public interest”.

News Provider of the Year

WINNER: The Guardian

A team from The Guardian pick up the News Provider of the Year award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
A team from The Guardian pick up the News Provider of the Year award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “This title has shone a light on under-reported parts of the world and campaigned for social justice and environmental change with its investigations this year. And it has even investigated difficult truths from its own past while delivering a mass audience and achieving financial sustainability.”

[Read more: Guardian to build on ‘direct link’ between supporters and journalism with global growth]

Public Service Journalism

WINNER: Ian Birrell – Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday/the i

Public Service Journalism winner Ian Birrell at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
Public Service Journalism winner Ian Birrell at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said Birrell has “managed to shine new light on the untold stories of victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine with vivid reporting from the frontline of that conflict.

“He has also shown intellectual courage challenging orthodoxies around coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic and championed the rights of same-sex parents in Italy in the face of a far-right government crackdown.

“His range is incredible and his ability to bring public interest investigative journalism to a mass audience incomparable.”

Journalist of the Year

WINNER: Gabriel Pogrund – The Sunday Times

Sunday Times Whitehall editor Gabriel Pogrund picks up the Journalist of the Year award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
Sunday Times Whitehall editor Gabriel Pogrund picks up the Journalist of the Year award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said Pogrund is a “prolific scoop-getter whose reporting helped topple the chairman of the BBC after exposing murky financial details involving the prime minister.

“He also revealed the presence of a paid lobbyist as a close aide to short-lived UK premier Liz Truss and prompted the resignation of chief whip Gavin Williamson over bullying allegations.

“He has also shown his range with deep reporting on an untold tragedy at the heart of Britain’s secret intelligence community.”

[Read more: Investigative reporting is a ‘masochistic business’ says journalist of the year Gabriel Pogrund]

Women in Journalism Georgina Henry Award, sponsored by Wiggin

WINNER: Rhiannon Davies – The Scottish Beacon 

Rhiannon Davies of The Scottish Beacon wins the Women in Journalism Georgina Henry Award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette
Rhiannon Davies of The Scottish Beacon wins the Women in Journalism Georgina Henry Award at the British Journalism Awards 2023. Picture: ASV Photography for Press Gazette

The judges said: “At a time when local news publishers are under real pressure, The Scottish Beacon gives underserved communities a much-needed voice. It is a truly collaborative project that brings community-based outlets together to hold the powerful to account and to help strengthen democracy. Having already achieved an impressive amount in the short time it’s been running, we can’t wait to see what it brings next.”

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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