NCTJ patron - Alex Crawford

In October 2018, the NCTJ appointed Alex Crawford, special correspondent for Sky News, as the charity’s first ever patron.

The decision to appoint Alex as patron came after she received the most nominations from journalists who were asked which living journalist they felt most embodies the values of journalism that they respect and adhere to as part of the 2018 Journalists at Work survey.

In her role as patron, Alex will be giving talks, running workshops, writing articles, helping with fundraising events and doing all she can to highlight the importance of professional journalism and to promote the NCTJ’s values.

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “We wanted to steer clear of inviting a celebrity or royalty to become our patron.

“Instead, we wanted somebody who really resonates with journalists, shares the NCTJ’s values, and cares about the future of quality journalism and high standards.

“So, who better than the most widely respected journalist, as voted for by those working in the industry - the journalist’s journalist.

“By appointing a patron, we hope to raise awareness of the NCTJ’s charitable work, from delivering the premier training scheme for journalists in the UK, to working with the industry to improve equality, diversity and inclusion.”

See Alex’s full biography below.

Alex Crawford
Alex Crawford
NCTJ patron

An unprecedented five times winner of the Royal Television Society Journalist of the Year award, Alex Crawford is special correspondent for Sky News. Based in Istanbul, Alex reports from across the region and on the biggest stories around the world. 

Formerly based in Sky’s Johannesburg, Dubai and Delhi bureaux, Alex has reported on the events in Africa, South Asia, the Gulf and the Middle East.

Within the past year, her reporting from inside Myanmar’s Rakhine state provided the first filmed evidence of the persecution and deprivation facing thousands of stranded Rohingya Muslims. Her reports attracted global attention, and forced major policy shifts by the UK government and the United Nations.

Earlier in 2017, a series of reports highlighting the child labour in the Democratic Republic of Congo being used to mine cobalt for smartphones prompted tech giants to revise where they sourced their materials from.

Since the early days of the Arab Spring in 2011, Alex has reported from across the region and returned time and time again as protests have evolved into conflicts. She was the first reporter to broadcast live from Tripoli's Green Square as rebel forces took over the Libyan capital. Arriving in Tripoli on the back of a truck with a rebel convoy, Alex’s reports were broadcast to the world via a manually operated satellite signal and a camera plugged into a cigarette lighter charger.

Alex and her team were the only journalists to get inside the besieged town of Zawiyah when it was being attacked by pro-Gaddafi forces. It was this report that was credited with largely being responsible for the UN agreement to a no-fly zone over Libya. 

In 2015, Alex and the Sky News team were awarded a BAFTA for their reporting and analysis of the Ebola crisis in Western Africa. Following this Alex received the prestigious Charles Wheeler Award for her outstanding contribution to broadcast journalism. 

Before relocating to Istanbul in 2017, Alex spent six years posted to Africa. While there, she reported on international intervention in Mali, becoming the first international journalist into the ancient town of Timbuktu; the hunt for Boko Haram in Nigeria and Cameroon; the spread of Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria and rhino poaching in South Africa.

During her thirty year career as a journalist, Alex has been arrested; detained, abducted, interrogated and faced live bullets, tear-gassing, rubber bullets, IEDs, and mortar shells.

When based in Asia, Alex was responsible for covering stories in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Following her reports on the Mumbai terror attacks from outside the Taj Hotel in November 2008, coming under fire live on air, Sky News was shortlisted for a BAFTA and won the coveted international Golden Nymph award for News Coverage. 

Her work has been recognised worldwide including by the Foreign Press Association on several occasions since 2007, and she won the FPA award in 2011 for her reporting in Libya. 

She has been cited in the Bayeux War Correspondents Awards for her reports from hostile environments every year since 2007 and won two awards in 2011 - Best news coverage and the Judges' award for her coverage of the Arab Spring. 

In December 2010 she was named Woman Journalist of the Year by Women in Film and Television for her work in Afghanistan, and the following year became the only woman to win a second accolade from the Women in Film and Television when she was awarded Best Achievement in 2011 for her reporting from Tripoli. 

In October 2011 Alex was awarded the James Cameron Memorial Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to journalism. 

In June 2014, she won an unprecedented fifth Golden Nymph award, the highest accolade from the Monte Carlo Film Festival for her coverage of the conflict in the Central African Republic. Previous wins included her reporting the year before of the South African Marikana Mines Massacre (2013), the Fall of Tripoli (2012); Battle for Zawiyah (2011) and the Mumbai Terror attacks (2009).

She has won two BAFTAs – for her reporting on the spread of Ebola (2015) and exposing the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar (2018). She has four further BAFTA nominations - for her Mumbai reporting (2009), Pakistan - the Frontline of Terror (2010), the Libyan Rebel Convoy (2012) and migrant boat crossings to Greece (2016).

Alex has been awarded three International Emmy Awards. She was part of the Sky News team recognised for investigating the role of the Taliban in Pakistan (2010), and received further awards for reporting on the perilous sea crossings made by migrants from Turkey to Greece (2016) and her Rohingya coverage (2018). She received a further Emmy nomination after gaining exclusive access to the Taliban in Afghanistan (2011).

The prestigious London Press Club made her Broadcasting Journalist of the Year in 2011 for her coverage of the Arab Spring.

And in June 2012, the University of Arts, London awarded her an honorary doctorate.

She was awarded an OBE in the Queen's 2012 New Year's Honours list for services to journalism. 

Alex is married to fellow journalist Richard Edmondson and they have four children.