Awards for Excellence

The NCTJ Awards for Excellence recognise and reward the best journalism students, apprentices and trainees.

With quality training at the heart of the NCTJ, these awards highlight the achievements of individuals with promising journalism careers ahead of them.

Applications for 2021 are now closed. The shortlist will be announced on Monday, 13 December. 

See the shortlist


Testimonials from previous winners

“I am so glad I decided to enter the NCTJ awards. I never expected to be shortlisted, let alone win, so when I was invited to the ceremony I was over the moon. Throwing your name in the hat can seem daunting, but it’s quick to do and extremely rewarding if you are successful.

"Shortly after I was shortlisted I was approached by a national paper looking for freelancers, and after I won the award I received recognition online and in print. I can now describe myself as an ‘award-winning journalist’, which is fantastic so early on in my career. Definitely put yourself forward if you’re eligible.” 
- Amy Gibbons, 2018 Trainee Top Scoop winner and news reporter for East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star

“Winning the NCTJ Multimedia Story award is my best achievement so far in my short career as a journalist. I entered the competition more in hope rather than expectation. I had faith in my entry but to actually win the category was incredible. 

“There are so many fantastic young journalists out there who have amazing ideas and unique stories to tell, so to be recognised by the NCTJ at their annual awards ceremony makes me extremely proud and is an achievement I will always cherish.

“The award has also helped me further my career at Sky Sports News. The winning story has been aired on the channel a number of times and since then I have been given the opportunity to develop my skills in different areas across the newsroom.

“Not many people can say they have won an NCTJ award. It is the best award you can win as a student journalist so I’d really encourage entering this year’s competition because you never know where it might take you.”
Dan Sansom, 2018 Student Multimedia Story award winner and freelance journalist for Sky Sports News.

“Applying for the NCTJ Student News Journalist award was something that I had always aspired to do on the course - but when it came around to it it took a bit of egging on from my tutors at News Associates to get me to finally press 'send' on my application. But I'm so glad that I got that encouragement, and ultimately that I did have the courage to enter.

"I was astonished when I got shortlisted into the final three, and knew that even though I was up against some really amazing journalists with great stories too, I was just happy that my work was recognised as a standout across the NCTJ.

"So when I actually won, I was absolutely stunned and delighted. It was one of those moments that I couldn't believe was happening and will never forget. It is already one of the highlights of my career.

"Getting that recognition has given me the drive to hunt out even more stories that I hope will make waves to both the public and other journalists alike.”
Jessica Cripps, 2018 Student News Journalist of the Year and journalist at Kennedy News and Media