NCTJ Awards for Excellence 2020 open for entries

The NCTJ Awards for Excellence, which recognise the achievements of talented individuals with promising journalism careers ahead of them, are now open for entries for 2020.

Free to enter, the annual awards are open to students, trainees and apprentices in the following categories:

  • News journalism
  • Sports journalism
  • Top scoop
  • Features
  • Podcast journalism *new*

Brand new for this year, the podcast journalism award will identify the best student and trainee podcasts which get to the heart of the issue and are well produced.

Judges will consider a range of elements, including the style of delivery, human interest potential, originality and evidence of in-depth interview techniques.

Brendan Marshall, who studied on the MA journalism course at Ulster University and now works as a journalist and producer for BBC Northern Ireland, won the 2019 student top scoop award.

Offering his advice, he said: “I will keep this very short and simple... APPLY! APPLY! APPLY!

“You have absolutely nothing to lose. If you are serious about journalism, and have something to add, then apply and show everyone your work and talent and let the rest take care of itself. Good luck!”

Hannah Tomes, who studied at the University of Sheffield and now works as a sub-editor at the Daily Mail, won the student features of the year award in 2018.

On winning the award, she said: “It was a huge confidence boost and gave me the belief that I was a talented writer.

“It’s also been really helpful in getting other writing jobs, and looks really good on a CV. The awards ceremony was good fun, and getting up on stage to collect the award was a really proud moment – especially with my grandparents and mum there to see it.”

All shortlisted entrants will be invited to the prestigious gala dinner and award ceremony, which will take place in early 2021.

Performance awards will also be presented to the accredited courses with the best results, as well as the best performing student, trainee and apprentice of the year.

Reporters hired under the Community News Project banner will have the opportunity to be recognised for their exceptional work with the Community News Project award, now in its second year.

The innovation of the year award, which encourages and recognises innovation in journalism education and training, is also open for entries, as well as the equality, diversion and inclusion award.

Finally, nominations are welcome for the NCTJ chairman’s award, which recognises an individual’s outstanding contribution to high standards of journalism training. He or she could be an editor, a tutor or anyone who has made a meaningful impact on the training of journalists.

The deadline for entries is Friday, 13 November at 5pm. Click here for full details on submission guidelines and rules of entry.