Students, trainees and apprentices were honoured at the NCTJ Awards for Excellence gala dinner and ceremony at Hampton Court Palace on Thursday, 23 November.
An audience of 180 entrants, journalists and educators were in attendance at the awards dinner, which was hosted by Sky News presenter Sophy Ridge.
A record-breaking number of entries were received for the various categories, with almost 300 submissions from top quality journalists representing a breadth of education and the media.
Addressing the shortlisted entrants, Ridge said: “Your place on the shortlist demonstrates the skills, determination and resilience needed to forge a successful career in journalism. Our thanks are due to the expert panel of judges who were thoroughly impressed by the quality of work submitted.
“Competition remains fierce to secure that vital first journalism job. But great opportunities are out there, and outstanding graduates from accredited courses are landing these jobs.”
NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher presented the winners with certificates. The categories included news journalism, sports journalism, features, top scoop/exclusive, multimedia story/campaign and student project of the year.
Performance awards were given to the student journalist of the year and trainee journalist of the year who achieved the best results in their diploma and NQJ exams, respectively.
This year’s student journalist of the year is Anna Schaverien, who trained at News Associates London. Anna achieved the best ‘A’ grades in every Diploma in Journalism subject and reached 120wpm shorthand while on her course. She now works as an assistant producer at LBC as well as interning at the New York Times.
Trainee journalist of the year was awarded to Laura Drysdale of the Wakefield Express. Her path into journalism began at the newspaper when she was studying English at university. She achieved her gold standard diploma as a postgraduate student at the University of Sheffield before returning and passing her senior NQJ exams earlier this year, winning the award for the best media law exam performance.
Apprentice of the year was also awarded for the third year running following nominations from employers and trainers. The award was presented to Daniel Boswell, who was described by his employer, Sky Sports News, as an assured, versatile and talented journalist who can spot a good picture story and turn it into engaging content across different platforms.
Daniel’s tutor at UCFB Wembley, Roz McKenzie, noted how he has balanced the considerable demands of the job with a methodical approach to studying, achieving the gold standard diploma and 110wpm shorthand as well as a distinction in the apprenticeship assessments.
The full list of winners and commendations is as follows:
Student news journalism
Winner – Aaron Renfree, University of Lincoln
Highly commended – Isaan Khan, University of Central Lancashire
Commended – Garrick Alder, Kingston University
Trainee news journalism
Winner – Neil Athey, Lancashire Telegraph
Highly commended – Samar Maguire, Cambridge News
Commended – Joe Middleton, Kent and Sussex Courier
Student sports journalism
Winner – Mats Fredrix, St Mary’s University
Highly commended – Jordan Campbell, Glasgow Caledonian University
Commended – Fiona Tomas, News Associates Manchester
Trainee sports journalism
Winner – Katie Falkingham, Sportsbeat
Highly commended – Nick Gullon, The Northern Echo
Commended – Matthew Smith, MailOnline
Student features award
Winner – Emma Calder, University of Lincoln
Highly Commended – Jessica David, University of Sheffield
Commended – Rowan Nevin, University of Portsmouth
Trainee features award
Winner – Will Hayward, Media Wales
Highly commended – Carly Minsky, Pageant Media
Commended – Aniesa Mirreh, South West News Service
Student top scoop/exclusive
Winner – Anna Whittaker, University of Sheffield
Highly commended – Jarrad Johnson, University of Lincoln
Commended – Keumars Afifi-Sabet, News Associates London
Trainee top scoop/exclusive
Winner – Thomas Mackintosh, BBC News
Highly commended – Caleb Spencer, Cambrian News
Commended – Samantha Booth, Croydon Advertiser
Student multimedia story/campaign of the year
Winner – Jason Lewis, Bournemouth University
Highly commended – Roshan Roberts-Crooks, Bournemouth University
Commended – Faith Ridler, University of Sheffield
Trainee multimedia story/campaign of the year
Winner – Bethany Lodge, The Gazette
Highly commended – Sian Elvin, Kent Live
Student project of the year
Winner – Echoes of Horror, Boglarka Kosztolanyi, University of Kent
Highly commended – The Forgotten Survivors, Luke Hastings, Bournemouth University
Commended – Dine magazine, Jack Portley, University of Central Lancashire
Apprentice of the year
Winner – Daniel Boswell, Sky Sports News
Commended – Safeeyah Kazi, Evening Standard
Commended – Rachel Matthews, The Telegraph
Commended – Kerry Parvin, BBC Radio Cumbria
Commended – Tristan Shale-Hester, Blackball Media
Student journalist of the year
Winner – Anna Schaverien, News Associates London
Commended – Mojo Abidi, University of Sheffield
Commended – Thomas George, News Associates Manchester
Commended – Christopher McKeon, Press Association Training London
Commended – Timothy Stickings, University of Sheffield
Commended – Jasmine Watkiss, Press Association Training Newcastle
Trainee journalist of the year
Winner – Laura Drysdale, Wakefield Express
Commended – Hannah Somerville, Oxford Mail
Commended – Abigail Weaving, Saffron Walden Reporter