NCTJ Awards for Excellence 2023 open for entries

Free to enter, the annual awards recognise the achievements of talented individuals with promising journalism careers ahead of them.

The Awards for Excellence 2022 ceremony took place at Twickenham Stadium

The NCTJ Awards for Excellence 2023 are now open for entries from students, trainee and apprentice journalists across the UK.

Free to enter, the annual awards recognise the achievements of talented individuals with promising journalism careers ahead of them.

The awards categories are:

  • News journalism
  • Sports journalism
  • Top scoop
  • Features
  • Podcast journalism
  • Data journalism

All shortlisted entrants will be invited to the awards ceremony, which will take place in March 2024.

Category awards are open to:

  • Students who are studying (or have studied) on an NCTJ-accredited course or NCTJ distance learning programme in the 2022-23 academic year
  • Trainees who have completed the Diploma in Journalism, with less than two years’ employment
  • Apprentices who are completing (or have completed) an NCTJ journalism apprenticeship during the 2022-23 academic year.

NCTJ-accredited course providers are also asked to nominate the best student projects from the 2022-23 academic year.

Performance awards are also up for grabs for the best performing student, trainee and apprentice journalists based on exam results.

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, sponsored by Meta.

Sky Sports News presenter Jo Wilson hosted the 2022 awards ceremony

Other specialist award categories include the innovation of the year award, which encourages and recognises innovation in journalism education and training, as well as the equality, diversity and inclusion award. This award, now split up into two categories for individuals and organisations, recognises the outstanding work of individuals, educators and trainers, and employers who promote equality, diversity and inclusion in the media and training sector.

Winners in the Awards for Excellence 2022 included Ability Today’s Academy for Disabled Journalists, who won the equality, diversity and inclusion award for providing accessible training to disabled students. Judges said the academy was intentionally removing systemic barriers to open up the industry to people who haven’t historically been given the opportunities.

News Associates won the Innovation of the Year award for covering the announcement of the Queen’s death in the first week of the fast-track course. The team put journalism first and supported students to create 142 articles in 11 days.

Charley Bergman, from Leeds Trinity University, now a journalist at ITV Calendar, was recognised with the student of the year award. She achieved the best overall diploma results out of 1,163 students who studied on NCTJ courses last year with an impressive seven As and shorthand at 100 words per minute.

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

Paul Derrick pictured with John Ryley, the former head of Sky News

Last year’s chairman’s award winner was Paul Derrick, head of multimedia news at the Bury Free Press and Suffolk News, who was recognised for being “an unsung hero in the newsroom”, giving his trainees time, support and feedback so they can flourish.

The deadline for entries is Friday, 3 November at 5pm. Click here to find out more and enter.

Keep in touch

Sign up to receive the NCTJ’s eJournalism newsletter. Sent once a month, it will keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in journalism training.