Shortlist announced for Media Freedom Awards 2023

Posted on: September 19, 2023 by Claire Meadows

The shortlist has today been announced for the Society of Editors’ Media Freedom Awards 2023.

Now in their second year, the awards set the benchmark for a celebration of UK public interest journalism and shine a light on the crucial role that the news media industry plays in promoting media freedom, championing the public’s right to know and holding power to account. 

Recognising excellence across 23 categories including campaigning and investigative journalism as well as innovation, the awards will bring together more than 250 journalists from all sectors of the UK news industry and beyond for a high-profile reception, dinner and ceremony at the iconic Banking Hall in London on the evening of Wednesday 8 November 2023.

The headline sponsor for this year’s awards is Grove Gallery, a prestigious London-based art gallery with additional sponsors including Camelot which has supported the Society of Editors since 2001, the Google News Initiative, Cision and Newsworks. The ceremony will once again be presented by renowned ITV News Journalist and Presenter Lucrezia Millarini.

Announcing the shortlist, Dawn Alford, Executive Director of the Society of Editors and co-chair of the judges said: “Once again, the judges have been amazed by the exceptional standard of journalism that has been put forward for consideration for this year’s awards. With more than 450 entries, all are a testament to the outstanding calibre of public interest journalism that continues to be published and broadcast in the UK and beyond. We are delighted that ITV News’ Lucrezia Millarini will once again present these prestigious awards and we look forward to welcoming all those shortlisted – and their colleagues – to the ceremony on 8 November to honour their achievements.”

James Ryan, CEO of Grove Gallery said: “We are delighted that Grove Gallery is this year’s headline sponsor for the prestigious Media Freedom Awards 2023. With a shared ambition to promote and celebrate media, art and freedom of expression, we look forward to welcoming those shortlisted to the high-profile ceremony in November.”

Other awards presented on the night will include the Bob Satchwell Award in memory of the Society’s founding director who was considered a great champion of press freedom before his death in 2021, as well as a special Judges’ Award.

Booking is now open for the ceremony with an early-bird rate available for tables booked before Tuesday 3 October 2023. For full details or to enquire about sponsorship opportunities please email

Media Freedom Awards 2023 shortlist

Young Journalist of the Year National
Harriet Barber, The Telegraph
Ashni Lakhani, BBC
Lucy Marley, The News Movement
Sabrina Miller, Daily Mail/The Mail on Sunday
Ruben Reuter, Channel 4 News
Marianna Spring, BBC News

Young Journalist of the Year Regional
Dolly Carter, East Anglian Times and Ipswich Star
Brendan Duggan, The Courier and Press and Journal
Conor Gogarty, WalesOnline
Daniel Hordon, The Northern Echo
Lucy John, WalesOnline
Josh Sandiford, Birmingham Mail and BirminghamLive
Stephen Topping, Manchester Evening News

Investigation of the Year – Broadcast National
Sex For Work: The True Cost of Our Tea, BBC Africa Eye and BBC Panorama
Shocking culture of UK Fire Services, ITV News
Stephen Lawrence, The Sixth Suspect, BBC News
Under Poisoned Skies, BBC News and BBC Arabic
Undercover Hospital: Patients At Risk, BBC Panorama
Westminster Accounts, Sky News and Tortoise Media

Investigation of the Year – Broadcast Regional
British Judo, ITV News Central
Claims of toxic corruption within the Metropolitan police, ITV News London
Disclosure: The Great Ferries Scandal, BBC Scotland
SEND investigation, ITV News Anglia
The Right to Learn, ITN News Central
Windrush 75, ITV News Central

Investigation of the Year National
British Gas breaking into homes of the vulnerable, The Times
Confederation of British Industry, The Guardian
Crispin Odey investigation, Financial Times
Lockdown Files, The Telegraph
Phillip Schofield, Mail Newspapers
Privatised water, The Guardian
The BBC Chairman, the Prime Minister and the £800,000 loan guarantee, The Sunday Times

Investigation of the Year Regional
Exploitation and pressure-selling at direct sales firm, WalesOnline
Jason Moore Murder Case, Romford Recorder
Mobuoy Scandal, Belfast Telegraph
Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, Manchester Evening News
Taser use, News & Star
Wingate Grave Blunder, The Northern Echo

Commentator of the Year
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, The i
Hadley Freeman, The Sunday Times
Marina Hyde, The Guardian
Nesrine Malik, The Guardian
Camilla Long, The Sunday Times
Sonia Sodha, The Observer

Journalist of the Year – National
Ian Birrell, Daily Mail/UnHerd
David Conn, The Guardian
Anna Isaac, The Guardian
Paul Morgan-Bentley, The Times
Gabriel Pogrund, The Sunday Times
Gordon Rayner, The Daily Telegraph

Journalist of the Year – Regional
Phil Coleman, News & Star
Conor Gogarty, WalesOnline
Lucy John, WalesOnline
Sharon O’Neill, Sunday Life
Charles Thomson, Islington Gazette, Newham Recorder and Romford Recorder 
Stephen Topping, Manchester Evening News

Journalist of the Year – Broadcast
Paul Brand, ITV News
Tessa Chapman, 5 News
Alex Crawford, Sky News
Rohit Kachroo, ITV News
Piers Morgan, TalkTV
Stuart Ramsay, Sky News

Foreign Correspondent of the Year
Molly Blackall, The i
Louise Callaghan, The Sunday Times
Alex Crawford, Sky News
Christina Lamb, The Sunday Times
Yogita Limaye, BBC News
Stuart Ramsay, Sky News
Bel Trew, The Independent

Innovation Award
Inside North Korea, BBC News
Isis jailbreak in Syria, VICE News
Lockdown Files, The Telegraph
The Trial of Lucy Letby, MailPlus
Transvaginal Ultrasound investigation, VICE News
Westminster Accounts, Sky News and Tortoise Media

Political Journalist of the Year
Pippa Crerar, The Guardian
Sam Coates, Sky News
Gabriel Pogrund, The Sunday Times
John Stevens, The Mirror
Steven Swinford, The Times
Harry Yorke, The Sunday Times

Freelance Journalist of the Year
Joshua Baker, BBC
Liz Cookman, The Economist 1843
Katie McQue, Washington Post, The Guardian, ICIJ
Tom Odula, BBC Africa Eye
Samira Shackle, The Guardian
Hannah Summers, The Guardian and The Observer

Podcast of the Year
Hunting Mr X, DC Thomson
Partygate: The Inside Story, ITV News
The Open Secret, Sky News
The Shamima Begum Story, BBC Long Form Audio
The Slow Newscast, Tortoise Media
The Trial of Lucy Letby, MailPlus

Campaign of the Year – National
Act Now on Asbestos, The Sunday Times
Baby, Bank on Us, The Sun
Clean It Up, The Times
End this injustice, Daily Express
Pre-payment metres, The i
School Hunger, Evening Standard, The Independent

Campaign of the Year – Regional
Awaab’s Law, Manchester Evening News
Knife Crime Taskforce, The Northern Echo
No Hungry Kids This Summer, Newsquest Media Group
Our Communities Together – A cost of living crisis appeal, South Wales Argus & others
Save Bolton Hospice, The Bolton News
The Save Withnell Health Centre, Lancashire Telegraph

Photo Journalist of the Year
Facundo Arrizabalaga, MyLondon
Charlie Bibby, Financial Times
Mike Egerton, PA Media
Kirsten Elder, Belfast Telegraph
Gareth Fuller, PA Media
Alessio Mamo, The Guardian
Simon Townsley, Telegraph Media Group

National News Media Organisation of the Year
Daily Mail
Financial Times
PA Media
The Guardian
The Telegraph
Times Media

Regional News Media Organisation of the Year
Belfast Telegraph
Jersey Evening Post
Liverpool Echo
Sunday Life
The Detail

International News Media Organisation of the Year
Africa Uncensored
Bloomberg News
CNN Africa
Investigate Europe