NCTJ Awards for Excellence

Celebrating Excellence in journalism

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.

Student/trainee awards

These award categories are open to NCTJ students, trainees and apprentices.

News journalism

This award goes to the student and trainee/apprentice journalist who demonstrates all-round qualities in newsgathering and reporting.

Sports journalism

This award will go to those who deliver more than a standard after-match analysis and ask revealing questions.

Top scoop

Judges will choose the single story (in any format) which, in their opinion, is the scoop of the year.


In choosing the winner, judges will be looking for a feature that gets to the heart of an issue and is well written or produced.

Podcast journalism

This category identifies the best student and trainee/apprentice journalism podcast. Entries can be submitted as a joint project.

Data journalism

New for 2021, this award recognises the skills in visualising data and reporting and developing stories from data sets and FOI requests.

Specialist awards

Our specialist award categories for training providers, employers and journalists are open for entries and nominations.

Student project of the year

This category is for the best student project submitted by accredited course providers or distance learners studying the Diploma in  Journalism.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

This award recognises the outstanding work of those who promote equality, diversity and inclusion in the media and training sector.

Community News Project award

Sponsored by Meta, this award seeks to recognise the exceptional work done by reporters recruited by the Community News Project.

Innovation of the year

In times of great change in the media industry, this award aims to encourage and recognise innovation in journalism education and training.

Chairman's award

The chairman’s award celebrates a nominated individual’s outstanding contribution to high standards of journalism training.

Apprentice of the year

This award will be presented to a nominated individual who was an NCTJ apprentice any time between September 2020 and August 2021.

Entry deadline 12 November