The CJA and its members want to see a fairer and more effective criminal justice system. A vital way to achieving this goal is through influential and solution-focused communication with the public, the sector, policymakers and those affected.  

The CJA Media Awards, generously supported by the Hadley Trust, celebrate journalism and digital media that has reported on criminal justice sensitively and constructively, and that has contributed to a better understanding of criminal justice in society.  

The categories for the CJA Media Awards 2020 are: 

  • Outstanding Journalism – An award will be given to a print or broadcast journalist (or journalists) who has met the criteria and made a notable contribution to a better understanding of criminal justice in the last 12 months. 
  • Outstanding Digital Media Champion – An award will be given to an individual or team that has met the criteria and made a notable contribution to a better understanding of criminal justice in the last 12 months through an online-only format including blogs, vlogs, podcasts and online-only articles.  
  • Outstanding Documentary – An award will be given to an individual or team that has met the criteria and made a notable contribution to a better understanding of criminal justice in the last 12 months with a documentary.  

The judges of the CJA Media Awards 2020 are:

  • Anushka Asthana. Guardian Editor-at-large and host of the Today in Focus podcast.
  • Emmanuel Onapa. Freelance journalist, Campaigns Manager at Hackney Account and youth leader at Hackney CVS. 
  • Philippa Budgen. Former BBC journalist, media consultant, Scholarship Manager at the Longford Trust and Trustee at Transform Justice.
  • Chris Frost. Former newspaper editor and Chair of the National Union of Journalists’ Ethics Council.

The awards ceremony will take place on 26 November 2020, from 7pm to 9pm, via Zoom. It will be presented by Junior Smart, founder of the St Giles Trust SOS Project.

How to enter / nominate 

Nominations may be made individuals themselves or by CJA members. The work must have originated from England or Wales.  

Please send us your submission in a Word Document, answering and providing the following: 

1) Your full name, role, organisation and email address. If you’re nominating someone else, please also provide their full name, role, organisation and email address. 

2) A copy of, or link to, a substantive individual piece or body of work which explores a criminal justice issue/s. (Maximum of 3 related items can be submitted).  

3) How has your work / the work of the nominated individual met the CJA Media Award criteria? (up to 500 words) 

Media Awards criteria

1. Relevant content

  • The focus must be on criminal justice such as: crime prevention, diversion, policing, courts, victim services, restorative justice, prisons and / or probation.  
  • It must show what works, not just what is broken.  
  • Demonstrates originality and relevance, including ‘hidden’ voices and issues.  

2. Challenges perceptions  

  • Challenges myths and avoids stereotypes, clichés, negative terminology and sensationalism.  
  • Encourages dialogue and discussion.  

3. Well-crafted and responsibly sourced  

  • Must be well researched, accurate and based on evidence with credible sources.  
  • Engaging, persuasive and appropriate for the audience for which it was intended.  

 4. Safe and sensitive 

  • Portrays individuals’ experiences authentically, humanely and sensitively.  
  • Sets individuals’ experiences within a wider social policy context. 

 5. Reach and impact  

  • Influences and inspires people to think differently, care about the issue and take positive action. 
  • Consideration will be given to the audience reached in terms of number and / or a demographic likely to be less well informed about criminal justice and/or those who are able to make positive change in the system and/or those who are affected by the criminal justice system. 


We’ve now extended the deadline. You must send all the information above by email to by midday (12pm) on Tuesday 20 October 2020. 


If you have any other enquiries about the CJA Awards 2020 or about how to enter please call Jamie Morrell, Communications and Engagement Officer, on 07902 114 967, or email

Privacy Notice: All personal information obtained from nominations will be held securely and used solely for the purpose of contacting you about the Awards. Your information will not be shared with outside parties.