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 (new) – 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.  


Outstanding Journalism

  • Ria Chatterjee, ITV News
  • Symeon Brown, Channel 4
  • Danny Shaw, formerly at the BBC
  • The Secret Barrister series, produced by Sara Moralioglu for Channel 4
  • Jamie Grierson, The Guardian

Outstanding Digital Media Champion

  • Prison Bag
  • Blessing at the Bar
  • More Than My Past – The Forward Trust
  • Prison Health Animation – UCL’s Collaborative Centre for Inclusion Health and Tjoff Koong Studios
  • The Secret Life of Prisons and Future Prison podcasts – Prison Radio Association

Outstanding Documentary

  • Crime: Are we tough enough? – BBC
  • How to Stay Out of Jail – Spring Films and Channel 4
  • The Choir, Aylesbury Prison – Twenty Twenty Productions and BBC Two
  • The Punch – Just Radio and BBC Radio 4
  • Unchained – Prison Radio Association and BBC Radio 4


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.

Awards ceremony

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.

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. 


If you have any other enquiries about the CJA Awards 2020, 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.