The Criminal Justice Alliance (CJA) Annual Media Awards 2019 – generously supported by the Hadley Trust – are now open. This year we have refreshed our criteria and nominations process, as well as adding an exciting new Digital Media Champion category.

In refreshing our criteria, we have drawn on the expertise of journalists, academics and people with lived experience of the criminal justice system to define what good criminal justice media looks like. We look forward to announcing the winners at our annual Awards Ceremony in Central London on Friday 29 November.



AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING JOURNALISM – An award will be given to a print or broadcast journalist (or journalists) who has made a notable contribution to a better understanding of criminal justice in the last 12 months.

AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING DIGITAL MEDIA CHAMPION – An award will be given to an individual who has 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.


How to enter / nominate:

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

In order to nominate yourself or another individual, you need to provide:

  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 (where possible).
  2. A copy of, or link to, a substantive individual piece or body of work which explores an issue/s in some detail. (Maximum of 3 related items can be submitted).
  3. A citation (of up to 500 words) explaining how your work / the work of the nominated individual meets the CJA Media Award criteria.

You must send all the information above by email to by Friday 27 September 2019.


Judging Panel CJA Media Awards 2019:

Danny Shaw (BBC Home Affairs Correspondent)

Raphael Rowe (Investigative Reporter – Panorama, Netflix, The One Show)

Penelope Gibbs (Transform Justice, Author of ‘Reframing Justice’)

Jodie Jackson, (Author of ‘You are what you read’, Constructive Journalism Project)

Nadine Smith (CJA trustee, young adult)



  1. Relevant content
  • The focus must be on criminal justice such as: crime prevention, diversion, policing, courts, victim services, restorative justice, prisons and probation.
  • It must show what works, not just what is broken.
  • Demonstrates originality and relevance, including ‘hidden’ voices and issues.
  1. Challenges perceptions
  • Challenges myths and avoids stereotypes, clichés, negative terminology and sensationalism.
  • Encourages dialogue and discussion.
  1. 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.
  1. Safe and sensitive
  • Portrays individuals’ experiences authentically, humanely and sensitively.
  • Sets individuals’ experiences within a wider social policy context.
  1. 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.



Why are the awards important?

The CJA and our members want to see a fairer and more effective criminal justice system. A key element to achieving this goal is through influential communication with the public, the sector, policymakers and those affected.

The Frameworks Institute (2016)[1] found that one of the main obstacles to progressive criminal justice reform is insufficient political will to enact necessary and effective changes. They argued that ‘the public’s lack of support and demand for new solutions reflects deeply rooted cultural attitudes and beliefs about crime, human behaviour, society and the criminal justice system. [..] This type of thinking leads to narrow-minded views about how to reduce crime and improve the criminal justice system – views that evidence shows are ineffective and even counterproductive in improving public safety.’ 

It is also vital that the sector and policy makers are better informed about the criminal justice system, its place in the wider social policy context, and the latest good practice and innovation. There is also a growing body of evidence to support the benefits of ‘constructive’ journalism[2] which is critical, but solution-focused and fosters conversation, hope and action.



If you have any other enquiries about the CJA Awards 2019 or about how to enter please email or call us on 0203 176 1153.


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.