February 24, 2021



XCity Award longlist announced

Illustration of one hand holding yellow trophy, other hand holding XCity certificate

Image: Rachel V Wall

From undercover reporters to BBC correspondents, 17 City alumni make up this year’s XCity Award longlist for outstanding contribution to journalism in the past year


Boasting a £500 prize, the award was introduced in 2011 to mark the 25th anniversary of XCity magazine and celebrate the professional achievements of City journalism alumni. The winner will be selected by the magazine’s publishers, as well as a panel of journalism lecturers. Past winners include Sophie Barnes, investigations reporter at The Daily Telegraph, Oliver Shah, business editor at The Sunday Times, and James Ball, global editor at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

This year’s nominees have been selected for a variety of reasons: from producing Brexit podcasts and penetrating secret terrorist circles in Britain to delivering high-quality LGBT coverage and successfully establishing Tortoise Media. Last year’s winner was Sophia Smith Galer (Broadcast Journalism, 2017), visual journalist at the BBC, for her ambitious and distinctive digital content on religion. 

XCityPlus will publish the details of the five journalists chosen for the XCity Award shortlist in the coming days before revealing the winner. In no particular order, here is the nominees longlist:


Katy Balls – Deputy political editor, The Spectator (MA Magazine Journalism, 2011) 

Nominated for: Her coverage on Brexit in various publications such as The Guardian and The Spectator


Jonathan Norman –  Cricket editor, talkSPORT (BA Broadcast Journalism, 2002)

Nominated for: Developing a new approach to cricket through his sports commentary, as well as presenting Cricket Week on talkSPORT 2


Joe Pike – Political correspondent, Sky News (MA Broadcast Journalism, 2011)

Nominated for: His election coverage while working as a reporter for ITV, which led to one of the most memorable moments of last year’s election when Boris Johnson took his phone to look at a picture of a child with pneumonia. 


Adam Fleming – Brussels correspondent, BBC (MA Broadcast Journalism, 2002)

Nominated for: His fresh approach on issues relating to Brexit through co-presenting the weekly Newscast (formerly Brexitcast) podcast. 


Elisângela Mendonça – Reporter, Private Equity News (MA International Journalism, 2019) 

Nominated for: Her diversified financial coverage and production of articles on a wide range of issues, from private equity funds to the lack of gender diversity in the private equity field.


Ben Hunte – LGBT correspondent, BBC (MA Broadcast Journalism, 2017) 

Nominated for: Becoming the BBC’s first LGBT correspondent as well as his reporting on LGBT affairs. His coverage includes presenting his LGBT-themed programme, “The Ben Hunte Interviews”, which consist of conversations with LGBTQ heroes. 


Ben Whitelaw – Freelance journalist formerly at The Times (MA Newspaper Journalism, 2011) 

Nominated for: His work as Engagement Lead at European Journalism Centre, being responsible for connecting journalists with new people and skills, and aiding in creating an environment where press freedom and diversity rule. 


Sophie Raworth – Senior newsreader, BBC (MA Broadcast Journalism, 1992) 

Nominated for: Her role as a news presenter at BBC News at Six and BBC News at Ten.


Kamal Ahmed – Editorial director, BBC News (MA Newspaper Journalism, 1991)

Nominated for: Becoming the editorial director of BBC News and shaping the media organisation’s future editorial strategies. 


George Parker – Political editor, Financial Times (MA Newspaper Journalism, 1988) 

Nominated for: His outstanding political coverage of a wide range of topics, from Brexit explainers to global affairs. He has been reporting on British politics at Westminster for the past 30 years. 


Dixi Stewart – Executive lead, BBC (BA Broadcast Journalism, 1991) 

Nominated for: Her initiatives to improve the BBC’s working culture and increase its diversity.


Helena Lee – Features director, Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country (MA Magazine Journalism, 2011) 

Nominated for: Producing a constant flow of engaging and informative culture news and features which expanded Harper’s Bazaar’s editorial horizons. 


James Harding – Editor, Tortoise Media (Newspaper Journalism, 1994)

Nominated for: Building up a modern newsroom by establishing Tortoise Media, which gained 20,000 members within the first six months of its launch. 


Joanna Abeyie – CEO, Inclusive Executive Search Business & EDI Consultancy (MA Magazine, 2009)

Nominated for: Her work to help organisations diversify personnel and leadership across media and creative industries. She has been awarded an MBE for her services to make the media landscape more inclusive in terms of gender and race. 


Colm Fulton – Correspondent, Reuters (MA Financial Journalism, 2019)

Nominated for: His interview with Greta Thunberg, which discussed how the environmental activist spent her birthday protesting outside the Swedish parliament. He also highlighted her achievements. 


Gesbeen Mohammad – Investigitave reporter (MA Investigative Journalism, 2015)

Nominated for: Her groundbreaking investigative reporting and production of television programmes on terror organisations.


Louis Wise  – Freelance feature/comment writer (MA Magazine, 2007)

Nominated for: His freelance work, with highlights being his contributions to ES Magazine‘s LGBT issue. Wise has previously worked as an associate culture editor for The Sunday Times


Want more? Check out some of XCityPlus’s other latest content here.