Chloé Meley reveals the 19 nominees on the longlist for the 2021 XCity Award for outstanding journalism.


An investigation into global money laundering; the creation of Ghana’s first fact-checking organisation; and coverage of the pandemic in China are some of the achievements of this year’s XCity Award nominees. 

Ten years ago, the award was created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of XCity magazine as well as City journalism alumni’s outstanding contribution to journalism. The winner, selected by XCity magazine’s publishers and a panel of journalism lecturers, will receive a £500 prize. 

XCityPlus will publish short profiles of the nominees selected for the shortlist in the days before revealing the winner. In no particular order, here are the 19 nominees on the longlist:


Tom Warren – Investigative reporter, Buzzfeed (MA Investigative Journalism, 2013)

Nominated for: His role in the September 2020 FinCen Files investigation, which revealed the role of global banks in industrial-scale money laundering.


Dina Aboughazala – Founder, Egab (MA Interactive Journalism, 2019)

Nominated for: Founding Egab, a startup that helps local journalists across the Middle East and Africa produce and sell their journalism from their hometowns to regional and international news outlets. 


Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff. Image: Shope Delano

Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff – Editor-in-chief, gal-dem (MA Newspaper Journalism, 2016)

Nominated for: Her work as editor of gal-dem magazine, which centred women and non-binary people of colour in its coverage of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. 


Megan Lucero – Director, Bureau Local (MA International Journalism, 2011)

Nominated for: Her work as director of the Bureau Local, part of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an investigative network of over 800 collaborators in 100 areas across the UK who have worked on stories ranging from homelessness to health inequalities.


Rabiu Alhassan – Managing editor, GhanaFact (MA Erasmus Mundus, 2019)

Nominated for: His work to establish Ghana’s first dedicated fact-checking organisation, which played a crucial role in the coverage of the country’s elections last year. 


Stefan Boscia – Political correspondent, City A.M. (MA International Journalism, 2019)

Nominated for: His wide-ranging coverage of global politics for City A.M., from the pandemic to Biden’s rise to the American presidency.


Azana Francis – Producer, BBC Newsnight (MA Broadcast Journalism, 2018)

Nominated for: Her work for the BBC, through which she tries to engage young and diverse audiences. 


Holly Keogh – Producer, talkRADIO (MA Broadcast Journalism, 2020)

Nominated for: Her work for talkRADIO as well as her efforts to improve representation and opportunities in radio for people with disabilities.


Photograph of LGBT correspondent Ben Hunte in white t-shirt, smiling
Image: Ben Hunte

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

Nominated for: His work as the BBC’s first LGBT correspondent and his new role as the BBC’s West Africa correspondent. 


Martin Pollard – Multimedia journalist, Reuters (MA Television Journalism, 2016)

Nominated for: His coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic in China, which has earned him a Thomson Reuters Award for “heroic efforts to keep the world informed”. 

Nicole Young – Producer, CBS (MA International Journalism, 2002)

Nominated for: Her work as producer of the CBS show 60 Minutes, for which she has won several Emmys.


John Burn-Murdoch – Data journalist, Financial Times (MA Interactive Journalism, 2012)

Nominated for: His work with the FT Visual & Data Journalism team to make COVID-19 data accessible and comprehensible to readers, allowing them to make informed decisions based on facts and figures. 


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

Nominated for: His role as a respected authority on all matters political in the industry, and his work as presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and What the Papers Say.


Alexandra Heal. Image: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Alexandra Heal – Reporter, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (MA Investigative Journalism, 2018)

Nominated for: Her work for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, for which she won Private Eye’s Paul Foot Award in 2020. 


Annabel Nugent – Culture reporter, The Independent (MA Magazine Journalism, 2020)

Nominated for: Winning the PPA Student of the Year award in 2020.


Rebecca Ley – Freelance writer and author (PGDip Periodical Journalism, 2003)

Nominated for: Her freelance work for outlets including The Times and The Guardian, as well as for her debut novel published in 2020. 


Chris Mason – Political correspondent, BBC (MA Broadcast Journalism, 2002)

Nominated for: His multimedia political coverage for the BBC and his role as a presenter of Any Questions on Radio 4. 


Amal Warsame – Chief researcher, Women in Journalism (MA Financial Journalism, 2020) 

Nominated for: Her participation in Women in Journalism’s ground-breaking research into diversity in journalism. 


Francesco Zaffarano – Editor-in-chief, Will Media (MA Interactive Journalism, 2019)

Nominated for: His work for Will Media, an Italian multimedia project that explores political, economic, and social changes. 


Mary Fitzgerald – Editor-in-chief, (MA Magazine Journalism, 2007)

Nominated for: Continuously holding the government to account.

Past winners include Sophia Smith Galer, visual journalist at the BBC, Sophie Barnes, investigations reporter at The Daily Telegraph, and Oliver Shah, business editor at The Sunday Times. Last year’s winner was Colm Fulton (MA Financial Journalism, 2019), a Stockholm-based Reuters correspondent, for his interview with environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who had refused to speak to any of his colleagues before he approached her. 

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