I look forward to hearing the stories of our winners tonight, of the stories broken, the investigations worked on through endless late nights via false starts and refusals to comment.
With what I already know about the dedication and resilience, and sheer hard work that has brought you all here this evening, how could I not think that the industry is headed towards a glorious future.
I am optimistic because of how you have embraced and mastered technology in your storytelling.
The reality is that more than at any other moment in our history accurate, impartial and innovative journalists have the best possible tools available to them to report and analyse the news and then bring that news to a broad and engaged audience across numerous channels.
My generation tends to fear this opportunity or to misunderstand it.
We have all of the tools that we need.
And yet being clear-eyed means being able to see the problems in our industry and the frustratingly sub-glacial pace of change in addressing those problems.
Our newsrooms do not reflect the society on which they report.
Our newsrooms tend to be too white, too middle class, and just too similar.
I can assure you that this is not me trying to sound woke.
It is a problem that fundamentally affects the very nature of reporting.
It is hard to believe that the Brexit vote was six years ago.
But the passing of time has only served to underline what a seismic moment it was for the country.
Swathes of our current public debate still stem from the repercussions of that moment.
And at that time, British journalism underperformed.
Because our newsrooms were shocked.
They were not populated, as they may have been in earlier times, by people from all walks of life.
Even one generation earlier, newsrooms would have had more working-class journalists.
But by and large they would have been white.
Successful newsrooms need to understand, represent and reflect their audiences and what those audiences are thinking.
Otherwise, when it matters, they fail.
The NCTJ’s Diversity In Journalism report suggests the industry is crawling along in the right direction about as fast as a tectonic plate.
But still 90 per cent of editors are white.
90 per cent of journalists have a degree or equivalent.
It is clear that so much more needs to be done.
I hope that you all, as the future of the industry, will make it a personal mission, no matter where you work, to do all that you can to champion social mobility.
I am optimistic.
It is hard not to be when I see how many of you in the room tonight buck the stereotype that I have described.
The golden age of journalism is ahead of us.
And I wish you all the very best of luck as you take us there.