Sky News special correspondent Alex Crawford wins Journalist of the Year – Broadcast at the Society of Editors’ Media Freedom awards

Thursday 10 November 2022

Sky News, other broadcasters and PA receive a special award for the Cameras in Court campaign

Sky News special correspondent Alex Crawford scooped the Broadcast Journalist of the year award at last night’s inaugural Society of Editors’ Media Freedom awards. 

The accolade is the reward for Crawford’s outstanding reporting in 2022 where she witnessed the suffering of those affected and marginalised by the Taliban in Afghanistan. She travelled to the Badghis region – the country’s poorest province – and reported on families forced to sell their kidneys to make money. While parents told her they were willing to sell their daughters into marriage at just five years old because poverty and desperation had robbed them of the means to feed and raise them. 

Not afraid to challenge those in positions of power, Crawford negotiated access to the Taliban’s highest officials allowing her to challenge them on recent human rights violations directly, giving a priceless mindset into Afghanistan’s new rulers.

Crawford and her crew spent weeks in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv during the first weeks of the Russian invasion and conducted the first UK TV broadcast interview of President Zelensky. The team have returned many times since and reported from several frontlines including Chernihiv, Lysychansk, Severodonetsk and Irpin.

The award is testimony to Crawford’s 30-year, fearless career during which she has been arrested, detained, abducted, interrogated and faced live bullets, tear-gas, IEDs, and mortar shells. Wherever she is in the world, her eyewitness reports underscore the power of world class journalism to drive change; by shining a light in the world’s darkest corners her reporting radiates and awakens our common humanity. What happens on one side of the world has never had more impact on audiences here at home.

Crawford was also highly commended in the Foreign Correspondent of The Year category. 

Cameras in Courts

Sky News were part of a group including PA, BBC and ITN to receive a special award for their Cameras in Courts campaign. The Bob Satchwell Award for Freedom of Speechcreated to honour an exceptional organisation or individual who continuously champions the public’s right to know, was accepted on stage by representatives from the broadcasters involved in the campaign including Sky News’ Deputy Head of News gathering Sarah Whitehead and Head of Operations George Davies. 

The award follows a decade-long campaign led by Head of Sky News John Ryley and ITN’s John Battle to allow cameras to film sentencing remarks with the aim of letting audiences hear judges explain the reasons behind the sentences they are delivering.

In July this year, Judge Sarah Munro QC made legal history as she delivered the first broadcast sentencing remarks in a Crown Court. The filming in the Old Bailey’s court 2 was the first time cameras had been allowed into the criminal court in England and Wales. 

These significant reforms, which empower the public with greater transparency of the workings of the legal system, would not have been possible without hard work and collaboration across the industry.

About Sky News

Sky News is a world-class news service, with a spirit of innovation that keeps it ahead of its rivals and a spirit of independence that allows it to challenge the status quo. It is one of the most trusted places for news, made by people who dare to challenge and made for people who want clarity in an uncertain world. It has earned a reputation for being first with breaking news.

Sky News topped Ofcom’s 2021 News Consumption Survey for being high quality, accurate and having a depth of analysis and content not available elsewhere.

The channel has won six Baftas and more than 40 Royal Television Society Awards for its journalism. Last year, Sky News won the 2021 BAFTA for Best News Coverage and a 2021 International Emmy for News. Sky News was the winner of the 2022 Royal Television Award for News Channel of the Year – a record 16th win in the category, fifth in successive years.

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