14 May 2021

MHP Mischief 30 To Watch: Young Journalist Awards 2021

This is the tenth year that we have organised the 30 To Watch awards, and we’re delighted that the event has grown in size and stature with every passing year.


A year like no other

Keith Gladdis, Senior Director, Media

For young journalists wanting to make their way in the news industry the stakes have never been higher.

A global pandemic means there is an insatiable appetite for high quality, in depth news.

But holding the government to account, testing the economic impact of Covid-19 or challenging the misinformation of the anti-vaxxers is difficult when reporting in isolation under lockdown.

Elsewhere there has been a conveyor belt of polarizing stories for them to contend with ranging from Trump, Black Lives Matter, Brexit and of course, Harry and Meghan.

All this under the intense glare of social media where a young reporter can soon become the subject of the story, as our brilliant 2020 Gold winner Nadine White experienced when she asked a simple question of a government minister.

Meanwhile the traditional business model for the industry is falling apart with a collapse in advertising revenue both in print and online leading to news titles closing and swathes of job losses.

The fact that this year’s entrants for the MHP + Mischief 30 To Watch: Young Journalist Awards have so successfully negotiated the difficulties of lockdown and carried on working to such a high standard is a testament to their professionalism and hard work.

This is the tenth year of the 30 To Watch awards and their growing stature in the media industry is reflected in the record number of entries.

Four hundred young journalists from titles ranging from The Wall Street Journal to PopSugar submitted entries of an extraordinarily high standard across the board. This made the task of the judging panel, chaired by head of the Cardiff School of Journalism Richard Sambrook, particularly tough.

One trait stood out in the journalism of all our winners, bravery.

The bravery to hold powerful people to account, to challenge stereotypes, to pursue unfashionable stories and to speak for those without a voice.

We saw powerful journalism on issues ranging from sexual abuse, police corruption, the migrant crisis, bereavement in the young and the care of the elderly.

This is journalism with a real-world impact, many of these stories have led to changes in our society.

The extraordinary lengths young journalists will go to in the pursuit of the truth, even with the restrictions of the pandemic is a clear indication of the talent on display.

Now, as the UK emerges from lockdown we need to understand the impact working in the pandemic has had on our young journalists.

The buzz of the newsroom has been lost to the isolation of working alone. Meeting people in person has been lost to endless Zoom calls or direct messaging on social media.

ENGINE MHP + Mischief 2021 30 To Watch


This year’s 30 To Watch


  • GOLD: Sanya Burgess, Sky News
  • Alexandra Heal, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
  • Inzamam Rashid, Sky News
  • Layla Wright, Freelance
  • Susie Coen, Daily Mail


  • GOLD: Harry Yorke, The Telegraph
  • Aubrey Allegretti, The Guardian
  • Eleni Courea, The Times



  • GOLD: Anna Gross, Financial Times
  • Matty Edwards, The Bristol Cable
  • Samuel Lovett, The Independent

City & Business

  • GOLD: David Hodari, The Wall Street Journal
  • Lucy White, Daily Mail
  • Nicholas Megaw, Financial Times

Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle

  • GOLD: Elaine Chong, BBC
  • Dan Hastings, Freelance
  • Eleanor Halls, The Telegraph
  • Georgia Murray, Refinery 29
  • Navi Ahluwalia, PopSugar UK

International Affairs

  • GOLD: James Walker, France TV
  • Amanda Coakley, Freelance
  • Manisha Ganguly, BBC

Financial & Consumer Affairs

  • GOLD: Elizabeth Howcroft, Reuters
  • Helen Cahill, Mail on Sunday


  • GOLD: Leonie Cater, Politico
  • Sebastian Klovig Skelton, Computer Weekly

Best Campaign or Investigation

  • Miles Dilworth, Daily Mail

Best Social Media or Content Activation

  • Joice Etutu, BBC

The Award for Combating Polarisation

  • Zesha Saleem, Freelance

Best Photographer

  • Hugh Kinsella Cunningham, Freelance

The Judges

MHP + Mischief’s 30 To Watch Awards are judged by leading journalists from across the industry – many of whom are former #30ToWatch winners.

Our 2021 judging panel is chaired by Richard Sambrook, Former Director of News at the BBC and now Professor of Journalism at Cardiff University School of Journalism, and includes:

  • Kate McCann – Political Correspondent – Sky News
  • Oliver Shah – Business Editor – The Sunday Times
  • Anne Alexander – Senior Political Producer – Good Morning Britain
  • Pandora Sykes – Writer, Journalist and Broadcaster
  • Kat Lay – Health Editor – The Times
  • Robert Guest – Foreign Editor – The Economist
  • Harry Cole – Political Editor – The Sun
  • John Stevens – Deputy Political Editor – Daily Mail
  • Isabella Silvers – Integrated Associate Editor – Hearst
  • Oliver Smith – Managing Editor – AltFi
  • Peter Campbell – Global Motor Industry Correspondent – Financial Times
  • Geraldine McKelvie – Investigations Editor – The Mirror
  • Polly Curtis – Managing Director – PA Media
  • Morgan Meaker – Technology Reporter – The Telegraph

If you have any questions about MHP + Mischief’s 30 To Watch: Young Journalist Awards 2021 please email [email protected].

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