Award category: Journalist

This award recognises an individual journalist who has gone above and beyond with their reporting. This could be online, in print or broadcast. They could have championed disability issues, or shown strong commitment to disability equality through a sustained body of work.

Winner

Nominees in this award category

Emily Braeger

Emily smiles for the camera. She wears a leopard print top with ruffles at the shoulder.

Emily Braeger

Emily Braeger’s journey from budding journalist to catalyst for change began during her coverage of the cost of living crisis.

Her interview with a mother who could only feed her daughter yoghurt due to the cost of running life-saving medical equipment ignited an impactful advocacy platform. The End the Disability Bills Crisis campaign swiftly won support from charities, MPs and the consumer affairs expert Martin Lewis. With her dedication to the campaign, Emily has become a resolute, sensitive advocate for disabled people.

Gem O’Reilly

Gem smiles for the camera. She wears red lipstick and a white top.

Gem O’Reilly

Gem is a digital-first reporter for BBC News, with lived experience of disability. She has directed award-nominated documentaries like Britain’s Guide Dog Shortage. And reported on her own non-apparent BBC disability series.

A journalist with a heart condition and scoliosis, Gem has used her knowledge to help others. Her heart condition story resulted in hundreds of families getting their children checked. Gem works with BBC Ability to encourage accessible strategy. She is a Forbes 30 Under 30 delegate.

Isabella McRae

Isabella smiles at the camera. She wears a pale pink turtleneck jumper.

Isabella McRae

Isabella McRae is a reporter for The Big Issue. She has spent months investigating the horrors of the disability benefits system. And she has held the government to account.

She tracked down benefits assessors who revealed the system is target-driven and designed to punish. Hundreds of people wrote to The Big Issue to share their experiences in response. Isabella has centred their voices in her stories. She has also documented the harrowing impact of the cost of living crisis on disabled people. 

Lottie Jackson

Lottie smiles for the camera in a black and white photo. She wears a black top.

Lottie Jackson

In all her writing Lottie Jackson ensures disabled people are seen and understood. Notably in the fashion world. In national publications including the Guardian and Elle she argues that this exclusionary industry must cater for disabled people

In 2023 she contributed to British Vogue’s disability issue, interviewing Ellie Goldstein, the first Vogue cover star with Down’s Syndrome. She also published an acclaimed book. See Me Rolling: On Disability, Equality and Ten-Point Turns combines memoir with an investigation of the stigma surrounding disability.

Neil Barbour

Neil smiles for the camera. He wears black-rimmed glasses and a dark green jumper.

Neil Barbour

In 2023 Neil Barbour produced a full programme highlighting failures in the SEND system – a first for ITV News. This programme and Neil’s SEND coverage for ITV News Anglia shows how disabled people are denied basic rights.

Neil commissioned exclusive polling and made Freedom of Information requests that revealed thousands of SEND children are unable to get school places. He seeks creative ways to enable disabled children to tell their stories. And when working with disabled journalists, facilitates access to newsroom technology.

Judges of this award category