Top student journalism award for Kafui

  • Date

    Wed 24 Mar 21

Portrait of Kafui Okpattah, wearing headphones and with a radio microphone in the foreground

Kafui Okpattah, a final-year BA Multimedia Journalism student has won the Student Top Scoop award at the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NTCJ) Awards for Excellence 2020.


The award recognises Kafui for his BBC story Jonty Bravery: Tate attacker told care workers of plan to kill a year earlier, about the man who threw a six-year-old boy from the tenth floor of Tate Modern.

Claims that the warning went unheeded were denied by the commercial care provider concerned and went on to be the subject of a serious case review with wide coverage by the BBC and other news outlets.

The awards were announced at an online ceremony presented from Sky News HQ in London.

Speaking about Kafui’s story, the judges said it was a “brave piece of journalism, which not only challenged and held those in authority to account but also gave a very human aspect to a national story". It was they said, “a brilliant piece of journalism and outstanding from someone just starting out.”

Kafui said: “I’m deeply honoured to win such a prestigious award in a category very close to my heart. It’s a testament to the brilliant journalism teaching that goes on at Essex”.

Runner up in the Student Podcast category was Lewis Adams, who graduated from the Essex BA course last year. Lewis was highly commended for his podcast on anti-Semitism among football supporters.

Last month, Jacob Ottaway, who graduated in 2020, won the NCTJ’s News Broadcast Award.

Tim Fenton, Course Director, said: “I’m very pleased for Kafui. He has many of the makings of a great journalist. And the podcast produced by Lewis was fantastic. He, too, is going on to tremendous things. But this is a boost for all our students and everyone associated with the course. It shows we’re going in the right direction. We should all be very confident about the future.”