The Private Eye Paul Foot Award 2021 for Investigative and Campaigning Journalism is now open for submissions


Entries are now open for The Private Eye Paul Foot Award for Investigative and Campaigning Journalism.  Set up in memory of revered journalist Paul Foot, who died in 2004, the Award honours the UK’s most brilliant, talented and determined journalists working in the fields of investigative and campaigning journalism today.


Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, and for the first time in the Award’s history, all submissions this year must be made online to awards@private-eye.co.uk. Postal submissions will no longer be accepted, and it is hoped this new streamlined process will make it easier for more journalists to enter.

Submissions will be accepted for material published in a newspaper, magazine or website between 1st April 2020 and 31st March 2021. The deadline for entries is Thursday 1st April 2021, 1.00pm. No broadcast material is eligible. Individual journalists, teams of journalists or entire publications may enter, and entries will be considered for anything from a single piece to entire campaigns.

The judging panel is comprised of Padraig Reidy (Chair), Francis Wheen, Simon Jenkins, Helen Lewis, Alexandra Heal, Janine Gibson, Julia Langdon, Kim Sengupta, Amol Rajan and Matt Foot.

Padraig Reidy, Chair of Judges, The Private Eye Paul Foot Award, said: “Reading the many entries for the Paul Foot Award each year is a reminder of how vital journalism is, in every sense. It’s a real privilege to read so many brilliant investigations and campaigns – and I’m sure the past 12 months haven’t left many reporters lacking in material.”



  • Thursday 1st April 1.00pm: Deadline for entries. Applications must be submitted ONLINE ONLY. NO ENTRIES BY POST WILL BE ACCEPTED. Early applications are encouraged.  Please see entry criteria below.
  • Wednesday 9th June: Details of the short-listed entries will be published at private-eye.co.uk
  • Tuesday 15th June: The winning entry for 2021 will be revealed at an awards announcement event hosted by Ian Hislop.

The 2020 award was won by Alexandra Heal, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism/Various Outlets, for her Nowhere To Turn campaign. Her shocking investigation revealed how police forces close ranks when a domestic abuse complaint is made against one of their officers, leaving vulnerable women with no recourse to justice and even more fearful than before. Heal’s reporting has led to a “super complaint” being lodged with the Police Inspectorate detailing alleged sexist mishandling of domestic abuse cases perpetrated by officers at 30 out of 43 forces in England and Wales.

Paul Foot, an investigative journalist, editor and left-wing campaigner, worked variously for the Daily Record, the Daily Mirror, The Guardian and Private Eye. He was involved in many high-profile campaigns throughout his illustrious career, including the Birmingham Six, the Bridgewater Four and the John Poulson scandal. His accolades include the Journalist of the Year, the Campaigning Journalist of the Year, the George Orwell Prize for Journalism and in 2000 he was honoured as the Campaigning Journalist of the Decade.  Paul Foot died in 2004 at the age of 66.

For further information, including a downloadable application form, please go to: www.private-eye.co.uk


For further information, please contact Amelia Knight, Midas PR

Tel: 07771 791 210 / Email: amelia.knight@midaspr.co.uk.



  • Entry email subject headers should be marked as ‘THE PRIVATE EYE PAUL FOOT AWARD 2021’ and must be submitted by email only to: awards@private-eye.co.uk.
  • Entries to be received by 1pm on 1 April 2021. The closing date is final, and no extension can be offered. Submissions received after the closing date will not be eligible for entry.
  • Entries should contain all relevant material (including a covering letter, which should be no longer than two A4 pages, typed and providing an overview of the campaign). The entry form, which can be downloaded from http://www.private-eye.co.uk/paul-foot-award must be attached to the submission email.
  • Journalists are welcome to enter more than one campaign, but each campaign needs to be submitted using a separate entry form. Maximum of 2 entries per journalist
  • Copies of articles should be submitted in PDF and should be in the format the articles originally appeared (either in print or online). If your campaign featured regularly throughout the year, you are not required to submit every story published – we would suggest sending in copies of a selection of key coverage that highlights campaign milestones, and listing the other stories on an A4 document, with the date on which they were published.
  • The winning entry will be awarded £5,000 at an announcement in London on Tuesday 15th June 2021. Note for Collaborative Entries: The prize money is awarded per entry not per person.
  • The shortlist will be published on the Private Eye website and in the print edition in June 2021.
  • The judges’ decision is final.
  • Additional information on how to enter can be found at http://www.private-eye.co.uk/paul-foot-award