Judges 2023

Judges: 2023

Afua Hirsch (Features)

Afua Hirsch is an award-winning writer, journalist, former barrister and filmmaker, known for storytelling on culture, identity and social justice. She presents flagship BBC documentary series Africa Rising, Enslaved, a 6-part series about the transatlantic slave trade with Samuel L Jackson, and podcasts, through the production company she founded Born in Me Productions.

Afua’s book Decolonising My Body blends memoir and narrative non-fiction to examine beauty, rituals and ancestry as an approach to radical justice. Her previous books include the bestselling Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging (2018) winner of the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Prize, Equal To Everything (2019), a bestselling book about the UK Supreme Court, Empire: Look Again (2021) published by Tate. Afua is a professor of Journalism at the University of Southern California, a long time journalist and contributor to publications including The Guardian Newspaper, The New York Times, American and British Vogue, where she is an associate editor, and has also practised law as a barrister.

Nicole Jacobs, Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales (Blog and Self Published) 

Nicole Jacobs was appointed in 2019 as the first Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales. The Commissioner’s powers came into force in 2021, and in September 2022, the Commissioner was reappointed for a further three years. Nicole has dedicated her career to supporting victims and survivors and has nearly 30 years’ experience as a frontline worker and in domestic abuse policy and intervention.

Alice Gould, Head of Complaints at Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) (News)

Alice joined IPSO as a Complaints Officer in 2019 and took on the joint role of Head of Complaints in 2023. Prior to joining IPSO, Alice has had an international career, working at non-governmental organisations in the US and the Republic of Georgia to promote human rights, as well as spending a year teaching English in China.

She holds a master’s degree in Human Rights from the Global Campus of Human Rights and an undergraduate degree in Law with European Law from the University of Nottingham.

In her four years at IPSO, Alice has personally investigated more than 250 complaints. Her proudest achievement during her time with the regulator has been supporting people at difficult times through the use of privacy notices, which protect vulnerable individuals against press intrusion during moments of crisis.

Lexie Kirkconnell-Kawana, Chief Executive Officer at IMPRESS (Opinion and Comment)

Lexieis a New Zealand qualified barrister and solicitor who has worked in all forms of media regulation. She has worked at the Advertising Standards Authority in the investigations team and at the New Zealand Office of Film and Literature Classification, an independent state media regulator, in a semi-judicial capacity, and where she was also the research lead on the ‘young New Zealanders viewing sexual violence’ project. She is currently CEO at IMPRESS: the Royal Charter approved self-regulatory body for the press in the UK, where she manages all aspects of the regulatory services IMPRESS provides to its publisher members and the public. The IMPRESS Standards Code addresses all aspects of news-gathering and publishing, including accuracy, non-discrimination and reporting on justice.

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