Trio of young talent snaffle 2018 top British sports journalism prizes

The future of sports journalism is in safe hands judging by the winners of the prestigious young photographer, writer and broadcast categories at the SJA 2018 British Sports Journalism awards.

Naomi Baker (photographer, Getty Images),  Jasper Taylor (broadcast, Sky Sports News) and  Daniel Matthews (writer, Daily Mail and Mail Online) are a formidable trio of talent.

The young writer category, the Ian Wooldridge award, has been a regular at the British Sports Journalism awards but this is the first time the SJA has added young photographer and broadcaster.

The winners and a guest have been invited to the Westminster Bridge Park Plaza on Monday February 25 to receive their awards at the gala occasion in partnership with Canon and European Professional Club Rugby. Entrants who did not quite make the final cut can buy tickets at our discounted members’ rate of £60 + VAT. 

Robin Sullivan of Exeter College, Oxford during the Oxford and Cambridge Golfing Society President’s Putter at Rye Golf Club (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Baker, who beat off 250 applications to win a year’s intern experience at Getty Images in 2017, impressed a room full of judges who made their choices ‘blind’. 

Jack Thomas of Getty Images was highly commended.

The judges said: “The standard in this category was exceptional and demonstrates the promise of new talent throughout the industry. The winner was a creative photographer with a great eye, who demonstrated good use of light, imagination and flair.  The photographs were a unique viewpoint on the sport captured.”

The judges acknowledged that many of the entrants did not have access to expensive equipment but they demonstrated a knowledge of the basics of photography to achieve some great pictures.  The entries did not always capture big events, but showed initiative at grassroots sports events.

Matthews’s submissions included two hard-hitting boxing articles, one a revealing and fascinating on-line interview with Tyson Fury’s father just before the heavyweight fought Deontay Wilder and the other tackling the sport’s doping problem in the run-up to an Anthony Joshua fight. His third was a Premier League match report.

 The Independent’s Luke Brown was highly commended.

The judges said: “Daniel showed an appreciation and understanding of the sport of boxing and was prepared to tackle controversial issues. He also showed his versatility by reporting on football. He deserves to win the Ian Wooldridge award, standing out in what was a very high-class field.”


Taylor started broadcasting for Sky Sports News at the age of 24 in 2018.  He has broken news on air, conducted interviews, updated viewers on live events and reported on stories. He has also utilised fan interaction on Twitter and introduced Google Trends as a digital news-gathering resource.

The judges said: “Our winner’s work was  confident and relaxed yet authoritative.  At ease with technology, he demonstrated flexibility and versatility in a demanding live rolling news environment.”

Michael McCann (freelance) was highly commended.


Young Sports Journalist of the Year (Ian Wooldridge award)
Daniel Matthews (Daily Mail and Mail Online)
Highly commended: Luke Brown (Independent

Young Sports Photographer of the Year
Naomi Baker (Getty Images)
Highly commended: Jack Thomas (Getty Images)

Young Sports Broadcaster of the Year
Jasper Taylor (Sky Sports News)
Highly commended: Michael McCann (Freelance)