Statistical excellence in journalism

The above photo shows Tim Harford, Richard Vadon and Ruth Alexander, of BBC Radio 4’s More or Less, with their ‘Explaining the Facts’ award from 2019’s ceremony. The award was presented by the ESRC’s Director of Strategy and Partnerships Paul Nightingale, pictured on the right.

About the awards

We established our awards for statistical excellence in journalism in 2007 to encourage excellence in journalists’ use of statistics to question, analyse and investigate the issues that affect society. The awards have previously been scooped by reporters from the BBC, Channel 4 News, The Economist and the Financial Times and celebrate the great strides that have been made in journalist’s use of numbers to tell a story.

The awards are kindly sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).


The categories for 2020 are as follows:

  • Data visualisation – stories which include data visualisation to aid explanation of the statistics being presented 
  • Explaining the facts – stories which take a current issue or statistic already published and enable greater public understanding through effective explanation 
  • Investigative journalism – stories which include previously unpublished statistics either through unpublished data that have been sourced and analysed by the journalist or new analyses of existing data 
  • Regional – stories from local or regional journalists which include statistics that are related to a local matter, or local or regional journalists that champion the role of statistics in society.

View the full awards criteria (PDF)

Read about the winning entries in 2019

The deadline for entries has now passed. The winners will be announced in May.