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Multi-award-winning journalist, Alex Crawford OBE, awarded Doctor of Arts in recognition of her services to journalism

13th July 2022
English and journalism

With her wealth of experience and knowledge, Alex is an exceptional role model for the students on Solent's journalism and broadcast courses. An unprecedented five times winner of the Royal Television Society Journalist of the Year award, Alex Crawford is special correspondent for Sky News. Based in Istanbul, Alex reports from across the region and on the biggest stories around the world. 

Formerly based in Sky’s Johannesburg, Dubai and Delhi bureaux, Alex has reported on the events in Africa, South Asia, the Gulf, the Middle East and is currently located in Ukraine reporting on the war with Russia.

Her reporting from inside Myanmar’s Rakhine state provided the first filmed evidence of the persecution and deprivation facing thousands of stranded Rohingya Muslims – the reports attracted global attention and forced major policy shifts by the UK government and the United Nations.

Before relocating to Istanbul in 2017, Alex spent six years posted to Africa. While there, she reported on international intervention in Mali, becoming the first international journalist into the ancient town of Timbuktu; the hunt for Boko Haram in Nigeria and Cameroon; the spread of Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria and rhino poaching in South Africa.

During her thirty-year career as a journalist, Alex has been arrested; detained, abducted, interrogated and faced live bullets, teargassing, rubber bullets, IEDs, and mortar shells.

In December 2010 she was named Woman Journalist of the Year by Women in Film and Television for her work in Afghanistan, and the following year became the only woman to win a second accolade from the Women in Film and Television when she was awarded Best Achievement in 2011 for her reporting from Tripoli. 

In October 2011 Alex was awarded the James Cameron Memorial Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to journalism. 

In June 2014, she won an unprecedented fifth Golden Nymph award, the highest accolade from the Monte Carlo Film Festival for her coverage of the conflict in the Central African Republic. Previous wins included her reporting the year before of the South African Marikana Mines Massacre (2013), the Fall of Tripoli (2012); Battle for Zawiyah (2011) and the Mumbai Terror attacks (2009).

She has won four BAFTAs and has been nominated ten times – the wins were for her reporting on the spread of Ebola, Persecution of Rohingya, Inside Idlib (Syria), Hong Kong pro-democracy protests and exposing the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Alex has been awarded three International Emmy Awards. She was part of the Sky News team recognised for investigating the role of the Taliban in Pakistan (2010) and received further awards for reporting on the perilous sea crossings made by migrants from Turkey to Greece (2016) and her Rohingya coverage (2018). She received a further Emmy nomination after gaining exclusive access to the Taliban in Afghanistan (2011).

She was awarded an OBE in the Queen's 2012 New Year's Honours list for services to journalism. 

Commenting on her award, Alex says: “I am in the midst of covering the biggest military mobilisation in Europe since World War II. It's a brutal and savage war which will likely have repercussions on the world for decades to come. It is certainly sure to affect every single journalism student one way or another as they embark on their careers.

“I am so incredibly honoured that Solent University views me as worthy of this recognition because if this inspires even one of Solent's students to go out and dig around for the truth - and find it - it really will have been worth every shell narrowly dodged; all the sweat and far too many tears and narrow escapes from death or injury. In a world where now, there is so much distrust about journalists, I passionately believe in the importance of accurate, honest and brave journalism. Nurturing this next generation of journalists is therefore critical and I honestly hope this award serves to galvanise them to try to expose injustices and be an eyewitness to history with both vigour and passion as they head out on their careers.

“Very many thanks Solent University. You've truly brightened what's been a very sobering and often traumatic few months and I feel exceedingly honoured to be recognised in this way.”