Geoff Hill, the ITV News editor who died in September aged 52, was posthumously given the Public Service Award at the British Journalism Awards 2021 supported by the Journalists’ Charity
Hill, who died four years after being diagnosed with leukaemia, was recognised for his outstanding contribution to public interest journalism and the legacy he left with those who worked with him and remember him.
His wife Natalie chose not to attend the event as Wednesday ( 8/12/21) would have been the couple’s first wedding anniversary. However ITV News London editor Hannah Emerson-Thomas accepted the award and read out a speech on her behalf.
“The ferociously passionate and busy journalist that I fell in love with is richly deserving of such an accolade and he would be so immensely proud to win this particular category,” Natalie said.
“Injustice drove Geoff in everything he did from his early days on local papers – representing the underdog, bringing stories to light that needed attention – through to editor of the country’s largest commercial channel for news.
“Throughout his career Geoff retained a hunger to give voice to those that deserved to be listened to and to cover events in the very best way he and his many teams could. One only has to look at the tributes that have been paid to him and his leadership since he passed away to know how much he was admired for his dedication to the profession.
“Many years ago, at the start of Geoff’s journey, the editor of the Southwark News Dave Clarke died suddenly. Geoff had moved on, but he returned after his shifts elsewhere to ensure that the paper still went out. As his good friend from those days wrote recently, ‘by helping to keep the paper going through the very toughest of times he was always fiercely proud that he could give something back to an area he loved so much’.
“That spirit never left Geoff. He carried it with him as he continued rising to the top. In everything he did he never forgot why he was in the position he was. And so, for all the door knocks, the long hours, the thousands of phone calls we salute you Geoff Hill, for a job very well done.”