Madhumita Murgia

Financial Times

Madhumita Murgia showed again this year why she is the UK’s best tech journalist, breaking huge global stories that were followed widely and highlighting the power of investigative journalism to make a difference.

A months-long investigation saw Madhumita reveal that Deepmind, the Google-owned artificial intelligence company, had been accused of mishandling sexual misconduct allegations. The deeply reported investigation resulted in the company setting up an internal board tasked with making changes to how allegations are handled. In another scoop that attracted global interest, Madhumita revealed alongside her colleague Tim Bradshaw that Apple planned to install software on millions of iPhones to scan for child abuse imagery. Security experts and human rights campaigners warned that the move amounted to large-scale surveillance, and could lead to powerful state and criminal abuse. Apple was forced to confirm the news after the FT’s story, and her piece was followed by every major international media outlet. The criticism was so widespread that Apple bowed to the pressure a month later and delayed the new system, which still has not been released. Madhumita has excelled at investigating and unpacking some of the least understood parts of the government’s plans for the NHS, eventually forcing the Department of Health to indefinitely pause a controversial plan involving use of patient data. Her piece revealed that the government planned to pool data from every GP surgery in England into a single database that would be available to companies and other third parties for research. The move had not been widely understood, and very few members of the public knew about an opt-out deadline, after which their data would be incorporated whether or not they subsequently consented. After Madhumita’s groundbreaking work, the government paused the scheme. The three articles broke ground on subjects of enormous importance, doing what the best kind of journalism does: holding the powerful to account. Only a reporter with deep technical knowledge, huge intelligence and dogged determination could have unlocked them, and explained them in a way that enlightened readers and changed their understanding of the world.