Awards for Investigative Journalists


Here’s GIJN’s guide to prominent journalism awards competitions around the world. We have looked for awards that are of special interest to investigative journalists, that are open to international entries, and that are global or regional in scope.

Be sure to double-check the deadlines for submission. Some sites don’t list the deadlines far in advance, so we have used the latest available date to give you an idea. And if you have suggestions for more awards, we would love to hear from you. Send them to

Global Awards

Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism celebrates the best in print and online investigative business journalism every year. Named in honour of renowned investigative business journalists Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele, the award is open to journalists worldwide. Deadline: July 31, 2018.

iwmf-logoCourage in Journalism Awards honor women journalists who face danger to uncover the truth and raise the bar for reporting under duress. Organized by the International Women’s Media Foundation, the prizes are open to women journalists across various media worldwide. Deadline: March 18, 2018.

Data Journalism Awards, sponsored by the Global Editors Network, recognize outstanding work in the field of data journalism in any media worldwide. The prize is given for stories that have an impact at a societal level across multiple categories, including data-driven investigations. One category recognizes the best data-driven investigation with a prize of US$1,801. Deadline: March 26, 2018.

DigDIG Awards for Journalistic Excellence and Investigative Video are annually by the Associazione DIG at an annual media festival in Riccione on Italy’s beautiful Rimini coast. Includes categories for long-form, short-form, investigative, and data. Prizes run from 1500 euros to 20,000 euros. Deadline: March 29, 2018.

Global Shining Light Award is a biennial award by the Global Investigative Journalism Network. Given at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference, the award honors investigative journalism in a developing or transitioning country, done under threat, duress, or in the direst of conditions. Deadline TBD: Usually May. 

Awards IRE2Investigative Reporters and Editors Award is a series of awards for various media given annually by the U.S.-based Investigative Reporters and Editors. Open to journalists worldwide. Deadline: Jan. 12, 2018.

awards1Karpoor Chandra Kulish International Award for Excellence in Print Journalism recognizes outstanding reporting by teams from daily newspapers working to uncover wrongdoing and promote a better quality of life. It is sponsored by a major Indian daily and the top award is US$11,000. Deadline: Dec. 31, 2018.

Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism are given for intrepid reporting on conflict, corruption, human rights transgressions, and other key issues. There are two awards: one to a freelancer covering international news, the other to a reporter in a developing or transitioning country. Deadline: May 31, 2018.

One World Media Awards reward “the most outstanding coverage of the developing world,” cultural understanding, and fairness and justice worldwide. Categories for reporting on corruption, women’s rights, refugees, and more. Deadline: Feb. 15, 2018.

Online Journalism Awards honor excellence in digital journalism around the world and are administered by the US-based Online News Association. There are awards for innovation in investigative journalism and investigative data journalism. Will cover works between June 16, 2014 and June 15, 2015. Deadline: varies. In 2018, submissions will be accepted beginning in May. 

Philip Meyer Award recognizes the best journalism done using social science research methods. It is awarded by Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. Deadline TBD: Was Nov. 21 in 2017.

The Public Eye Investigation Award The Swiss group Public Eye will be awarding CHF 20,000 ($20,765.39) to support up to two investigative projects that must have a direct link with the activities of Swiss companies or Swiss politics and must shed new light on abusive practices in a developing or emerging country. Rules here. Participation is open to journalists and NGO staff. Deadline Jan. 31, 2018.

Rule of Law Award: The Anthony Lewis Prize for Rule of Law Journalism offers a $10,000 prize for  journalists from around the world who have contributed to increased awareness and understanding of the importance of the rule of law. Includes such issues as human rights, access to justice, open government, corruption, criminal justice. Deadline TBD. Was May 28 in 2017.

SEJ Annual Awards for Reporting on the Environment honor the best environmental journalism in seven categories. Journalism broadcast or published in print or online is eligible. Sponsored by the Society of Environmental Journalists. Deadline: April 2, 2018.

The True Story Award is open to all journalists anywhere in the world who produce written reportage. Fifty jury members from 29 countries will select the 42 best texts of the year and then select a winner. The winner will receive 30,000 Swiss francs ($29,900) in prize money, while the total prize money amounts to 177,000 Swiss francs ($176,000). Initiated by the Swiss magazine Reportagen and to be run by a foundation still being formed when the prize was first announced in November 2018. Deadline: Jan. 10, 2019, at 12 am (CET).

hostwriter2#hostwriterPrize awards up to 5000 euros to honor collaboration across national borders in journalism. The competition is sponsored by Germany’s Otto Sprenger Foundation and is open to reporters worldwide. Deadline: varies. 

The Lorenzo Natali Media Prize is organized by the European Commission and is open to professional journalists working for all different media types. A grand jury will reward one professional and one amateur journalist from each of the following regions: Africa, the Arab world and the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe. Deadline TBD: Was Aug. 31 in 2017.

The TRACE Prize for Investigative Reporting recognizes reporting that focuses on uncovering commercial bribery with the goal of advancing commercial transparency. Nominees can be print reporters, citizen journalists or bloggers from any country. Articles eligible for submission must appear in print or online during the 2017 calendar year. Two winning entries will be selected, with each winner receiving a cash prize of US$10,000 and the opportunity to attend an award ceremony hosted by TRACE. Deadline: Jan. 31, 2018.

Free Press Awards “aim to honor journalists who risk everything to bring the news to the public, media pioneers who pave the way for equality and justice and those who persevere under the most difficult circumstances.” Two worldwide categories: newcomer of the year (scholarship award) and most resilient journalist of the year (cash award). Sponsored by Free Press Unlimited, a nonprofit organization based in the Netherlands. Nominations TBD. Was Aug. 1 in 2017.

Immigration Journalism Award The French-American Foundation recognizes the work of journalists published in French or English on the topic of immigration and integration. One award is given for reporting in English and the Prix Cercle des médias is awarded for excellence in immigration coverage in French. Deadline in August.

Journalists, Whistleblowers and Defenders of the Right to Information: Started in 2018 by the European United Left/Nordic Green Left in honor of the late Maltese journalist and whistleblower, Daphne Caruana Galizia. The award is for individuals or groups worldwide “who have been intimidated and/or persecuted for uncovering the truth and exposing it to the public.” The winner will receive €5,000. More information on the criteria for the nominations here. Deadline April 22, 2018.

Regional Awards

CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism is organized by the Central European Initiative and the South East Europe Media Organisation to honor journalists who contribute to investigative reporting, despite the difficult conditions under which they operate. Open to Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine. Deadline TBD: Was May 31 in 2017.

Awards cnnCNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards recognize the importance of the role of journalists in Africa’s development and serve to encourage journalistic talent across all media disciplines. There are more than 11 categories, including business, environment, press freedom, and French and Portuguese language media. Deadline: June 6, 2017.

dartDart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma honor the most sensitive, thoughtful, and ethical reporting on survivors of traumatic events. Although not explicitly investigative, winning entries are typically major works of in-depth journalism. Deadline: Jan. 26, 2018.

EU Awards for Investigative Journalism in Western Balkans and Turkey are a new award for work in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. Each prize includes 3,000-5,000 euros. For “investigative stories contributing to transparency and reporting on societal issues related to abuse of power and fundamental rights, corruption and organised crime that otherwise would not have been brought to the public’s attention.” Deadline: Was April 23, 2017.

European Press Prize is given annually across four different categories, including investigative journalism. The prize is open to any print or online journalist who is a citizen of a Council of Europe country. Deadline: Dec. 14, 2018.

Awards IAPAIAPA Excellence in Journalism Awards are given by the InterAmerican Press Association. There are 13 categories, including human rights, environmental, and in-depth reporting. Open to newspapers and news agencies in over 33 nations of the Americas and the Caribbean. Deadline: Jan. 30, 2018.

Kate Webb Prize is awarded for exceptional work produced by locally-employed Asian media workers, including reporters, photographers, and broadcast journalists, operating in dangerous or difficult situations. The prize is administered by the Agence France-Presse Foundation and the Webb family. Deadline TBD: Was Nov. 1 in 2017.

Latin American Investigative Journalism Awards recognize exceptional investigative work in exposing crime and corruption by journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean. The awards are co-sponsored by the Institute for Press and Society (IPYS) and Transparency International. Deadline TBD: Was Oct. 31 in 2017.

Maria Moors Cabot Prize, administered by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, is given to journalists in the Western hemisphere who, through a distinguished body of work, have contributed to Inter-American understanding. Occasionally, the award is given to an organization. Deadline: March 16, 2018.

Norbert Zongo Investigative Journalism Prize is an award of excellence established in memory of the famous journalist and editor of the weekly newspaper, The Independent, who was murdered on December 13, 1998 in Burkina Faso. The award aims to promote the practice of investigative journalism, research, investigation on political, economic, social, cultural and other relevant topics. Open to professional journalists in Africa regularly employed in the media or collaborating with media in Africa. Deadline TBD: Was Aug. 30, 2017.

Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) Awards give tribute to editorial excellence in newspaper, magazines, wire services, and websites across the Asia-Pacific region. Prizes are awarded across 17 categories in English and Chinese, including investigative reporting. Deadline: Jan. 31, 2018.

SAJA Journalism Awards are given for outstanding original reporting, including investigative reporting. Organized by the South Asian Journalists Association, the awards are open to journalists across all media who report about South Asia or the South Asian diaspora, or to journalists of South Asian origin working in North America. Deadline: varies. 

Southern Africa Media Award in Social Accountability Reporting Begun in 2017,  this award is sponsored by Highway Africa and the Partnership for Social Accountability (PSA) Alliance and is open to journalists based in Malawi, Tanzania, Mozambique or Zambia. Two awards are given, for investigative reporting on public health and agriculture. Deadline in August.

The Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics Sponsored by The Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the Shadid Award recognizes outstanding application of ethical standards by an individual journalist or group of journalists. The Shadid Award includes a $1,000 prize and travel expenses to accept the award and discuss the reporting at an awards ceremony in spring of 2019. This is an international contest. Deadline: Jan. 15, 2019.

National Awards

Awards Pulitzer

We have not included the many prestigious awards given out at a national level or open only to media based in a single country. These include, for example, the Pulitzers, Selden Ring, Goldsmith, and Overseas Press Club prizes in the United States. For information on national awards, it’s best to check with local journalism associations and other online sources. For the United States, this Wikipedia entry is a good start. For Brazil, this compendium is useful. Good luck!