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 provide an approximation based on previous deadlines. And if you have suggestions for more awards, we would love to hear from you. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 usually July.
Courage 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 usually early March.
DIG 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 typically February or March.
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.
Investigative 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 usually early January.
Covering Climate Now Journalism Awards are organized by Covering Climate Now and the Columbia Journalism Review; an annual award to honor journalists from every corner of the newsroom who are producing coverage in print, digital, audio, video, and multimedia formats that report on all dimensions of the climate story, especially solutions. Submissions of journalism that were published or broadcast anywhere in the world are accepted. Deadline June 1, 2021.
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 usually end of May.
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 usually mid-February.
The Sigma Awards There are nine awards across six categories:
- Best data-driven reporting (small and large newsrooms)
- Best visualisation (small and large newsrooms)
- Innovation (small and large newsrooms)
- Young journalist
- Open data; and
- Best news application
Aside from a trophy, up to two people from each winning project will receive an all-expenses-covered trip to the International Journalism Festival. This is the successor to the Data Journalism Awards. Entries from all over the world are welcome. Last deadline was Feb. 3, 2020.
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 usually November.
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 usually in May.
The Hinzpeter Awards: honors video journalists who seek the truth, protect human rights, and fight for justice. Jürgen Hinzpeter was a reporter for German broadcaster ARD and the only journalist to film the massacres during the Gwangju uprising in South Korea in 1980. His footage was broadcast worldwide. Categories include news, features, and investigative. The prize for each category is $10,000. Deadline extended: July 27, 2021.
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 usually very early April.
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: Sep. 30, 2021.
#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. It was launched in 1992 to recognize excellence in reporting on development issues, inequality, human rights, and poverty eradication. There is a Grand Prize, open to journalists whose media headquarter is located in one of the more than 160 partner countries with which the European Union engages on development and cooperation. A Europe Prize open to journalists whose media headquarter is located in one of the countries of the European Union. And a Best Emerging Journalist Prize open to journalists under 30 whose media is headquartered in any country where DG DEVCO and DG NEAR provide development assistance, as well as in the EU Member States. Deadline usually in April.
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. 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. The judges may also name up to two honorable mentions, who will each receive US$1,000. Deadline usually end of January.
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 open 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. The group also has an award for the best report made in a foreign country by journalists supported by de Dutch Postcode Lottery Fund for Journalists. See past winners. Nominations have been in August.
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 usually March.
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 usually in January.
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. Last deadline September 2020.
Dart 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 typically end of January.
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 usually December.
IAPA 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 usually end of January.
Kate Webb Prize (Facebook) 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 usually November.
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 usually in October.
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 usually in mid-March.
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 usually in September.
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 usually late January.
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.
Human Rights Press Awards Sponsored by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong. Qualifying work may have been published in English or Chinese on a professional media platform by a professional journalist (except student categories), including freelancers, excluding corporations or activist groups. Entries must be reported from the Asia region, including Central Asia, excluding Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand. Entries must relate to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and cite the specific article that the work seeks to address. Deadline usually in February.
The Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism Annual Awards The ARIJ prize recognizes the best journalistic investigations across the Arab region in print, film and cross-border reporting. Submissions must be in Arabic and should cover current affairs in the Arab world. Deadline usually end of September.
Evens Journalism Prize, a biennial contest for European journalists, reporters, cartoonists and organizations who engage with satire and humor while trying to challenge traditional forms of news display. Since 2019, the prize is awarded in three different categories: Culture, Geopolitics and Education. With each prize, the Evens Foundation wishes to provide scope for independent and reliable journalism practiced by professionals with an established expertise on the subjects taken up by our organisation.
Institute Journalism & Natural Resources, offers training, awards, and grants to journalists in North America to promote public dialogue about natural resource issues. Awards are for: marine stories, for reporting projects that highlight natural resource stories in Native American, First Nation, or Alaska Native communities; priority will be given to Indigenous journalists, and early-career female journalists reporting on public-health impacts of the environment. Deadline usually in mid-May.
World Association of News Publishers, organizes a series of regional Middle Eastern, Indian, LATAM, Asian, African, North American, and European Digital Media Awards. These awards recognise publishers who have created groundbreaking digital products that engage readers while growing their online business. Deadline varies.
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!
Last updated: May 2021