Call for media professionals and emerging talent to enter Food Sustainability Media Award

by Zeina Najjar
Monday, 15 January 2018 18:41 GMT

Winners of the inaugural Food Sustainability Media Award pose for a photo at the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition’s 8th International Forum on Food and Nutrition in Milan, December 4th 2017. Photo Courtesy of the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition (BCFN) Foundation.

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Applications are now open for the second cycle of the Food Sustainability Media Award, which recognises excellence in reporting on food sustainability issues across the globe.

Launched in December 2016 by The Thomson Reuters Foundation and the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition (BCFN), the initiative invites media professionals, bloggers, freelancers and individuals to submit both published and unpublished work highlighting issues related to food security, sustainability, agriculture and nutrition.

The initiative aims especially to shed light on three major paradoxes affecting the global food system – and especially to find ways to address them:

  • Hunger vs. Obesity - for every undernourished person there are now two obese or overweight people in the world;
  • Food vs. Fuel - a third of agricultural cereal crops are used to produce animal feed or biofuels despite hunger and malnutrition;
  • Waste vs. Starvation - 1.3 billion tons of edible food is wasted every year, four times the amount needed to feed the 815 million undernourished people around the world

By leveraging the power of mainstream and new media, the Award seeks to draw public attention to the issue of food sustainability, engaging a wide and global audience.

Making our food system more sustainable in this era of climate change is crucial. It’s something everyone can play a part in if they understand the issues and that’s why good journalism is essential,” says Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO Monique Villa. “This Award aims to recognise journalists who bring the challenges and solutions – if there are any – to life in a simple and powerful way.

Since its beginning, the BCFN has worked to raise awareness around food and sustainability issues. It’s now time for a step change: we need to get people more involved and to find possible solutions to combat our food paradoxes – and the media has a key role to play in this” said Guido Barilla, BCFN Chairman.

This year the Food Sustainability Media Award will accept work in two categories: written journalism and multimedia, for which video (including animations), audio and photography submissions will be eligible. One published and one unpublished submission will be awarded for each category. In addition, all finalist work will be put forward for the Best of the Web Award, chosen by the public.

Winners awarded for their published work will receive a cash prize of €10,000. Winners awarded for their unpublished work, as well as the winner of the Best of the Web Award, will receive an all-expense paid trip to attend a Thomson Reuters Foundation media training course on food sustainability.

All winning unpublished entries will be distributed via the Thomson Reuters Foundation and the BCFN Foundation websites. The winning unpublished article will also be distributed through the Reuters newswire, reaching an estimated 1 billion readers.

Last year’s winners can be viewed on the Award website.

All shortlisted entries will be assessed by a distinguished panel of judges made up of leading professionals in the fields of journalism, photography, food and agricultural sustainability policy and research, including:

  • Director of La Repubblica, Mario Calabresi
  • Thomson Reuters Foundation Climate Editor, Laurie Goering
  • Global Editorial Director, Thought Leadership at The Economist Group, Irene Mia
  • Coordinator of the SDG2 Advocacy Hub, Paul Newnham
  • Founder of Food Tank, Danielle Nierenberg
  • Photographer and Author, Finbarr O’Reilly Submissions

Submissions are open from 15th January until 31st May 2018 and candidates can enter via the Food Sustainability Media Award website. The work of all finalists will be made public on the website by early October. Voting for the Best of Web prize will also open in early October 2018.

The winners of each category will be announced at the 9th International Forum of the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) Foundation, held 27th -28th November 2018.