Call for entries to the 2017 Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism

by Thomson Reuters Foundation
Thursday, 2 February 2017 11:24 GMT

The Kurt Schork Memorial Fund (KSMF) is now accepting submissions for its 2017 awards in international journalism – including the new category of ‘News Fixer’ announced in October 2016.

The only international recognition of their type for print journalists, the awards are split into three categories:

  • Local Reporter Award: rewarding the often over-looked work of journalists in developing nations (or countries in transition) who write about events in their homeland.
  • Freelance Journalist Award: rewarding journalists who travel to the world’s conflict zones, usually at great personal risk, to witness and report on the impact and consequences of these events.
  • News Fixer Award: rewarding local journalists and/or experts, hired by a visiting foreign reporter or news organisation, whose guidance and local knowledge materially benefited the content, impact and reach of the stories submitted.

KSMF invites freelance journalists and fixers from all over the world to enter the 16th annual awards, established in 2002 to honour American freelance journalist Kurt Schork who was killed in 2000 while on assignment for Reuters in Sierra Leone.

The awards recognise excellence in courageous reporting of conflict, corruption, human rights transgressions and other related issues.

Iona Craig, a London-based Irish journalist, won the 2016 Freelance Journalist award for her undercover reporting of the war in Yemen – one of the most under-reported stories in the Middle East – covered by Al Jazeera America and The Intercept. Rawalpindi-based journalist Umer Ali won the 2016 Local Reporter award for his courageous coverage of highly controversial issues such as blasphemy laws and ethnic tensions in his home country of Pakistan.

The Kurt Schork Awards continue to highlight the particular difficulties faced by freelance reporters, placing special emphasis on the highest standards in journalism and courageous reporting. The News Fixer Award seeks to highlight the work of some of the unsung heroes of modern journalism.

The three awards of $US5000 each will be presented at a prestigious ceremony in London (UK) in late October or November. Since 2009, the awards ceremony has been hosted at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s main offices in Canary Wharf, London.

Entrants must submit three articles each – published between June 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017.

Judges will be looking for writing excellence and evidence of special determination and courage in obtaining their stories. The deadline for entries is midnight (GMT) on Wednesday, May 31. Further details about eligibility and entry criteria as well as the online Entry Form and an FAQ can be found on the KSMF website at: