Cash Prize of $5,000 for International Journalists from Kurt Schork Memorial Fund 2020

Deadline : 31 May 2020

Nonprofit organization: Kurt Schork Memorial Fund

Study level: Undergraduate

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Cash Prize of $5,000 for International Journalists from Kurt Schork Memorial Fund 2020

The Kurt Schork Memorial Fund (KSMF) is now accepting submissions for its 2020 awards in international journalism. Since its inception in 2002, the Kurt Schork Memorial Fund has sought to support those journalists Kurt most admired, the freelancers and local reporters whose work is often poorly paid, mostly unsung and all too often fraught with danger.

Today, the three annual awards, for freelance and local journalism and, since 2017, for newsfixers, are recognized worldwide as a mark of excellence and have an established track record for brave reporting on conflict, corruption and injustice.

Award Categories:

The 19th annual call for awards is now split into three categories:

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

Award Amount:

Each award is for $5,000 and will be presented at a prestigious ceremony in London in late September 2020.

Submission Criteria:

  • Three separate articles must be submitted, including when journalists are nominating fixers for the new award.
  • The submitted articles must have been published between June 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020.
  • Accepted media: any print-based medium, such as newspapers and magazines, or established online publications. Blogs, personal websites and social media pages or channels are not accepted.
  • Articles can encompass war reporting, human rights issues, cross-border troubles, corruption or other controversial matters impacting on people’s lives. Judges will be looking for professionalism, high journalistic standards, and evidence of dedication and courage in obtaining the story.
  • Because of problems with scanned entries and failed links in previous years, we require that each article be provided as a text file – MS Word (.doc or .docx) or similar text format (.rtf), or a PDF of a text file.
  • You may supply a URL link to your article(s), or a scan (as a PDF or JPG file) as supporting evidence of the publication context, but your entry will be disqualified if you do not also submit the required text files.
  • The awards panel will take into account nominations for fixers who have received more than one recommendation from journalists they have worked with.

About Kurt Schork Memorial Fund:

The goal of the Kurt Schork Memorial Fund and Awards recognizes and assists freelance journalists, local journalists and news fixers who make a critical contribution to international understanding but whose work is often overlooked. The awards include three cash prizes of $5,000 each to provide some financial support to help the winners continue reporting. Though local journalists in the developing world take extraordinary risks to expose corruption and injustice in their countries, they rarely earn enough money to support themselves and their families. Similarly, freelancers live from job to job, never knowing when the next assignment will come, where it may lead or how long it will last. The News Fixer Award, newly introduced in 2017, aims to recognise the rarely credited yet often at-risk individuals who typically act as the correspondent’s eyes and ears on the ground. It is the fixers’ local knowledge, as well as their network of official – and unofficial – contacts that helps to secure critical interviews and access to all important areas for the out-of-town correspondents. The prize was inspired by the freelance journalist, author and friend of Kurt Schork, Anna Husarska, and pays tribute to the vital role that these unsung heroes play in coverage from difficult, dangerous and hostile locations. With these awards, the Fund spotlights the plight and achievements of freelance journalists, local reporters and news fixers.

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