THE KURT SCHORK NEWS FIXER AWARD

The Kurt Schork Memorial Fund (KSMF) is now accepting submissions for its 2023 Awards in International Journalism.

Now in their 22nd year, the Awards honour American freelance journalist Kurt Schork who was killed in 2000 while on assignment for Reuters in Sierra Leone. They recognise excellence in courageous reporting of conflict, corruption, injustice and human rights transgressions.

The News Fixer Award recognises local journalists, contributors 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. The winner will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and the entry deadline has been extended by two weeks to midnight (BST) Wednesday, June 14.

The Award was inspired by the freelance journalist, author and friend of Kurt Schork, Anna Husarska, and pays tribute to the vital role that news fixers play in coverage from difficult, dangerous and hostile locations.

Anna, who herself often works as fixer, gave this Award the name ‘News Fixer’ because the word fixer (which of course has other, non-journalistic uses) is widely employed by reporters around the world. It is used by international journalists’ organisations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters without Borders, National Press Club (US) and the Frontline Club (UK), and is commonplace in articles, films, fiction and non-fiction books.

In an article written especially for the Kurt Schork Memorial Fund, The Times’s Senior Foreign Correspondent Anthony Loyd – who first met Kurt in Sarajevo in 1993 – reflects on the work of fixers and their vital role in news gathering. Read it here.

Judging criteria:

The range of skills displayed by a news fixer can be vast and this is taken into consideration by the judges. They will look for evidence of skills including displaying excellent news judgment, suggesting story leads, arranging contacts, news gathering, providing logistical support, showing an awareness of danger, translation and interpretation. It goes without saying that integrity, initiative and knowledge of the local context and background to a story are essential. The full list of judging criteria is listed on the entry form.

2023 submission criteria

  • The News Fixer Award requires applicants to submit three references from foreign correspondents with whom they have worked between June 1, 2022 and May 31, 2023.
  • The references from foreign correspondents must contain links to the story or stories generated because of the applicant’s involvement.
  • A template for references can be found and downloaded here. Applicants can send the template to the foreign correspondents to complete, and then upload the references when completing the entry form.
  • Articles can encompass war reporting, human rights issues, cross-border troubles, corruption or other controversial matters impacting on people’s lives.
  • The entry deadline has been extended by two weeks to midnight (BST) Wednesday, June 14.

Additional material you must provide:

  • A CV or resumé about your education and career.
  • A passport-quality photo (JPEG, GIF or PNG file, size no larger than 250Kb) of yourself.

FAQs and enquiries:

Please see here for our FAQs. If you have any further questions about the Awards process, please email enquiries@ksmfund.org.

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