Applications now open for the 2024 Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism

The Kurt Schork Memorial Fund (KSMF) invites freelance journalists, local reporters and news fixers from around the world to submit entries for the 23rd annual Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism.

The Awards recognise excellence and courage in reporting conflict, corruption, injustice and human rights issues, with winners receiving a $5,000 cash prize. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports the number of journalists killed and imprisoned in 2023 reached near-record highs. As levels of violence and intimidation against media professionals surge, this recognition remains as vital as ever.

Named in memory of American freelance journalist Kurt Schork, who was killed in 2000 while on assignment for Reuters in Sierra Leone, the Awards recognise the bravery of journalists who take great personal risk, often for little reward, to shine a light on the truth and hold power to account.

The three award categories, open to those reporting for print and online publications, recognise the media professionals that Kurt particularly admired:

  • Freelance Award: recognising freelance 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.
  • Local Reporter Award: recognising the often-overlooked work of journalists in developing nations, or countries in transition, who write about events in their homeland.
  • News Fixer Award: recognising the work of local journalists or experts, typically hired by foreign correspondents, whose guidance and local knowledge play an unsung but vital role in facilitating international coverage from difficult, dangerous or hostile locations.

Applications are now open and the deadline for submissions has been extended to midnight (GMT) on Friday, June 14, 2024.

Entrants for the Local Reporter and Freelance Awards must submit three articles each, published between June 01, 2023 and June 14, 2024. The judges will look for journalistic excellence in applicants’ submissions and evidence of determination and courage in obtaining their stories.

News Fixer Award applicants must submit three references from foreign correspondents with whom they have worked during the same time period. The range of skills displayed by a news fixer can be vast and this is taken into consideration by the jury. They will look for evidence of skills such as displaying excellent news judgment, suggesting story leads and providing logistical support. The judges will also consider how the applicant’s support benefited the content, impact and reach of the coverage they facilitated.

The News Fixer Award, launched in 2016 and presented for the first time in 2017, was inspired by the freelance journalist, author and friend of Kurt Schork, Anna Husarska. Further details about eligibility and entry criteria, as well as the online entry forms and FAQs, can be found on the KSMF website.

Past winners of the Kurt Schork Awards hail from around the world and their reporting spans a wide range of critical issues. The 2023 awardees were Syrian Kurdish journalist Hisham Arafat (News Fixer category), Asami Terajima from the Kyiv Independent (Local Reporter category) and French journalist and Editor Léa Polverini (Freelance category). They were recognised for their brave reporting on conflict in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine, and documenting the persecution of Muslim minorities in China’s Xinjiang territories.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation has supported the Kurt Schork Awards since 2009, as part of its work to advance press freedom and strengthen the independent media ecosystem.

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If you have any questions about the awards please contact:

enquiries@ksmfund.org

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