The Kurt Schork Memorial Fund (KSMF) is accepting submissions for its 2023 Awards in International Journalism. Now in their 22nd year, the Awards honour excellence in courageous reporting of conflict, corruption, human rights transgressions and injustice.
The only international recognition of their type for print journalists, the Awards are split into three categories:
- Freelance Award: recognising 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 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.
Named in memory of American freelance journalist Kurt Schork - who was killed in 2000 while on assignment for Reuters in Sierra Leone – the Awards continue to highlight the particular difficulties faced by freelance journalists, local reporters and fixers, as well as their courageous reporting.
The News Fixer Award, launched in 2016 and presented for the first time in 2017, seeks to highlight the work of some of the unsung heroes of modern journalism. 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.
The three winners – each of whom will receive a cash prize of $5,000 – will be announced in October 2023. For the second year, the winners will be invited to participate in a panel discussion at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s flagship annual event, Trust Conference. The event is taking place in London on 19 & 20 October and will provide the journalists with a platform to speak about their award-winning work and frontline experiences. The Foundation has supported the Awards since 2009, as part of its global work to advance press freedom and to strengthen the independent media ecosystem.
Entrants for the Local Reporter and Freelance Awards must submit three articles each – published between June 01, 2022 and May 31, 2023. News Fixer Award applicants must submit three references from foreign correspondents with whom they have worked during the same time period.
Judges for the Freelance and Local Reporter Awards will look for journalistic excellence in applicants’ submissions and evidence of determination and courage in obtaining their stories. 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 deadline for entries is midnight (GMT) on Wednesday, May 31.
Further details about eligibility and entry criteria, as well as the online entry forms and FAQs, can be found on the KSMF website at: https://ksmfund.org/
Past winners of the Kurt Schork Awards hail from all around the world - from Brazil to Syria to Cameroon. Last year, for the very first time, a selection of 2022 and 2021 winners spoke at Trust Conference in a conversation moderated by CNN’s Chief International Anchor, Christiane Amanpour CBE.