Kurt Schork Memorial Fund

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The Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism

Often at personal risk, many journalists around the world work hard to report conflict, corruption and injustice. Their goal is to ensure that the wider world learns about – and better understands – the challenges faced by communities under pressure and may perhaps be spurred into providing help to the desperate.

This work is not usually well-rewarded. Freelancers live from job to job, with financial insecurity, and locally-employed reporters are often on low pay and subjected to harassment or worse when their stories uncover political or business wrongdoing.

Two awards

It is these two categories of journalists that KSMF honors each year with its two awards: one to a freelance journalist covering international news, the other to a reporter living and working in the developing world or a country in transition.

Submissions and judging

The call for submissions is made in the first quarter of the year, inviting entries from around the world of reports published in the 12 months preceding the deadline, which is usually 31st May. A panel of judges then assesses the submitted reports, looking not just at the quality of writing but also considering the investigative effort, resourcefulness and often courage involved in getting the story. In short, the judges are looking for the same kind of reporting high standards that Kurt Schork set himself in his journalistic career.

Read more about making a submission

Cash prize

The two winners receive their awards, including a US $5,000 cash prize each, at a ceremony, originally held in New York but since 2006 held in London in late October or November. Their work is celebrated in front of an invited audience drawn from international media and influential bodies concerned with promoting social justice, democracy and global dialogue. The evening features a panel discussion on an important issue current for the year.