Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism for Journalists in London 2021

The Kurt Schork Memorial Fund (KSMF) is now accepting submissions for the 18th annual Kurt Schork awards in international journalism in 2021. Established in 2002, the awards were created in honour of American freelance journalist Kurt Schork who was killed on assignment for Reuters in Sierra Leone.

In the shock of the immediate aftermath of Kurt’s death, his family and friends were comforted by the rapid rallying of colleagues wanting to join in establishing a tangible legacy promoting the ideals by which he had lived and worked.

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. Many international journalists rely on ‘News Fixers’ whose guidance, local knowledge and contacts can often have a decisive impact on a story.

Worth of Award

  • Each Kurt Schork awards is for $5,000 and will be presented at a prestigious ceremony in London in late September 2021.


The 20th annual call for awards is therefore 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.
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How to Apply

If you would like to apply or make a nomination for the newly introduced News Fixer award, please visit the 2021 entry form page which provides definitions for each of the award categories and will guide you through the application process. Some of the main detail is also included below:

  • 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, 2020 and May 31, 2021.
  • 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, they 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.

Additional material you must provide:

  • a CV or resumé about your education and journalism career or about that of the fixer you are nominating.
  • a passport-quality photo (JPEG, GIF or PNG file, size no larger than 250Kb) of yourself or that of the fixer you are nominating.
  • a high standard English translation if the original articles are not in English.
  • a short statement explaining what you had to do to get the story.
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In the case of the fixer award, they require from the nominating journalist:

  • A statement of nomination
  • A copy of the story or stories generated because of the nominated fixer’s involvement
  • A statement that the nominee is aware that he/ or she is being nominated and has given permission for the nomination (or perhaps the nomination for anonymous if win). The awards panel will take into account nominations for fixers who have received more than one recommendation from journalists they have worked with.
  • An acceptance from the nominator and nominee that they accept the terms of the competition
  • Two references
  • The maximum filesize for text submissions or scans is 5Mb.
  • Entrants must complete the online entry form (or a PDF for printing and posting if not possible). 

Deadline: The deadline for receipt of submissions is midnight (London time), May 31, 2021.

Click here for more details and to apply