16 November 2010

The $5,000 Daniel Pearl Awards for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting

Post date: 16 November 2010
Deadline: 1 July 2011

The Daniel Pearl Awards for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting are unique among journalism prizes worldwide in that they were created specifically to honor cross-border investigative reporting. Formerly the ICIJ Awards, the prizes were renamed in 2008 in honor of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was slain by militants in Pakistan in 2002.

The two $5,000 first-place prizes and five $1,000 finalist awards recognize, reward, and foster excellence in cross-border investigative journalism. In addition, the judges at their discretion may award a special citation for work that is unusually enterprising or done under especially challenging circumstances. Past ICIJ award winners have reported about abuses faced by immigrants in American workplaces; the involvement of Sweden in the CIA secret renditions program; and allegations of sexual exploitation of Congolese women and children by United Nations peacekeepers, among other issues of world importance. Fredrik Laurin of TV4 Sweden, Jeffrey Goldberg of The New Yorker, and Steve Bradshaw and Mike Robinson of BBC News Panorama have received the award in recent years.

The competition, held biennially, is open to any professional journalist or team of journalists of any nationality working in any medium. The main criterion for eligibility is that the investigation — either a single work or a single-subject series — involves reporting in at least two countries on a topic of world significance. A five-member jury of international journalists selects the winners.

Two $5,000 first prizes are awarded: one to a U.S.-based reporter or news organization and the other to a non-U.S.-based journalist or news organization.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists was launched in 1997 as a project of the Center for Public Integrity to extend globally the Center’s style of watchdog journalism in the public interest. One hundred ICIJ journalists from 50 countries combine talents to provide groundbreaking, in-depth reporting in an increasingly globalized and networked world.


To apply for the Daniel Pearl Awards for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting, follow the guidelines below and complete a Pearl Awards Application Form. Incomplete entries, as well as those that arrive after the deadline, will be disqualified.


Any professional journalist or team of journalists of any nationality is eligible to submit an individual investigative piece of work, or single-subject series, on a transnational topic of world significance. Works produced in print, broadcast, and online media are eligible; books are not eligible. In the case of a team of journalists, the first name listed on the application shall be deemed to be the designated representative of the team.


Work must have been first published or broadcast in general information media between January 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011. The story or series must involve on-the-ground reporting in at least two countries. Work is eligible without regard to the language in which it originally appeared. However, entries submitted in the original language must be accompanied by a comprehensive story summary in English. English-language subtitles on video entries are preferred but not mandatory. Audio entries should be sent on CD, with accompanying script; video entries on DVD format, with accompanying script. Six copies of each submission are required. No e-mail submissions accepted.

Submission Letter:

Include a brief synopsis of the story/series and explain the background of the project, identifying the issues and key players. Describe what led you to the topic, any unusual conditions you or your team faced in developing the project, and whether the investigation had any ramifications. If there were any challenges to the content of the story/series that were not reported in the original work, you must describe them in your letter. The submission letter should be in English and no longer than two typed pages. Curriculum vitae must be submitted for every reporter named in the entry.

Entry Fee:



All entries must be postmarked no later than July 1, 2011. Only one entry per applicant is allowed.


A five-member international jury of journalists and/or journalism educators will select the Pearl Awards winner and finalists.


Awards are made payable to the individual journalist responsible for the winning work or, in the case of a team of journalists, to the team’s designated representative. The Pearl Awards will be announced at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Kiev, Ukraine, in October 2011.

Signature and Permission:

The signature of the applying journalist (or the applying team’s designated representative) is required. If the copyright to the work is not owned by the applying journalist or team of journalists, the signature of the copyright owner (or its authorized representative) is also required. The signature grants ICIJ a non-exclusive, royalty-free, irrevocable license to reproduce, publish, and distribute the work (in whole or in part) in any Center for Public Integrity/ICIJ publication in any media if the applicant is selected as a finalist or winner.

More information here.
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