The Kurt Schork Awards honour the brave work of freelance journalists, local reporters and news fixers who risk their lives every day to bring us stories about conflict, corruption and human rights. These are the colleagues who often receive little recognition, yet are most essential. Their work not only protects free and independent media – where governments and businesses are held to account, and citizens are empowered to make better decisions – but also helps to foster more inclusive societies, where human rights are upheld. The deadline for applications is 31st May. Find out more and how to apply: http://www.ksmfund.org/2020-awards
- History of the awards:
Now in their 19th year, the awards are named in honour of American journalist Kurt Schork, who was killed in Sierra Leone while on assignment for Reuters in 2000. Kurt’s closest bond was with those reporters he had come to greatly admire in the field: fellow freelancers and the often poorly-paid and seldom-credited local reporters covering their own troubled home countries. The idea of creating an annual awards program to honour these journalists was quickly formed.
The three annual awards recognise the courageousness of freelance journalists, local reporters and news fixers who are reporting on conflict, corruption, human rights transgressions and other related issues. The Thomson Reuters Foundation has supported and hosted the Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism since 2009.
- Past winners: You can download the previous winners’ testimonial video here.
- Winners of the News Fixer Award include:
In 2019, the News Fixer Award went to Iraqi news fixer Sangar Khaleel, who has worked with journalists from major news outlets covering the rise and fall of ISIS in Iraq.
In 2018, the News Fixer Award was won by Syrian news fixer Wael Resol, who was nominated three times by international journalists who hired him as their fixer during assignments in Iraq.
- Winners of the Local Reporter Award include:
Cameroonian journalist Amindeh Blaise Atabong (2019 winner) for his brave reporting on the sometimes-violent split between Cameroon’s English-and-French-speaking communities.
Indian journalist Soma Basu who won in 2017 for her reporting on sensitive issues such as the skin trade and organ trafficking.
Rawalpindi-based Pakistani journalist Umer Ali (2016 winner) for tacking sensitive issues such as blasphemy law and ethnic tensions in a country where journalism is a dangerous occupation.
- Winners of the Freelance Journalist Award include:
2019 winner – Amanda Sperber, an East Africa-based foreign correspondent, for her reporting on armed conflict and politics in Somalia.
2018 winner – Simona Foltyn, an Austrian journalist based in the UAE, for her reporting about the war in South Sudan.
2017 winner – John Beck, a British journalist based in Iraq, for his reporting about the war in Western Mosul for Al Jazeera.