With a pot of cash prizes totalling €15,000, the IJ4EU Impact Award celebrates the best investigative journalism carried out by teams collaborating across borders in European Union member states and EU candidate countries.

Nominations for the inaugural awards opened on Tuesday, 6 October 2020. An independent jury will select three collaborative, transnational investigations for three prizes, each worth €5,000. The winners will be announced at IJ4EU’s UNCOVERED Conference in early 2021.

Journalists and news organisations can nominate their own investigative projects, or those of others, using our secure Award Force platform. Applicants are encouraged to read the full eligibility and application details below and to consult the relevant section on our frequently asked questions page.

The deadline for nominations is 8 November 2020.

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The IJ4EU Impact Award is managed by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF).

General eligibility

The award will be open to investigative journalistic projects published via any credible medium including print, broadcast, online, documentary film and multimedia.

  • Projects must have been published between 1 January 2019 and 30 September 2020.
  • They must have been carried out by teams of at least two journalists in EU member states and/or EU candidate countries (with at least one journalist or news organisation based in an EU member state).
  • Projects must have cross-border relevance for audiences in at least two EU member states and/or EU candidate countries (with at least one in an EU member state).
  • Projects may be in any language. However, for projects not published in English, nominations must include an English translation or summary of the core findings of the investigation.
  • Nominations must include any significant challenge to the honesty, accuracy or fairness of the investigation, such as published letters, corrections or retractions as well as any responses by the media outlet.

Application requirements

The IJ4EU Impact Award nomination process aims to be simple, secure and efficient.

All nominations must be submitted in English via the online Award Force platform. Award Force is a free-to-use secure platform for submission and storage. It is ISO/IEC 27001 certified and GDPR compliant, and has multi-factor authentication, encrypted data, multi-tier backups and a secure multi-server architecture in VPC.

Each person making a nomination needs to create a personal user account to ensure that the application can be submitted securely and so not to jeopardise the proposed investigation or those involved. The nomination form can be saved and is accessible until the nomination is completed and ready for submission. Once the application is submitted, it can no longer be edited.

Only nominations in English received via the Award Force platform by the stated date and time will be considered. You will receive an email confirmation of your submission.

Brevity in supplying the information requested will be appreciated.

Nominations for the IJ4EU Impact Award must include:

  • Name of the proposer
  • Nominee contact details 
  • Contact details for the team 
  • Country of the nominee
  • Full names of the members of the team, with nationalities and contact details
  • The title of the project or story (in English)
  • Publication type (e.g. print, broadcast TV, broadcast radio, online, documentary film, multimedia)
  • Link to the publication
  • The name of the outlet in which the project or story was first published
  • Information about the main publishing outlet
  • Names of other media and platforms in which the story has been published
  • A brief summary of the project (the core findings of the investigation)
  • A brief summary of the impact of the project
  • A summary of any critical responses following publication of the project
  • A list of any references to the project in books, reports, papers etc (maximum six links) 
  • A brief description of any obstacles faced by the nominee in carrying out the work (e.g. legal challenges or security issues)
  • An estimate of how long it took to carry out the project
  • A brief explanation of why you think the journalist/team deserves this award

The following supporting information is required:

  • A short bio of each member of the team 
  • Links to the project or pdfs of published material
  • Copies of any significant criticism of the project that led to corrections, retractions or responses by the media outlet/s
  • Letters or quotes from qualified third persons underlining the quality of the project

Selection process and timeline

From 8 November 2020, all submitted nominations will be evaluated by a team of independent researchers. By mid-December 2020, the team will have prepared a short summary of the impact of each project.

At the beginning of 2021 an independent jury selected by the ECPMF will shortlist nominations and decide on the winners of the IJ4EU Impact Award 2021. 

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony during the UNCOVERED Conference in the spring of 2021.

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