The IJ4EU fund has opened nominations for its annual award celebrating the best of European cross-border investigative journalism, with three cash prizes of €5,000 available for teams that collaborate on transnational issues in the public interest.

Nominations opened on 10 October for the third annual IJ4EU Impact Award, run by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), one of three organisations implementing the IJ4EU programme.

The deadline for nominations is 14 November at 23:59 CET.

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony organised by ECPMF at a summit of the Media Freedom Rapid Response mechanism in Leipzig, Germany on March 31, 2023.

The IJ4EU Impact Award recognises excellence and innovation in cross-border investigative journalism in European Union member states and EU candidate countries.

It is open to any teams that meet the eligibility criteria, whether or not they have received IJ4EU funding. Investigations must have been published between 1 October 2021 and 30 September 2022.

Last year’s winners were The Pegasus Project, Frontex Complicit in Pushbacks and The Logbook of Moria. The jury singled out a fourth investigation — Cities for Rent — for special commendation.

The Impact Award is supported by the IJ4EU’s other implementing partners, the International Press Institute (IPI) and the European Journalism Centre (EJC).

Anyone is welcome to nominate investigative projects, including their own journalistic work, as long as the projects were published via a credible medium (e.g. print, broadcast television or radio, online, documentary film, multimedia etc).

The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Nominated investigations must have been published between 1 October 2021 and 30 September 2022.
  • Nominated investigations must involve journalists from at least two EU member states or at least one EU member state and one EU candidate country.
  • Nominated investigations need to highlight issues of common interest to citizens of at least two EU member states or at least one EU member state and one EU candidate country, and be seen to have strengthened European media.
  • Nominated investigations may have been published in any language. However, for investigations not published in English, a translation in English of the core investigation/summary must be provided.
  • Nominations should include any significant challenge to the honesty, accuracy or fairness of an entry, such as published letters, corrections, retractions as well as responses by the relevant newspaper or website.

A team of independent researchers will start to evaluate the impact of the nominated projects in mid-November. They will then be ranked according to:

  • The investigation’s impact. This is assessed according to political reaction (for example, in the European Parliament or national legislatures); advocacy reaction (for example, among NGOs or activists); public reaction (for example, on social media or within an industry); and media reaction (among outlets not involved in the investigation).
  • The effectiveness of cross-border collaboration. How closely and productively did outlets and journalists work together?
  • The process behind the investigation: challenges faced, obstacles overcome, techniques pioneered, information uncovered, sources relied on and so on.

In early 2023, an independent jury set up by ECPMF will review the ranked nominations (including a shortlist of the top 10) and select three cross-border investigations as winners. You can view last year’s jury here. Each award will be worth €5,000.

For more information, see the Awards page on the IJ4EU site and the relevant section in our frequently asked questions.