Illustration by Fer Gregory, Shutterstock

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 14 October for the second 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 2021. Winners will be announced at IJ4EU’s #UNCOVERED conference in Berlin on 1 April 2022.

The IJ4EU Impact Award recognises innovation and excellence in cross-border investigative journalism in European Union member states. It is open to both IJ4EU grantees and any other teams that meet the eligibility criteria. Investigations must have been published between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2021.

Last year’s winners were The Daphne ProjectThe Troika LaundromatLost in Europe and Fraud Factory.

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 2020 and 30 September 2021.
  • Nominated investigations must involve journalists from at least two EU member states.
  • Nominated investigations need to highlight issues of common interest to citizens of at least two EU member states, 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 March 2022, 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.

The winners will be announced in Berlin on 1 April 2022 at IJ4EU’s #UNCOVERED conference, organised by ECPMF. You can view last year’s winners here.

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