The True Story Award is currently open for submission to journalists all over the world
True Story Award is the first globally-oriented journalism prize aims to set an example to motivate journalists all over the world and to strengthen them in their work.
In the 21st century, journalism’s role as an indispensable critical institution for democracy is continually and everywhere being put to the test: freedom of the press is limited, the media is politically controlled, economically instrumentalised, and digitally fragmented. The price for this is high: in many places the loss of a plural and independent representation of events or developments in the media is impacting upon the formation of free and critical opinion. This makes courageous and innovative reporters all the more important, in all societies and countries. It is for them that the True Story Award was created.
The central idea of the prize is to supplement and broaden the predominantly Western view of the world with other perspectives. Due to the nature of media coverage, readers in North America and Europe have a view of the world different to those in the Arab world, Africa and Asia. The prize encourages the broadening of our field of vision through the voices of reporters from different countries.
The True Story Award has no editorial, economic or ideological agenda. It simply hopes to recognise first-class journalism.
Submission Guidelines for the True Story Award 2024
- The True Story Award will be conferred by an independent foundation and honours reporters writing in 10 languages, who have distinguished themselves by the depth of their research, the quality of their journalism and its social relevance.
- Fifty jury members from 29 countries will select the 36 best texts of the year and then select a winner.
- Submissions in the original language must include a summary in English of at least 400 words. In this case, native-speaking readers from their network will review the original text and decide on a translation into English for evaluation by the jury.
- True Story Award will be given to the kind of reportage that demonstrates the following qualities:
- a narrative account of real events,
- in-depth research on location,
- rigorously researched facts and linguistic richness.
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- Pure essays, biographies and historical reconstructions are ineligible (although of course something of these can be present in all reportage).
- The texts’ length should be between 3 000 and 17 000 words.
- The jury will evaluate the following aspects of the texts:
- Research (depth, time expenditure, country-specific circumstances)
- Quality (craft, truthfulness, narrative elegance)
- Impact (social, political and economic relevance)
- Texts published in print or online between 1.9.2022 and 30.9.2023 are eligible. They may have been published in daily or weekly newspapers, magazines or on websites.
- Re-published texts, books and manuscripts are ineligible.
- Texts must be submitted online through the True Story Award website.
- Then the three best texts per language/region will be selected by the relevant jury by the end of 2023.
- There are 12 language/region juries in all: one for each of the 9 languages represented, and three for texts from other languages translated into English.
- Texts must be submitted by their authors.
The 36 nominees selected by the local Jurys (one person per nominated text ) will be invited to present their work at the True Story Festival from May 24 to 26, 2024.
The main jury will then select the three best texts from the 36 nominees, who will be rewarded as follows:
- prize: 25 000 francs.
- prize: 15 000 francs.
- prize: 10 000 francs.
The award ceremony will be held as part of a festival on Friday, May 24, 2024, in Bern, Switzerland.
The submission deadline is Sunday, November 5, 2023, at 12 pm (noon, CEST).
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