Storytelling is essential — it helps us understand, learn about, and discover new communities, places, and more. Every day, journalists around the world work hard to tell stories that inform and inspire others. That’s why the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), the ONE Campaign and the family of Micahel Elliott partner annually to honor these amazing storytellers. Each year, the Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling is awarded to a promising journalist for their outstanding work covering and telling stories on the continent. If this piques your interest or sounds like someone you know, you’re in luck — the 2021 award is open for entries!
Here’s what you need to know about this year’s award.
About the award
Established in 2016 in partnership with ONE and the Elliott family, the Michael Elliott Award is awarded by the International Center for Journalists to honor the memory and legacy of Michael Elliott. Michael was an editor at Newsweek, Time and The Economist, and CEO of ONE from 2011-16.
Michael was committed to the power of storytelling in improving the human condition, and the namesake award is given to an emerging journalist covering Africa and uplifting voices and perspectives from the continent. The award is the result of a dream Michael had in 2016 to “establish an award that would bring together his belief in great journalism, with his commitment to progress in Africa.” The award is designed to help advance the work of each of its winners, who are selected by an international jury that includes media leaders from Africa, the US, and the UK.
This year, the award is being expanded to include two winners who have published groundbreaking work between December 1 2019 and December 1 2020, among other eligibility criteria. Applicants must apply by Monday February 15 2021 at 11:59pm EST.
What winners will receive
Each of this year’s winners will receive a cash prize of $5,000 and will participate in a special program tailored to their journalistic interests. In previous years, the program consisted of a special tour organized by the ICFJ and the opportunity to spend time in newsrooms in New York City and Washington, D.C. This year, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, that program will be done virtually and the ICFJ will organize a number of sessions with media experts from The Economist, The Washington Post and more. The winners will also be invited to participate in a virtual internship where they can interact with top journalists and media experts.