Now accepting entries: The 2020 Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling

For the fourth year in a row, ONE is proud to partner with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the Elliott family to recognize journalists in Africa who are strengthening African voices through their reporting. The Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling is now accepting entries for 2020. This prestigious award will honor an up-and-coming journalist in Africa telling important stories through quality reporting.

About the Michael Elliott Award

The award, created in 2017, honors the life and career of Michael Elliott, ONE’s CEO from 2011 to 2016.

Before his time at ONE, Michael had a distinguished career in the media. He served as a top editor of The Economist, Newsweek, and Time. As a longtime ICFJ board member, Mike championed storytelling as a tool for empowerment. He was passionate about using storytelling to unravel complex issues—and the people at their center—and shine a light on global development.

A distinguished international jury will select the 2020 Michael Elliott Award winner. The winner will receive a US$5,000 cash prize to pursue an in-depth reporting project. In a special study tour organized by ICFJ, the winner will spend time in U.S. newsrooms to learn new skills and share knowledge. The winner will also complete a two-week internship at the headquarters of The Economist in London.

Past winners

Mercy Juma, a broadcast journalist at BBC Africa, received the inaugural award in 2017. Her past reporting brings to life the stories of Kenyans who’ve faced challenges and aimed to overcome them. Many of her stories shed light on sensitive topics, such as unwed teen mothers living in Muslim communities.

The 2018 winner, Abubakar Ibrahim, is a reporter and editor for the Daily Trust in Abuja, Nigeria. His work follows the Boko Haram insurgency throughout Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon. He tells the story of two women who returned home after being displaced by Boko Haram, placing human stories at the forefront of this crisis.

Last year’s winner, Dorcas Wangira, is a journalist for Citizen Television, Kenya’s leading network. Her winning report was on The Restorers, a group of teenagers who are developing an app to combat female genital mutilation (FGM). Wangira was determined to keep their voices thriving after many international reporters left gaps in this critical story.

Eligibility and application

To apply for this award, you must:

  • be an English-speaking journalists working in Africa in print, broadcast, or online news media.
  • have no more than 10 years of journalism experience.
  • submit one published piece that uses top-notch reporting to capture the stories of modern Africa. The submission can be a feature story; an in-depth, investigative, or explanatory piece; or a multimedia report or documentary. If the submission is in another language, English translations must be provided.
  • submit a story published between December 1, 2018 and December 1, 2019.

Does this sound like you? The award is now open for entries! Be sure to send in your submission before the deadline on December 31, 2019.


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