The two $5,000 first-place prizes and five $1,000 finalist awards recognize, reward, and foster excellence in cross-border investigative journalism. In addition, the judges at their discretion may award a special citation for work that is unusually enterprising or done under especially challenging circumstances. Past ICIJ award winners have reported about abuses faced by immigrants in American workplaces; the involvement of Sweden in the CIA secret renditions program; and allegations of sexual exploitation of Congolese women and children by United Nations peacekeepers, among other issues of world importance. Fredrik Laurin of TV4 Sweden, Jeffrey Goldberg of The New Yorker, and Steve Bradshaw and Mike Robinson of BBC News Panorama have received the award in recent years.
The competition, held biennially, is open to any professional journalist or team of journalists of any nationality working in any medium. The main criterion for eligibility is that the investigation — either a single work or a single-subject series — involves reporting in at least two countries on a topic of world significance. A five-member jury of international journalists selects the winners.
Two $5,000 first prizes are awarded: one to a U.S.-based reporter or news organization and the other to a non-U.S.-based journalist or news organization.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists was launched in 1997 as a project of the Center for Public Integrity to extend globally the Center’s style of watchdog journalism in the public interest. One hundred ICIJ journalists from 50 countries combine talents to provide groundbreaking, in-depth reporting in an increasingly globalized and networked world.