African Fact-Checking Awards for African Students and Journalists 2017

The African Fact-Checking Awards, now in their fourth edition, are the only awards on the continent set up specifically to honour the best, non-partisan fact-checking journalism by working and student journalists on the continent.

After receiving entries from journalists in just a handful of countries in its first year of 2014, the African Fact-Checking Award has continued to grow with many more countries sending in entries. In 2016, awards for reports published in English and in French were created, and this year 2017, a student category has been added.

As fact-checking continues to become an essential skill for any mainstream journalist to acquire, the organizers hope that journalism schools around the continent will want to enter their students for these important awards. So if you are working as a reporter for an Africa-based media organisation, or if you are studying journalism in Africa, please get in touch to apply for the African Fact-Checking Awards if you fulfil the criteria below.

If you work for an African media house or are studying journalism at a journalism college on the continent, you can submit your report published or broadcast between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017 that fact-checks an important claim made in public debate or the media.

Entries must be true fact-checking reports that focus solely on investigating fairly the accuracy of a claim made in public debate. To know what sort of pieces win, take a look at the previous winners.

To be eligible for the award, the entry must be an original piece of fact-checking journalism first published or broadcast between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017, by a media house based in Africa. The work may be published in print or online, broadcast on the radio or television or published in a blog. Candidates may enter more than one report if they so choose.

Reports published by Africa Check are not eligible for the competition.

Selection criteria:
Criteria for judging entries:

  • The significance for wider society of the claim that was investigated
  • How well the claim was tested against the available evidence
  • How well the piece presented the evidence for and against the claim
  • The impact that the publication had on public debate on the topic

Eligible groups
Citizens of ALL African countries

Participating Institutions
Any work published by ANY media house in Africa — in print or online, on radio or television broadcast, or published on a blog

Number of awards
1). Awards for working journalists

  • Best fact-checking report by a journalist in Anglophone media
  • Best fact-checking report by a journalist in Francophone media

2). Awards for students

  • Best fact-checking report by a student journalist published in Anglophone campus media or blog
  • Best fact-checking report by a student journalist published in Francophone campus media or blog

Scholarship benefits
This year the total prize money has been increased. To honour this year’s awards winners and runners-up, Africa Check is offering the following prizes:

  • $2,000 each for the winner of the best fact-checking report by a journalist
  • $1,000 each for the two runners-up in Anglophone and Francophone media
  • $500 each for winner of the best report by a student journalist in Anglophone and Francophone media

Method of Application
Entries for this competition must be received by the organisers via the online entry form in either French or English. No other means of sending in entries is allowed. Applications are open for journalists and students interested in submitting fact-finding stories they have investigated and reported between 1 September 2016 and 31 August this year.

Interested participants should visit the official award webpage (link to it is below) for complete information on how to apply.

All applications must be submitted before midnight on 31st August, 2017

The names of the winners and runners-up will be announced at a ceremony to be held in Nairobi in October.

The African Fact-Checking Awards are operated in partnership with the African Media Initiative, the largest media industry body on the continent. Since launching the awards, Africa Check has run them in partnership with African Media Initiative (AMI) with support from the AFP news agency and the Shuttleworth Foundation. This year, the awards will be held in partnership with the Global Investigative Journalism Network, at the GIJN conference in Johannesburg, South Africa in November 2017.

For democracy to function, public figures need to be held to account for what they say. The claims they make need to be checked, openly and impartially. Africa Check is an independent, nonprofit and non-partisan organisation started in June 2012 which assesses claims made in the public arena using journalistic skills and evidence drawn from the latest online tools, readers, public sources and experts, sorting fact from fiction and publishing the results.

Its website is partnered with the School of Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa to support the training of journalists on how to check facts asserted by politicians and other media outlets.

Application Deadline: 31 August 2017

Apply here