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About the Award

ICIJ has decided to suspend the Daniel Pearl Awards for 2015 while we consider the future of the award. We remain committed to recognizing the world’s best international investigative reporting, and are currently assessing how ICIJ can best support cross-border journalism. We will provide further updates in the near future.

The Daniel Pearl Awards for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting are unique among journalism prizes worldwide in that they were created specifically to honor cross-border investigative reporting. Formerly the ICIJ Awards, the prizes were renamed in 2008 in honor of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was slain by militants in Pakistan in 2002.

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.

The competition, held biennially, is open to any professional journalist or team of journalists of any nationality working in any medium.

Notable Winners

International: Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project: Offshore Crime, Inc. This investigation uncovered how Eastern European criminals and corrupt politicians use offshore havens as fronts for money laundering, tax evasion, and drug and weapon smuggling.

U.S.: Mimi Chakarova, Center for Investigative Reporting: The Price of Sex. Photojournalist Chakarova reveals in riveting detail the underground criminal networks and the experiences of Eastern European women forced into prostitution abroad.

Kjersti Knudsson and Synnove Bakke, Norwegian Broadcasting Corp.; David Leigh, The Guardian; Meirion Jones and Liz MacKean, BBC Newsnight; Jeroen Trommelen, de Volkskrant (Western Europe), for “Trafigura’s Toxic Waste Dump,” which exposed how a powerful offshore oil trader tried to cover up the poisoning of 30,000 West Africans.

Aram Roston, The Nation (United States), for How the US Funds the Taliban on how Pentagon military contractors in Afghanistan routinely pay millions of dollars in protection money to the Taliban to move supplies to U.S. troops.


A five-member jury of international journalists selects the winners.

Monetary/Material Award Details

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.

Five $1,000 prizes are awarded to the five finalists

Eligibility Requirements

Any professional journalist or team of journalists of any nationality is eligible to submit an individual investigative piece of work, or single-subject series, on a transnational topic of world significance. Works produced in print, broadcast, and online media are eligible; books are not eligible. In the case of a team of journalists, the first name listed on the application shall be deemed to be the designated representative of the team.

Work must have been first published or broadcast in general information media between JULY 15, 2011, and APRIL 30, 2013. The story or series must involve on-the-ground reporting in at least two countries. Work is eligible without regard to the language in which it originally appeared. However, entries submitted in the original language must be accompanied by a comprehensive story summary in English. English-language subtitles on video entries are preferred but not mandatory. Audio entries should be sent on CD, with accompanying script; video entries on DVD format, with accompanying script. Six copies of each submission are required. No e-mail submissions accepted.

Entry Fee Details

Required Material

Include a brief synopsis of the story/series and explain the background of the project, identifying the issues and key players. Describe what led you to the topic, any unusual conditions you or your team faced in developing the project, and whether the investigation had any ramifications. If there were any challenges to the content of the story/series that were not reported in the original work, you must describe them in your letter. The submission letter should be in English and no longer than two typed pages.

Curriculum vitae must be submitted for every reporter named in the entry.

Entry Format

Mail Entries to:


Awards are made payable to the individual journalist responsible for the winning work or, in the case of a team of journalists, to the team’s designated representative. The Pearl Awards will be announced at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in October 2013.

Contact Information

TEL: 202-466-1300
FAX: 202-466-1101
E-MAIL: [email protected]

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