Africa Fact Checking Award Application Deadline: August 1, 2021
Entries for the 2021 African Fact-Checking Awards, the longest-running awards programme that honours fact-checking journalism by the media in Africa, are now open. Journalists and journalism students across the continent can enter the awards, now in their eighth year.
We received a record number of 192 entries from 27 African countries in 2020 and expect this number to rise again this year.
“Through the awards, we want to promote the practice of fact-checking and making accurate information available to citizens of all countries across Africa, which is now more important than ever,” says Noko Makgato, executive director at Africa Check.
“This, we believe, will help the public make informed decisions about important issues related to their health, education, politics and more. Ultimately, we expect that this will strengthen democracy and improve the quality of life across the continent.”
To qualify, the entry must be an original piece of fact-checking journalism first published or broadcast on any date from 23 August 2020 to 31 July 2021, by a media- or independent fact-checking organisation based in Africa. The work may be published in print or online, broadcast on the radio or television or published in a blog.
In the student category, the entry must be an original piece of fact-checking journalism first published or broadcast in a blog, student publication or by a media- or independent fact-checking organisation based in Africa.
Entries should expose a claim on an important topic that originated in or is relevant to Africa as misleading or wrong.
What counts as a fact-checking report?
If you are thinking about entering the African Fact-Checking Awards, a word of advice: don’t send us a traditional news report.
Great traditional reporting is important but what we are looking for is a great piece of fact-checking journalism.
The categories include:
- Fact-Check of the Year by a Working Journalist
- Fact-Check of the Year by a Student Journalist
One runner-up in each of the two categories above
The winner of the working journalist category will get a prize of US$3,000, while the runner-up will be awarded $1,500. The winner of the student journalist category will get a prize of $2,000, and the runner-up $1,000.
Candidates can only enter for the awards in one category per year, but can submit more than one report if they choose. Students must have attended a journalism school at some period 23 August 2020 to 31 July 2021 and be younger than 35.
Reports published by Africa Check are not eligible for the competition.
Entries will be judged based on the following criteria:
The significance for wider society of the claim/statement investigated. How much does the topic matter to society at large and how serious could the consequences be if the claim wasn’t fact-checked?
How was the claim tested against the available evidence? Fact-checkers must take a long, hard look at the claim/statement that was made. Fact-checking entails rigorously sifting through the publicly available evidence for and against the claim. This should be done in a way that is fair to the person or institution who made the claim and strict in assessing the evidence.
How well does the piece present the evidence for and against the claim? A good fact-checking report is structured in such a way that it’s understandable and makes the topic accessible to the widest possible public.
The impact that the fact-check had on public debate on the topic. Did it lead to a correction, did it have significant reach, or was it shared by other organisations or members of the media, for instance?
To gain a better understanding of what is considered a fact-checking report, have a look at the winning entries from previous years below.