2023 round-up of awards that celebrate Latin American journalism

Journalism in Latin America could be thought of as a dangerous profession that requires sacrifices and offers little economic gain. However, despite being under attack, it continues to be a line of work that is recognized through the various awards that are held annually. 

LatAm Journalism Review (LJR) chose the most important awards to be granted during 2023, with information on nominations, categories, requirements, and award ceremonies. 


Gabo Awards


The Gabo Foundation Award is considered one of the most important awards in Ibero-American journalism.

It has five categories: Text, Photography, Audio, Image, and Coverage. The works must have been originally published in Spanish or Portuguese, between June 7, 2022 and March 21, 2023, and be registered on the award's platform

This year's winners will receive 35 million Colombian pesos (about US $7,300) and will be invited, all expenses paid, to the Gabo Festival 2023.

The deadline to apply closes on Wed., March 22 at 11:59 p.m. (Colombia time). 


Maria Moors Cabot Awards


The Maria Moors Cabot Awards were founded in 1938 and are the oldest international journalism awards. 

This award is given to journalists who, in their work and throughout their careers, have contributed to promoting greater Inter-American understanding and relations. 

Nominations are currently being accepted until March 23. Any journalist and/or news executive working for any news organization (association or news service) based in the Western Hemisphere and others, including freelance journalists, with a long history of reporting on the region are eligible. All media platforms, including online publications, are also eligible.

The Cabot Awards jury, composed of journalists and educators interested in hemispheric affairs, will judge the nominations. Columbia University trustees, on the dean’s recommendation, will select the winners. Recipients will be announced in the summer and will receive a Cabot Medal and $5,000 in prize money. Special mentions may also be awarded. 


Desmadres Nonfiction Awards


The Desmadres Nonfiction Awards is a contest for nonfiction works that is part of Desmadres, a Latin American Literature Festival. This festival will take place from Aug. 16 to 23 in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

Those interested in participating in the competition can apply sending unpublished articles, crónicas [literary long-form journalism], essays, profiles, biographies, autobiographies, stories, memoirs, letters, etc. The length should be between 10,000 and 30,000 characters (with spaces).

The jury in charge of choosing the winners this year includes Gerardo Arenas (Argentina), Ana Gallego Cuiñas (Spain) and Cristina Burneo Salazar (Ecuador).

The jury will award first, second and third prizes of 100,000, 50,000 and 30,000 Argentine pesos ($500, $250 and $150 U.S. dollars), respectively. It will also choose between 8 and 12 works, which will be published in an anthology edited by Fondo de Cultura Económica in Argentina.

Participation is open until May 30 at 23:59 (Argentina time). 


Sharon Begley Science Reporting Award


This year will be the second annual Sharon Begley Award 2023, which seeks to recognize the achievements of a mid-career science journalist. It will provide a grant of at least US $20,000, to enable the winner to undertake a significant news project.

The awards are named after Sharon Begley (1956-2021), "a science journalist of unwavering dedication, skill, moral clarity, and commitment to mentorship." 

Nominations will be accepted until April 30, 2023. Candidates must be experienced journalists who have compiled work in science journalism on science, health/medicine, the environment, math, and/or technology.

Latin American Investigative Journalism Award


The Javier Valdez Latin American Investigative Journalism Award is considered the most important award for investigative journalism in the region. It is presented annually at the Latin American Investigative Journalism Conference, organized by the Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS).

This year, the conference and award will be held in Mexico. However, the dates have not yet been announced and nominations have not yet opened. 

The Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS), at its headquarters in Caracas, also holds an annual National Investigative Journalism Contest. This contest, created in 2009, has been a benchmark for the promotion of investigative journalism and the defense of a culture of transparency in Venezuela.


RFI Spanish-language Radio Story Award


In its ninth edition, Radio France International (RFI) brings out the "RFI Spanish-language Radio Story Award," aimed at journalism students under the age of 30 living in the Americas. 

Candidates must be Spanish-speaking journalism students. They should send a radio story, 13 minutes maximum duration, via email (premio.reportaje@rfi.fr), between March 6 and May 14, 2023. They should also send a proposal for a radio story to be made in Paris.

The prize consists of a four-week all-expenses-paid internship at RFI's Spanish-language newsroom in Paris during 2023. The name of the winner will be announced on Thurs., June 8 during the "Paris-America" program.


Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) Awards


Each year, the Inter-American Press Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and freedom of expression in the Americas, holds its Excellence in Journalism contest. 

The award is aimed at media and communication professionals from North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Spain. They may participate in 14 categories: editorial cartoon, Internet news coverage, news coverage, interview, crónica [literary long-form journalism], human rights and community service, photography, infographics, opinion, data journalism, in-depth journalism, environmental journalism, health journalism, and university journalism.

The competition is open to stories published between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023. Applications must be received before July 1, 2023.

The first prize in each category is US $2,000. The award ceremony will be held in Mexico City in November 2023, during the 79th IAPA General Assembly.


King of Spain International Journalism Awards


The King of Spain International Journalism Awards seek to recognize the informative work of Spanish and Portuguese-speaking journalists from the countries that make up the Ibero-American Community of Nations and from the nations with which Spain has historical ties and cultural and cooperation relations. They have been awarded annually since 1983, when they were created by the EFE Agency and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).

Nominations are usually received each year between June and September. The winners receive a statuette and a cash prize of 10,000 euros.


Roche Awards


The Roche Award seeks to recognize excellence and stimulate quality journalistic coverage of health issues in Latin America.

Awards will be given in the categories of Written Journalism, Audiovisual Journalism and Daily Coverage. The winners in each of the three categories will receive a prize of up to US $5,000 (minus bank commissions) for academic tuition in courses, specializations or master's degrees. Plus a trophy and a diploma.

The call for entries takes place mid-year and the prizes are awarded in November. 


Sigma Awards 


The Sigma Awards celebrate the best in data journalism from around the world. Its also seeks “to empower, uplift and enlighten the global community of data journalists."

This year's call for entries is closed and the winners have already been announced. 

A new call for entries will open in December.


Vladimir Herzog Award in Brazil


This award was created with the goal of stimulating journalists to cover amnesty and human rights issues. Its first edition was held in October 1979, honoring the memory of journalist Vladimir Herzog, who was tortured and murdered on Oct. 25, 1975 in São Paulo, Brazil. Since then, the award recognizes the work of journalists who collaborate in the defense and promotion of democracy, citizenship, and human and social rights.

The Award is divided into the following categories: Arts (illustrations, cartoons, caricatures and comics), photography, text, video, audio, multimedia, and feature story in book form.

Entries and submissions tend to begin mid-year and the prizes are awarded in November or December.