Lorenzo Natali Media Prize 2017

The 2017 Prize is now closed. Thank you all for participating! Stay tuned for the announcement of winners in June!


1. Applications for the 2017 Lorenzo Natali Media Prize must be submitted between 7 February 2017 and 20 March 2017*, 23:59:59 Central European Time (CET). The application form can be accessed via the Application form section of this website or via this link. No postal or e-mail submissions will be accepted.

*Deadline extended!


2. To enter, professional and amateur journalists must upload their own original journalistic work—either individually or, for jointly authored or produced items, as a group. A piece can be submitted together with up to ten associated participants. The entire application of this news item with associated participants will be considered as one entry.

The participants must be the authors and holders of the copyright and the moral rights of their work. Plagiarism, which includes the unauthorised use of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own, will result in disqualification.


3. Two types of journalists can enter the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize: professional journalists and amateur journalists. The eligibility criteria for both types are defined hereunder:

Professional journalist:

  • Holder of a valid press card (national press card, or press card issued by the International Federation of Journalists); and/or
  • Journalism must be their main source of income; and/or
  • Member of a journalism trade union.

Amateur journalist:

  • Do not comply with the above criteria to enter as professional journalists.

In the event of a participant submitting their work using an incorrect category - journalist type (amateur work that qualifies as professional and vice-versa), theme or region - the entry may be switched at the discretion of the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize’s Secretariat.


4. All entries must have been published (print or online), broadcasted or have appeared in an agency dispatch for the first time between 11 March 2016 and 20 March 2017.


5. Entries must address one of the following themes:

Development and Poverty Eradication:

Under this theme, entries must address issues on development and/or poverty eradication in the developing world[1]

Entries under this theme must be submitted under one of five regions[2]: 1. Africa; 2. Arab World and the Middle East; 3. Asia and the Pacific; 4. Latin America and the Caribbean, and 5. Europe. Applicants are asked to select the region for which they apply based on country of residence for amateur journalists or on media organisation/media outlet’s headquarters location for professional journalists. Two winners (one amateur and one professional) shall be awarded per region; therefore, there will be up to ten winners in total for the Development and Poverty Eradication theme.

Promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief outside the European Union: [3]

The right to freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental right of every human being, yet is still challenged in many parts of the world. For 2017 the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize shall award special prizes for submissions which address the promotion of freedom of religion or belief. Two winners (one amateur and one professional) shall be awarded under this theme.

Submissions for this theme shall include inspiring stories and/or actions relating to the promotion of freedom of religion or belief as well as respect for religious diversity and inter-religious cooperation.

Entries for the special prizes can be made by journalists from any of the five regions mentioned above, based on their country of residence for amateur journalists or on media organisation/media outlet’s headquarters location for professional journalists.


For both themes, opinion articles are not eligible.

The Prize Secretariat reserves the right to disqualify any entry that contains hurtful, misleading, libellous or vulgar content, or that contains any material that could constitute or encourage conduct which would be considered a criminal offence, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any national or international law.


6. Only one item or one extract from a series of journalistic works (i.e. one article or one radio/TV piece) can be entered. Submission of more than one entry to the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize will result in the disqualification of the journalist and all his/her entries.


7. Written stories (article, online piece, or blog) should be a maximum of 1000 words. There is no minimum length requirement.

Audio-visual work (TV and radio) should not be longer than 10 minutes. If the size of the audio-visual work exceeds the upload capacity of the application form, please share a link to the piece on YouTube or another platform.


8. Entries may be submitted in any language, though if not in English, French or Spanish, a translation of the article or script into one of these languages is required from the applicant. The English, French or Spanish version will be the one judged.


9. Entries will be assessed on the following:


  • Relevance to the theme (Development and poverty eradication; or Freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union);  
  • Focus and significance of the story

Quality and investigative depth

  • Accuracy/factual reporting
  • Fairness/balance of opinions
  • Investigative depth
  • Compelling/clear presentation


  • Novelty/uniqueness of subject
  • Originality of the context/conditions under which the piece was created
  • Originality and relevance, number and level of sources
  • Originality of presentation

10. All entries will go through a phase of pre-selection that will take place after the closing of applications in March 2017. The top journalistic pieces will then be given to an independent Grand Jury for deliberation. The jury in charge of choosing the winners will consist of recognised figures in journalism, development, poverty eradication, human rights, and the freedom of religion or belief. The winners will be announced during an Award ceremony during the European Development Days in June 2017 in Brussels. The decision of the jury shall be final.


11. Winners will be announced during an Award ceremony during the European Development Days in June 2017 in Brussels. There will be up to 12 winners: ten winners for the development and poverty eradication theme (five amateurs and five professionals) as well as two winners for the special prize on freedom of religion or belief. The 12 winners will receive a trophy and prize of €5 000. One of the 12 winners will also be awarded a Grand Prize for the best piece of journalism. The Grand Prize winner will receive in addition a trophy and €5 000.

The European Commission will cover the cost of the winners’ travel to Brussels for the Award ceremony (in the case of jointly authored or produced items, please note that only one person will be funded).

The winners are responsible for paying any and all taxes due on prize money awarded.


12. The application form includes a section where applicants can provide additional information on their submission, such as background details, context, etc. This additional information will not form part of the content to be judged.


13. The European Commission has the right to reproduce and disseminate the works submitted in its own publications, on its website and in other communications and promotional materials, including, but not limited to, publicity material for the Lorenzo Natali Prize.


14. Laureates cannot enter the Prize the year following their award, but are eligible for subsequent editions. Articles written by current members of staff of the European Union institutions, people involved in the pre-selection process, the jury or Burson-Marsteller will not be considered. These people can enter three years after leaving their position.


15. By submitting an entry, those applying agree to be bound by the competition rules and terms & conditions, including assurance on the copyright of entries.


16. No supporting documents will be returned to participants.


17. The Lorenzo Natali Media Prize is subject to data protection regulation by the European Commission. More information:

Further explanations and answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.


[1] Developing countries are countries where Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development and Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations provide development assistance. More information here: and here:


[2] More specific information can be found in the FAQ

[3] More specific information can be found in the FAQ