The One World Media Awards 2021 celebrate underreported stories from around the world.

Across 15 categories, the awards celebrate and recognise the best media coverage of the global south; stories that break through stereotypes, change the narrative and connect people across cultures.

The Awards look to champion stories that demonstrate originality, creativity, and the potential to catalyse change. All entries should highlight underreported stories or issues, or explore new angles on familiar topics.

We are particularly looking at how the story is told: Is it amplifying voices that are normally unheard? Is it an inspiring story that will create change? Does the story challenge misperceptions or stereotypes?

KEY DATES

  • Longlist announced: April 2021
  • Shortlist announced: May 2021
  • Awards day: 17 June 2021

Please note: This year we are using a new awards platform. All entrants will need to create an account on the new system to enter this year’s awards.

Eligibility

All entries should focus on stories, topics or issues in, about or related to low- and middle-income countries across the global south. This includes countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia or the Post-Soviet States. Jurors will be looking for media that covers underreported stories or new angles and approaches to more familiar stories.

Entries must have had their first screening, broadcast, theatrical release, launch or publication between 13 February 2020 and 16 February 2021.

With the exception of the Special Award, all categories are open to entrants anywhere in the world, as long as the work meets one of the following criteria:

  • the entry has been broadcast, screened or published (in print or in an established online publication/website) in the UK; OR
  • the entry has been broadcast or published (in an established print/online publication/website) internationally and is available for an English-speaking audience; OR
  • the entry has been screened at an international film festival

Selection Criteria

Entries will be evaluated based on the overall merit of the piece, with an emphasis on:

Relevance, originality and creativity of the coverage

  • Highlights underreported stories or issues
  • Explores new angles on familiar topics
  • Challenges misperceptions and/or stereotypes of the global south

Substance and accuracy of the coverage

  • Depth of research and analysis
  • Accurate and balanced reporting that highlights the voices and perspectives of people in and from the global south

Impact and reach of the coverage

  • Demonstrates the actual impact or potential for the coverage to catalyse change
  • May have prompted additional media coverage or policy change
  • Consideration may be given to the total audience reached

Diversity

  • Entries need to demonstrate a commitment to diversity and representation in areas, such as: subject representation, themes and narratives, project team, industry access and opportunities for diversity in audience development.

Quality of the coverage

  • Well-crafted, structured and engaging
  • High production and editorial values
  • Distils and presents complex topics to the target audience in an understandable and accessible way

Category Criteria

Digital Media Award
For websites, interactive online features, apps, interactive documentaries and other digital technologies that use creative and innovative techniques and content to extend knowledge and understanding of, and engagement with, the global south.

Environmental Impact Award
For a piece of media, including broadcast, online, audio, print or film, that explores the relationship between people and the planet. In particular, we are interested in these areas: changing cities, the climate crisis, energy, environmental health, environmental justice, food, water, wildlife and zero waste.

Feature Documentary Award
For a feature-length (over 40 minutes) documentary film that deals with stories, topics or issues in, about or related to the global south.

International Journalist of the Year Award
For a filmmaker or journalist working in any medium who has made the most outstanding contribution to international journalism during the past year.

News Award
For a single television or online video news report or feature that deals with stories, topics or issues in, about or related to the global south.

New Voice Award
For a young filmmaker or journalist working in any medium, 32 years of age or under as of 16th February 2021, who has made a substantial contribution to international journalism during the year.

Popular Features
For a piece of media, including broadcast, digital, audio, print or film, that deals with stories, topics or issues in, about or related to the global south through creative treatment of an issue. The media should reach a wider audience potentially less familiar with global south and help to provide a more accurate, balanced perspective.

Print Award
For a feature article (750 words or longer) published in print or online that deals with stories, topics or issues in, about or related to the global south. This may include specialist features such as sport, music, food and health.

Podcast & Radio Award
For an audio feature, podcast, or single programme from a series, broadcast on radio or online, that deals with stories, topics or issues in, about or related to the global south.

Refugee Reporting Award
For a piece of media, including broadcast, online, audio, print or film, that covers refugee and asylum-seeker issues by telling compelling stories that generate empathy, understanding and are reported on accurately and fairly.

Short Film Award
For a short documentary film that deals with stories, topics or issues in, about or related to the global south. The short film must be between 5 and 40 minutes.

Special Award
For an independent media organisation based in the global south using media to address social, cultural, political and economic issues. The Award seeks to recognise and encourage outstanding reporting that informs the public, provides an outlet for local people’s voices, creates a space for critical information and holds those in power to account.

Student Award
For a piece of media, including film, radio, digital or print, made by a student as part of a journalism or filmmaking course at a university or film school that deals with stories, topics or issues in, about or related to the global south.

Television Documentary Award
For a factual journalistic programme broadcast on television or online, either standalone or one episode from a series, that deals with stories, topics or issues in, about or related to the global south.

Women Entrepreneurs Reporting Award
For media, including broadcast, digital, audio, film or print, that explores women’s entrepreneurship in the global south. Reporting can showcase stories of successful female entrepreneurs, the challenges women face in trying to grow their businesses, and/or the critical role that women entrepreneurs play in economic development by boosting growth and creating jobs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an application fee?

Each standard entry is £165, with discounted rates for freelancers (£40) and students (£25). Further discounts are offered to journalists/filmmakers from the global south. Please fill out this form to be considered for the discounted rate.

Entrants may submit any number of entries into any number of categories, but a separate online entry form and entry fee will be required for each.

Entry fees are non-refundable once paid.

How many entries can I submit?

Entrants may submit any number of entries into any number of categories, but a separate online entry form and entry fee will be required for each.

When is the deadline for submission?

All entries must be submitted and paid for by 16 Feb 2021 to be considered for the awards. The submission portal will close at 17:00 GMT.

Entries will not be accepted into the competition until payment has been received and this should be no later than the deadline of 16 February 2021.

What are the broadcast date requirements for entries?

Entries must have had their first screening, broadcast, theatrical release, launch or publication between 13 February 2020 and 16 February 2021. For film and television entries, this includes scheduled screenings within recognised film, television and documentary festivals.

What materials are required if nominated?

Entrants whose work is nominated must be prepared to supply, within one week of notification: high resolution digital files or high resolution pdfs of print articles for use in the Awards ceremony, full credit information, synopsis of the entry and 3-5 high resolution images for publication in the Award winners’ catalogue, use on the One World Media website and in any publicity and promotional materials related to the Awards/One World Media in future years.

Can I buy tickets for the OWM Awards ceremony?

Tickets will go on sale to the public in April. All nominees will receive one complimentary ticket.