Sonntag, 24.01.2021 04:20 Uhr

Google behind small cash prize for best Corona reporting

Verantwortlicher Autor: Jochen Raffelberg Berlin, 10.12.2020, 14:49 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Jochen Raffelberg Bericht 4812x gelesen

Berlin [ENA] Journalists from around the globe can apply for the Google-sponsored Sigma Award and its overall US$5,000 cash prize honoring exceptional data reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 competition also highlights topics such as politics and environment and aims to “galvanize" data journalism communities around the world, organizers say setting 01 February as submission deadline without category restrictions.

The team behind Sigma Awards consists of co-chairs Aron Pilhofer (Temple University) and Reginald Chua (Reuters), managing director Simon Rogers (Google), executive director Marianne Bouchart (HEI-DA) and competition officer Kuek Ser Kuang Keng. It is supported by the Google News Initiative. Competing works must have been published in 2020. Individuals, small newsrooms with 35 or fewer journalists and collaborative work by larger newsroom do qualify for participation, according to the Sigma organizers. Sigma encourage for participation data collection and analysis in the service of journalism, ideally shining a light on facts and issues of public interest that would otherwise not be known.

This includes storytelling and engagement of (ideally) that kind of reporting, probably visually and interactively (although not necessarily); public service, either in the kind of reporting/analysis of a story(ies) or in terms of empowering communities to discover important information for themselves; and innovative ideas that will likely move the field forward. The 5000 USD cash prize will be split amongst the winners, who will also get a certificate. The first edition of the Sigma Awards was put together in just four weeks, ended up being a great success, and exceeded organizers’ expectations with 510 entries from 287 organizations in 66 countries/areas.

But the winners’ celebration, which was supposed to take place at the International Journalism Festival 2020, was cancelled because of the pandemic. This year, Sigma will run the competition remotely from start to finish, including the winners’ celebration. Owner and data controller of Sigmaawards.org is given as MuckRock Foundation Incorporated in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA) that according to Wikipedia is a United States-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which assists anyone in filing governmental requests for information through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other public record laws around the United States, then publishes the returned information on its website and encourages journalism around it.

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