Friday, January 17, 2020, at 12 am (CET)


 Online/ Switzerland



The True Story Award 2020

The first globally-oriented journalism prize aims to set an example to motivate journalists all over the world and to strengthen them in their work. In the 21st century, journalism’s role as an indispensable critical institution in democracy.

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The central idea of the prize is to supplement and broaden the predominantly Western view of the world with other perspectives. Due to the nature of media coverage, readers in North America and Europe have a view of the world different to those in the Arab world, Africa and Asia. The prize encourages the broadening of our field of vision through the voices of reporters from different countries.

The True Story Award has no editorial, economic or ideological agenda. It simply hopes to recognise first-class journalism.

The True Story Award will be conferred by an independent foundation and honours reporters writing in 12 languages, who have distinguished themselves by the depth of their research, the quality of their journalism and its social relevance. Fifty jury members from 29 countries will select the 42 best texts of the year and then select a winner.If their work is nominated, the authors grant the organisers of the True Story Award the right to publish their work in English translation on the website and in German translation in the festival publication at the time of the annual award ceremony. If nominated, authors will receive 3 000 Swiss francs, on condition of attending the award ceremony on September 5, 2020 in Bern.

Opportunity Focus Areas:

  • Writing

Required Languages


(Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish)

Eligible Countries


Program Period

  • 15 November 2019: Opening submission for the 2020 contest.
  • 17 January 2020: Deadline for entries.
  • 1 May 2019: Shortlist announcement.
  • 4 – 6 September 2020: Reportagen Festival Bern featuring the Nominees.

Eligibility Requirements (Criteria)

  • The submission deadline is Thursday, January 17, 2020, at 12 am (CET). Late submissions will not be considered.
  • The texts’ length should be between 15 000 and 85 000 characters including spaces.
  • Re-published texts, books and manuscripts are ineligible.
  • Visual and audiovisual works are ineligible.
  • Essays, biographies and historical non-fiction are ineligible.
  • Texts must be submitted by their authors.
  • In submitting their work, authors declare that their work covers actually researched events and that it complies with journalistic standards.
  • Texts written in languages other than those of the 12 jury groups must be submitted in English translation.
  • The True Story Award will be given to the kind of reportage that demonstrates the following qualities: a narrative account of real events, in-depth research on location, rigorously researched facts and linguistic richness.
  • The jury will evaluate the following aspects of the texts:
    – Research (depth, time expenditure, country-specific circumstances).
    – Quality (craft, truthfulness, narrative elegance).
    – Impact (social, political and economic relevance).


Opportunity Cost


The 42 nominated reporters will be invited to the True Story Award ceremony in Bern (flights, accommodation and meals will be covered). The total prize pool is 177 000 Swiss francs, which is divided as follows: the 42 nominees each receive 3 000 francs. This sum will be personally awarded during the True Story Award ceremony.

The main jury will then select the three best texts from the 42 nominees, who will be rewarded as follows:

  • Prize: 30.000 francs.
  • Prize: 20.000 francs.
  • Prize: 10.000 francs.
  • The award ceremony will be held as part of a festival on  September 5, 2020 in the Bern Theatre. The winner will receive 30.000 Swiss francs in prize money, while the total prize money amounts to 177.000 Swiss francs.

How to Apply

First Step: Choose the original language of your article and 

Second Step:

Apply Now

More Details

Know more about this opportunity:

Official Website

Marj3 recommended links

To learn how to write CV, Essays, Personal statement,  and know about recommendation letters click here:

Marj3 recommended links

This Scholarship Published by:
Sosana Rashed/Egypt 

Reviewed by” Razan Sameh/ Egypt
MARJ3 Intern
MARJ3 Scholarships team