Food and society

An award for quality journalism

The BCFN and the Thomson Reuters Foundation are launching a major competition for environmental journalism aimed at journalists working on environmental sustainability to tackle the key paradoxes affecting the world today. Articles, photographs and videos can all be entered and will be judged by a panel made up of world-renowned experts.

Environmental journalism has developed rapidly in recent years, along with the growth of major environmental issues of which the general public needs to be made aware: climate change and the sustainability of our current lifestyles. However, this alone is not enough: the challenges to come require awareness on a social level and practical measures from policy makers. With this in mind, journalists play a key role by reporting, investigating and highlighting problems, solutions, mistakes and best practices.

For this reason, the BCFN, in cooperation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, has launched the Food Sustainability Award, an international journalism prize for those who are best able to communicate the issues connected to environmental sustainability. The concept emerged from discussions between the BCFN Foundation and its group of Alumni, around 100 young researchers from around the world, who drew up the 2015 Youth Manifesto: seven practical proposals for seven fundamental professions in order to improve the food system, subsequently presented at Expo 2015 in Milan and the European Parliament. For the journalism sector, the objective was to “highlight information on the themes of hunger, food, obesity, nutrition and agriculture based on facts by creating an international prize for independent journalism on sustainability in the agro-food sector”. In less than a year, this request has been taken on-board and, in 2017, journalists from around the world, as well as bloggers or vloggers, will be invited to take part in the competition to use words or images to best explain the major food paradoxes, including: the coexistence of hunger and obesity; the over-exploitation of natural resources and agricultural land for producing bio-fuels instead of feeding people; food waste at every stage from the field to the table, despite many people around the world not having enough to eat.

The award has three categories (written journalism, videos and photos) and participants can enter both published and unpublished material. The published works will compete for a €10,000 top prize for each category winner and entrants of unpublished content stand the chance of winning an all-expenses paid training course on sustainability at the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Our goal is to award and raise the visibility of quality journalism, which is the only way, at a time of great change in the industry, of providing a model for the future of the profession which is essential for democracy”, said Mario Calabresi, member of the judging panel and the Director of La Repubblica, one of Italy’s leading daily newspapers, at the presentation of the competition held in Milan on 1 December 2016 during the 7th BCFN Forum. The judging panel will include environmental journalists such as the Economist’s Miranda Johnson, activists in the field of environmental sustainability like Food Tank’s Danielle Nieremberg, and photography experts such as Ronaldo Ribeiro from National Geographic. Representatives of NGOs and institutions such as the FAO will also be present on the panel.

To take part, just head to the award’s website and follow the instructions. You will be able to send in your entries from 9 January 2017.
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