Frequently Asked Questions: Piazza Grande Religion Journalism Award

FAQs: These Q&As provide more information about the new contest. Please visit the main contest entry page to read an overview of the contest—and to submit your entry.

PIAZZA GRANDE RELIGION JOURNALISM AWARD

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

  1. Who organizes the Piazza Grande Religion Journalism Award? 

The International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ) www.theiarj.org runs this new award, presented together with the Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII (FSCIRE) http://www.fscire.it/index.php/en/ in the framework of the European Academy of Religion (EuARe) https://www.europeanacademyofreligion.org/.

 

  1. What material is eligible?

Applicants must have had their pieces published in mainstream media or in confessional media with standard journalistic practices in countries of geographical Europe including Iceland and Russia, and in all countries of the Mediterranean basin. The award is intended to encourage best practices in journalism within religion reporting, such as: timeliness of the report, accuracy and balance, reliance on a range of direct sources and proper historical and cultural context.

Applicants must be based in any of the countries of the designated area and their works must be published and their works must be published in newspapers, magazines, news websites or news wires of the designated area. 

I am a journalist based in the designated area and my story deals with issues in those countries, but it was published by media outlets based in a country outside the designated area. Does my story meet the eligibility requirements?

No, it doesn’t. See the eligibility requirements above.

I am a journalist based in the designated area and my story was published in the regional edition of a global publication based in a different country, but serving the designated area. Does my story meet the eligibility requirements?

Yes, it does.

 

  1. Which dates are important in this first edition?

On its first edition, the Piazza Grande Religion Journalism Award accepts works published between 1st January 2019 and 31st December 2019. Entries can be submitted any time. There is no need to wait for the 2019 calendar year to end, although entries may be submitted as late as 29th February 2020. The award will be presented to the winner in Bologna (Italy) during the annual conference of the EuARe, which in 2020 takes place in June 22-25.

 

  1. What is the prize?

The winner will receive a cash prize of € 2,500 and a trophy, funded by the FSCIRE.

 

  1. Do I have to be a religion beat reporter to submit an entry?

No, any journalist may enter provided the story meets the eligibility requirements. We are aware that in many countries not all media outlets have a reporter covering religion exclusively.

 

  1. Do I have to be a member of the International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ) or of the European Academy of Religion (EuARe) to qualify for the award?

No, the contest is open to all journalists based in the countries of the designated area. Nevertheless, we welcome you to visit the IARJ and the EuARe websites to apply for membership should you meet the requirements.

 

  1. Do I have to hold a passport of a European country or of a country of the Mediterranean basin to be eligible?

No, applicants can be of every nationality in the world. The requisites are to be based in any of the countries of the designated area, and to have had their pieces published in media based in any of those countries.

 

  1. Are freelance journalists eligible? 

Freelance reporters, stringers, and staff journalists whose work has appeared in media who publish regularly in the countries of the designated area can enter the competition.

 

  1. Are bloggers eligible?

Yes, as long as their blog is located in a media outlet that qualifies for the award, and that the story meets the standard journalistic practices required.

 

  1. Are stories produced by journalists working for wire services eligible?

Yes. The wire service must be from a country of the designated area, and the author of the story must be based in a country of the designated area.

 

  1. Are reports produced by broadcast media and posted as text in their websites eligible?

No, they aren’t.

I have produced a story that includes video and audio, and it has been published on the website of a newspaper or on a news website. Is it eligible?

Yes, as long as video and audio are complementary elements and not the main component of the work. The judges will be looking at the quality of the text. If needed, the jury will determine eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

 

  1. Are reports produced and aired by broadcast media (radio and TV) and  later posted as text in their websites eligible?

No, they aren’t.

 

  1. Are books chapters and book excerpts eligible?

No, they aren’t.

 

  1. Are works produced solely by advocacy religious groups or for purposes of proselytization eligible?

No, they aren’t.

 

  1. I have produced a story that includes video and audio, and it has been published on the website of a newspaper or on a news website. Is it eligible?

Yes, as long as video and audio are complementary elements and not the main component of the work. The judges will be looking at the quality of the text. If needed, the jury will determine eligibility on a case-by-case basis.

 

  1. I have published a story based on a press trip. Are such stories eligible?

No, works that are mainly the result of a press reporting trip organized by charities, religious organizations or NGOs, and which basically reflect the program and sources offered on site by the organizers of the trip, are not eligible.

 

  1. How many entries may I submit? 

Each applicant can submit no more than three entries.

 

  1. Are stories with joint bylines eligible?

Yes, we accept stories co-authored by up to three people. The authors can win together and split the prize.

 

  1. Is there a word limit for the pieces?

Yes, we accept pieces of a minimum of 1,000 words (6,000 characters) and a maximum of 3,000 words (18,000 characters).

 

  1. Is it essential to include a translation of the submitted piece in English or in French?

Yes, it is mandatory. Pieces can be in every official language of the countries of the designated area, provided the submission includes a faithful translation in English or in French.

 

  1. How should material be submitted? 

All material must be submitted electronically through the IARJ website. The online entry form can be found here: https://www.theiarj.org/contest/

 

  1. Is there an entry fee?

No, there isn’t.

 

  1. Who manages the competition?

Within the IARJ, the coordinator of the award, assisted by the secretary, runs the yearly competition and leads the international jury. The coordinator and the secretary do not have a vote, but the coordinator has the capacity of asking jurors for clarifications, and of checking credentials of the media in which entries have appeared.

 

  1. Who are the jurors?

The international jury consists of 7 journalists. Of these jurors, 6 are appointed by the IARJ among its most prominent members or among relevant journalists who cover the religion beat, all of them of different nationalities, and one is an Italian journalist representing the FSCIRE. The jury’s decision is not appealable.

 

  1. When will I know if I am the winner?

The coordinator of the contest will generally contact the winner in May.

 

  1. When and how is the winner announced?

A news release about the winner will be posted on the IARJ, FSCIRE and EuARe websites in early June. The winner will also be announced through their social media.

 

  1. When and where does the award ceremony take place?

The award is presented in Bologna (Italy) at the annual conference of the European Academy of Religion in June.

 

  1. If I win, do I have to travel to Bologna to pick up the award?

Yes, the winner is expected to be in Bologna at the annual conference of the EuARe, where he or she will receive the award and participate in a panel on religion journalism. Travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses will be covered by the FSCIRE. In case of a co-authored piece, the FSCIRE will cover the costs of only one of the authors travelling to Bologna to receive the award.

 

  1. What if the winner cannot go to Bologna for the award ceremony? 

If for a very relevant reason it is impossible for the winner to travel to Bologna, the prize will be sent to him or her.

 

  1. Will the IARJ post the awarded work on its website?

Yes, they will.