Kurt Schork Award in International Journalism

Deadline: 31 May 2014

Region: Worldwide

war_correspondants_kurt_schorkLocal reporters and freelance journalists working anywhere in the world, are called to submit their articles for the 2014 Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism.

Articles can encompass war reporting, human rights issues, cross-border troubles, corruption or other controversial matters impacting on people’s lives. The applicants must submit three separate articles until 31 May 2014. More details on 2014 Kurt Schork Awards and an online entry form can be found here.

Kurt Schork was an American freelance journalist killed while on an assignment for Reuters in Sierra Leone 2000. He was killed together with APTV cameraman Miguel Gil Moreno de Mora.

Kurt_SchorkBecoming a journalist only when he was 43, Kurt was passionate about his job: “War reporting is a privilege. After three years, the grime and gore of combat, the dreadful logic of ethnic hatred are no longer abstractions for me. More important, every day I see the grace and dignity of ordinary people trying to survive under extraordinary circumstances”.

Romeo and Juliet in Sarajevo

Kurt Schork covered numerous conflicts and wars, including Balkans, Iraq, Kurdistan, East Timor, Sri Lanka, Chechnya.  In all his reports, he sought to get as close to the story as possible so that he could quickly relay details and show how people were affected by events.

The power of Kurt’s reporting was fully shown while he was reporting from Sarajevo during the siege of the city.

The poignancy of the story of two lovers, a Serb and a Muslim, killed and left to lie for days on a river bank, made it one of Kurt’s signature articles, capturing so many elements: the casual brutality of war, the intense suffering of families and the bureaucratic indifference of authorities.  Couple of years later an international documentary titled “Romeo and Juliet in Sarajevo” was made.

In the immediate aftermath of Kurt’s death in 2000, his family and friends were comforted by the rapid rallying of colleagues wanting to join in establishing a tangible legacy promoting the ideals by which he had lived and worked. They set up Kurt Schork Memorial Fund and the international award named after him.

Half of Kurt’s ashes were buried next to his mother in Washington D.C.; the rest were buried in Sarajevo, alongside the graves of the two lovers whose story he had told to the world.