Daniel Pearl Awards

ICIJ has decided to suspend the Daniel Pearl Awards for 2015 while we consider the future of the award. We remain committed to recognizing the world’s best international investigative reporting, and are currently assessing how ICIJ can best support cross-border journalism. We will provide further updates in the near future.

The Daniel Pearl Awards for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting are unique among journalism prizes worldwide in that they were created specifically to honor cross-border investigative reporting. Formerly the ICIJ Awards, the prizes were renamed in 2008 in honor of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was slain by militants in Pakistan in 2002.

Daniel Pearl

The two $5,000 first-place prizes and five $1,000 finalist awards recognize, reward, and foster excellence in cross-border investigative journalism. In addition, the judges at their discretion may award a special citation for work that is unusually enterprising or done under especially challenging circumstances.

Past ICIJ award winners have reported about abuses faced by immigrants in American workplaces; the involvement of Sweden in the CIA secret renditions program; and allegations of sexual exploitation of Congolese women and children by United Nations peacekeepers, among other issues of world importance.

The competition, held biennially, is open to any professional journalist or team of journalists of any nationality working in any medium.

The main criterion for eligibility is that the investigation — either a single work or a single-subject series — involves reporting in at least two countries on a topic of world significance. A five-member jury of international journalists selects the winners.

Two $5,000 first prizes are awarded: one to a U.S.-based reporter or news organization and the other to a non-U.S.-based journalist or news organization.

Previous Winners: 20132011, 2010, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998

Awards Criteria

Any professional journalist or team of journalists of any nationality is eligible to submit an individual investigative piece of work, or single-subject series, on a transnational topic of world significance. Works produced in print, broadcast, and online media are eligible; books are not eligible. In the case of a team of journalists, the first name listed on the application shall be deemed to be the designated representative of the team.


The story or series must involve on-the-ground reporting in at least two countries. Work is eligible without regard to the language in which it originally appeared. However, entries submitted in the original language must be accompanied by a comprehensive story summary in English. English-language subtitles on video entries are preferred but not mandatory. Audio and video entries should be submitted with accompanying script.


A five-member international jury of journalists and/or journalism educators will select the Pearl Awards winner and finalists.

Signature and Permission:

The signature of the applying journalist (or the applying team’s designated representative) is required. If the copyright to the work is not owned by the applying journalist or team of journalists, the signature of the copyright owner (or its authorized representative) is also required. The signature grants ICIJ a non-exclusive, royalty-free, irrevocable license to reproduce, publish, and distribute the work (in whole or in part) in any Center for Public Integrity/ICIJ publication in any media if the applicant is selected as a finalist or winner.

Pearl Awards Winners

Previous winners of the Daniel Pearl Awards for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting. Formerly the ICIJ Award, the Pearl prize was renamed in 2008 after Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was slain by Pakistani militants in 2002.


International: Joachim Dyfvermark, Sven Bergman and Fredrik Laurin, Uppdrag granskning: The Black Boxes and Teliasonera: The Uzbek Affair. Two reports on the Swedish public television program “Mission Investigate” revealed how the Swedish telecom giant Teliasonera cooperated with dictatorships in Central Asia in tracking dissidents and human rights activists, and paid extensive bribes to gain access to the market in Uzbekistan.

U.S.: Geeta Anand, Betsy McKay and Gautam Naik, Wall Street Journal: TB: A Menace Returns. Reporters followed the lethal spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis across India and beyond, exacerbated by a World Health Organization policy that encouraged countries to prioritize regular TB at the expense of drug-resistant strains.


International: Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project: Offshore Crime, Inc. This investigation uncovered how Eastern European criminals and corrupt politicians use offshore havens as fronts for money laundering, tax evasion, and drug and weapon smuggling.

U.S.: Mimi Chakarova, Center for Investigative Reporting: The Price of Sex. Photojournalist Chakarova reveals in riveting detail the underground criminal networks and the experiences of Eastern European women forced into prostitution abroad.  

Special citation: NPR, Radio Canada/CBC, and Swiss TV RSI for Tamiflu, Inc. The investigation examined the decisions made by the World Health Organization and The Centers for Disease Control in light of the swine flu and H1N1 flu pandemic.


Kjersti Knudsson and Synnove Bakke, Norwegian Broadcasting Corp.; David Leigh, The Guardian; Meirion Jones and Liz MacKean, BBC Newsnight; Jeroen Trommelen, de Volkskrant (Western Europe), for “Trafigura’s Toxic Waste Dump,” which exposed how a powerful offshore oil trader tried to cover up the poisoning of 30,000 West Africans.

Aram Roston, The Nation (United States), for How the US Funds the Taliban on how Pentagon military contractors in Afghanistan routinely pay millions of dollars in protection money to the Taliban to move supplies to U.S. troops.

Special Certificate of Recognition: T. Christian Miller, ProPublica; Doug Smith and Francine Orr, Los Angeles Times; and Pratap Chatterjee, freelance (United States), for “Disposable Army,” on how injured civilian contractors working for the U.S. military have been abandoned by Washington.


Walt Bogdanich and Jake Hooker, New York Times series A Toxic Pipeline exposed a worldwide pipeline of Chinese consumer products containing toxic, sometimes deadly, chemical additives.

Joachim Dyfvermark and Fredrik Laurin, TV4 Sweden, “The Illegal Cod,” revealed how Russian trawlers, aided by Western food companies, have systematically overfished their quotas of cod in the Barents Sea, home to the world’s last population of healthy cod.

Special citation: Loretta Tofani (freelance), Salt Lake Tribune series American Imports, Chinese Deaths. Through dozens of interviews made in five trips to China and analysis of thousands of medical, shipping, and customs records, Tofani thoroughly documented an epidemic of fatal occupational diseases among Chinese workers who manufacture cheap U.S. imports.


Brian Ross, David Wilson Scott, and Rhonda Schwarts, ABC News 20/20, Peace at What Price: Investigating UN Misconduct in the Congo documented systematic sexual exploitation of girls and boys by UN peacekeepers and civilians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Special Citation: TV4 Sweden for the hour-long documentary The Broken Promise, which exposed U.S. government involvement in the “extraordinary rendition” of two Egyptian citizens from Sweden to Egypt.


Winner: Russell Carollo and Mei-Ling Hopgood, Dayton Daily News, United States – Casualties of Peace

Investigation reveals, often in vivid detail, the widespread violence directed at Peace Corps volunteers, who since 1962 have died at a rate of about one every two months.


Winner: Jeffrey Goldberg, The New Yorker, United States, “In the Party of God,” Jeffrey Goldberg uses vivid detail and impressionistic images to give readers a view into the world of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite terrorist organization that has claimed more American victims than any other terrorist group.


Winner: Thomas Maier, Newsday, United States, Death on the Job: Immigrants at Risk”. Maier exposed the extent of health and safety abuses suffered by immigrants in American workplaces and documented the immigrants' often fatal quest for a better life.


Winner: Jacques Pauw, SABC, South Africa, “The Bishop of Shyogwe” tells the story of Samuel Musabyimana, an Anglican bishop wanted by the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.


Winner: Sang-Hun Choe, Charles J. Hanley and Martha Mendoza, Associated Press, United States, Bridge at No Gun Ri about the No Gun Ri incident, in which dozens or hundreds of Korean civilians died at the hands of US ground troops. 


Winner: Steve Bradshaw and Mike Robinson, BBC News Panorama, United Kingdom, When Good Men Do Nothing. Investigates what led to the international community's non-intervention in Rwanda's 1994 genocide, despite indicators of the coming carnage made available to policy-makers in the United Nations and the United States.


Winner: Nate Thayer, Far Eastern Economic Review, Thailand/United States

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