Deadline: September 10, 2021

Applications are open for the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award 2021. The Young Journalist Award – in partnership with the UK Foreign Press Association – is Thomson Foundation’s annual journalism competition dedicated to finding and inspiring ambitious journalists from across the globe.

Now in its ninth year, the award enables journalists aged 30 and under, from countries with a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of less than $20,000, to send in their best stories.

Each year they receive entries from journalists that are revelatory, prompt public debate and have led to, or have the potential to lead to, positive change in society. This year they want to build on that and introduce a new element.

2021 is the year of COP26, the pivotal UN conference that is being seen as crucial to agree action to avert global climate catastrophe. They have seen the number of environmental stories submitted for the award increase as journalists encourage them to engage with issues such as the impact of pollution, threats to biodiversity, sustainability and climate change. It is then fitting that they should introduce an environmental component to their 2021 Young Journalist Award. 


  • Three finalists will be chosen by an independent judging panel selected by the UK Foreign Press Association (FPA) and an overall Young Journalist Award winner will be revealed on the night of the FPA Awards.
  • All three finalists will be awarded £1,000 learning bursaries or funds to buy equipment.


  • Entrants must be 30 years of age or under on November 29, 2021;
  • For the purpose of this competition the “developing world” is defined as countries with a Gross National Income (GNI) of $20,000 or less. Entrants should be from a country that meets the GNI criteria and reporting from/in that country or, if not in their country of origination, in another country fitting the same GNI criteria.
  • Entries can be in any language but should be accompanied by a verbatim English-language translation.
  • Entries should be accompanied by a letter from the applicant’s current editor, on headed company notepaper verifying that it is the published work of the entrant. Where an entrant is freelance, or self-employed, verification can be provided by an editor from one of the publications/websites/broadcasters where the work appeared, or by a journalism academic familiar with the work of the entrant.


Applicants will still be required to submit a portfolio of three stories and these can be a mixture of investigative pieces and human-interest stories. However, they will be asking all entrants to ensure at least ONE of the three pieces submitted has an environmental reporting focus.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit Young Journalist Award.

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