Nominations Open for 2018 Hero and Pioneer Awards

The International Press Institute (IPI) and International Media Support (IMS) are now accepting nominations for the 2018 IPI World Press Freedom Hero Award and the 2018 IPI-IMS Free Media Pioneer Award.

The deadline for nominations is April 20, 2018.
Nominations should be sent via email to cklint(at)ipi(dot)media.

Both awards will be presented at a special ceremony and gala dinner during IPI’s 2018 World Congress in Abuja, Nigeria in June.


The IPI World Press Freedom Hero Award, initiated in 2000 to mark IPI’s 50th anniversary, honours journalists who have made significant contributions to the promotion of press freedom, particularly in the face of great personal risk.

In 2017, IPI and IMS conferred the honour on Ethiopian journalist and blogger Eskinder Nega, who spent nearly six years in prison after criticizing his country’s abuse of anti-terror laws to silence the press. Nega was freed earlier this year before being briefly detained again for allegedly violating the provisions of Ethiopia’s ongoing state of emergency.

Nominations for the award should focus on individuals who have fought for improvements in their respective press freedom environment, particularly in the face of legal, financial, physical or other forms of hardship; or individuals who have worked despite all obstacles to seek out and disseminate information that impacts the lives of their fellow citizens or the global community.

The full list of past honorees can be seen here.


The annual Free Media Pioneer Awardwas established by IPI in 1996 to recognize news or media organizations that have made innovations that have promoted news access or quality, or benefitted journalists and the media community, thereby ensuring freer and more independent media in their country or region.

From last year’s ceremony: Andreas Sugar, head of IMS Rapid Response (left), presents the 2017 Free Media Pioneer Award to Najib Sharifi, director of the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC) in Hamburg, Germany, on May 18, 2017.

Last year’s award was given to the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee in recognition of the group’s courageous and trailblazing work to prevent, combat and monitor attacks on journalists in one of the world’s most dangerous media environments.

Recent honourees have included Turkish broadcasting platform Medyascope, the Mexican press rights group Periodistas de a Pie and the news organization Al-Monitor. The full list of Free Media Pioneers can be found here.

In line with the theme of this year’s World Congress, IPI and IMS encourage nominations of quality media outlets that, through innovative projects and approaches to reporting, have brought positive changes to their societies and communities.