#CheckitFirst: Guidelines and submission form

ARTICLE 19’s Ethical Journalism Awards 2024 in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia 

ARTICLE 19 launches the Ethical Journalism Awards as part of our campaign #CheckItFirst.

#CheckItFirst runs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia. It promotes the adoption of ethical journalism as a vital defence against disinformation in the region. As part of this campaign, we’re inviting journalists in the four countries to enter our journalism awards and publicly showcase their support for the professional standards they signed up to when they became journalists – standards which are rooted in the principles of ethical journalism. The deadline is 12 April.

As a journalist, we invite you to submit news stories that exemplify the application and endorsement of ethical journalism principles. Your submissions should vividly demonstrate the positive impact of adhering to these standards in terms of the accuracy, objectivity, and reliability of your stories. Your submission should also highlight the rigorous information verification and fact-checking processes you have used in your reporting.

The five fundamental principles of ethical journalism that should be reflected in your story are:

(Read more about ethical journalism)

Participating in our awards will give you an opportunity to revisit your own national professional codes of ethics and consider how they reflect ethical journalism principles.

Thematic areas of articles:

We invite journalists to submit  articles on: Social Justice and inequality, Public health and safety, Environmental reporting, Women’s Rights, Diversity and inclusion, Human Interest stories and any other topics relevant to your country.

How to enter our journalism awards:

  1. Nominate a news story that reflects  the five principles of ethical journalism mentioned above (also found at Ethical Journalism Network). Entries should only cover the period between 1 March 2023 and 7 March 2024.  We will only accept articles from online and print media outlets. Please note that stories featured on TV, radio, or in video format will not be considered for submission.
  2. Submit a cover letter with your article. Explain how ethical journalism standards played a role in your reporting and sustained the information verification process. Since your national professional code of ethics is guided by these principles, you are also encouraged to make specific reference to it in the cover letter. 
  3. The articles are accepted in the language of their original publication. The cover letter can be submitted in either English or any of the regional languages.

Make sure you enter our awards by 12 April 2024.

Our Jury:

The jury panel will consist of representatives from civil society organisations focused on media issues, expert journalists, and academia. 

The jury will select those articles that most effectively demonstrate the  incorporation of ethical journalism standards. Jurors will analyse both the article and the cover letter supporting the submission. Reference to national professional standards and acknowledgment of these in the cover letter will present an advantage. 

Submission timeline:

  • 14 March: opening the journalism award
  • 12 April: deadline for submissions
  • 29 April: decision and announcement of winners


*Permission: “By submitting your nomination, you grant ARTICLE 19 permission for your cover letter and article to be used in our #CheckitFirst campaign promoting ethical journalism. This includes, but is not limited to, publication on ARTICLE 19’s website, social media channels, and campaign materials.”

#CheckitFirst campaign is part of an EU funded regional project focusing on tackling foreign information manipulation and interference (FIMI). This project seeks to contribute to more democratic resilience to FIMI and to lessen chances of inter-communal conflict caused by FIMI in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia.

This campaign is funded by the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of ARTICLE19 and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.