International Data Journalism Awards debut

There’s no dearth of ways for journalists to congratulate and recognize themselves with awards. Whether you’re a small local newspaper or the most-watched national news show, there exists a seemingly endless list of contests and prizes to celebrate everything from the best public service journalism (Pulitzer anyone?) down to the most-specific specialized reporting (Media Orthopaedic Reporting Excellence Awards?). But within that sphere of contest categories, there’s not really been a contest solely focused on data journalism.

Now there is: The Data Journalism Awards, which purports to be “the first international contest recognizing outstanding work in the field of data journalism worldwide.”

The contest jury, with data journos and media experts from some of the top organizations (including The New York Times, Reuters and ProPublica), will select six winners in three categories. A local/regional and national/international award will be given for each of these:

  • Data-driven investigative journalism
  • Data visualization & storytelling
  • Data-driven applications

The contest organizers, including Google, Global Editors Network and The European Journalism Centre, will award a total of about $57,000 to those projects that best exhibit the properties the organization seeks to promote, including:

  • Contribute to setting standards and highlighting the best practices in data journalism
  • Inspire journalists by showcasing outstanding data journalism work
  • Demonstrate the value of data journalism among editors and media executives
  • Enhance collaboration between journalists, developers, designers and issue experts

The competition opened for submissions this month, and the entry period extends through April for work published/broadcast between April 11, 2011, and April 10, 2012. So hey, there’s still time to knock out some awesome work and submit it in the first go-round.