The Big Square Piazza Maggiore Bologna
The Big Square in Bologna (Italy), a metaphor for the ideal of a peaceful, diverse community space—and the name of the new journalism prize announced in March, 2019.
Photo courtesy of Anita Malina, shared CC 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Applications are open for the third edition of the Piazza Grande Religion Journalism Award, launched by the International Association of Religion Journalists (IARJ) with the support of Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII (FSCIRE).

The prize was first launched in 2019 to honour and promote the work of journalists covering religion and spirituality in both mainstream and confessional media – newspapers, magazines or news websites – that publish regularly in Europe and the countries surrounding the Mediterranean basin.

The third edition will award three journalists with prizes of € 2,000, € 500 and € 250 and a certificate, all funded by the IARJ.

The IARJ remains committed to promoting best practices in the field of religion journalism and to recognize and reward the work of highly skilled reporters who understand the nuances and stories of faith, says Peggy Fletcher Stack, the IARJ’s Executive Director.

We were equally impressed by the quality of last year’s entries and winners, Stack said. This is important work for our foundation as we work to expand our network of those who cover religion across the globe.

In its first editions, the award received entries from journalists based in countries including Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

What We Encourage

Publication cover titled ”Graduates of God”
Eastern Europe correspondent Amanda Coakley was awarded the first prize in the second edition of the Piazza Grande Religion Journalism Award for Graduates of God, published by New Humanist magazine in the summer 2022 edition.

The award is intended to encourage best practices in journalism such as timeliness of the report, accuracy and balance, reliance on a range of direct sources and proper historical and cultural context, through:

  • Working with a wide range of knowledgeable sources in preparing reports
  • Exploring religion’s role in peace and conflict
  • Highlighting efforts at dialogue, especially interfaith contacts that cross religious boundaries
  • Identifying ways that religion shapes public life, including politics, culture, the fine arts, the sciences and our understanding of history
  • Reporting on religion at local, regional or international levels

Reporters are invited to submit their work that was published at local, regional or international levels. We are looking for entries that demonstrate the best in journalism that shows readers the impact of religion in a wide range of issues. Examples include:

  • politics and public life
  • peace-building and efforts to combat bias and bigotry
  • culture and the arts
  • regional traditions as well as the importance of history today
  • the roles of minorities in these regions of the world
  • scholarly research involving aspects of religion and religious communities
  • interfaith relationships
  • impact of the pandemic on religious communities

An international jury of prominent journalists will select the winner, who will be announced in the framework of the annual conference of the European Academy of Religion-EuARe in Palermo, Italy, on .

The competition will accept works that were published between and . Applicants must have had their pieces published in mainstream media or in confessional media following traditional journalistic standards.

What is eligible?

Applicants must have had their pieces published in mainstream media or in confessional media with standard journalistic practices in countries of geographical Europe and in all countries of the Mediterranean basin.

Applicants must be based in any of the countries of the designated area, and their works must be published in newspapers, magazines, news websites or news wires of the designated area.

Who will judge the entries?

An international jury of prominent journalists will select the winner, who will be announced in the framework of the annual conference of the EuARe.

Time limits & deadline for entries

In its second edition, the Piazza Grande Religion Journalism Award accepts works published between and . Entries may be submitted as late as .

Languages of entries

Entries may be in any of the official languages of Europe and the Mediterranean basin. Copies of the original articles must be included with your submission.

Important: To assist our judging panel, any entries that are not in English must include a faithful translation in English.

Entry fee

There is no entry fee.

FAQs: Got more questions?

You can find your answer on the Piazza Grande Award 2024 opportunity page.

How to enter

  • Create one document for all of your articles. Acceptable file formats are: .pdf, .doc, .docx, .rft, .txt
  • Fill out the entry form below. *All fields marked with red asterisks are required for a submission. Please try to fill out the other fields as well, if they are relevant.
  • Upload the one document containing all the articles in your submission.
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Accepted formats: .pdf, .doc, .docx, .rft, .txt