The 2020 Courage in Journalism Award

The 2020 Courage in Journalism Award

This award has been created to shine a light on the very real dangers facing journalists working around the world.

A talk by Nathan Gamester

An event hosted by the Courage in Journalism Award programme.

Published 26 Feb 2020

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The 2020 Courage in Journalism Award will be awarded to a journalist who was killed during the past year as a direct result of their journalism. Our research has uncovered a total of 55 journalists who were killed during the one-year period covered (October 2018 – October 2019) specifically because of their work as a journalist.

The most high-profile of these was the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, whose brutal murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018 has been discussed extensively in the world’s media. Also included this year is Lyra McKee, the first journalist to be killed in the United Kingdom as a result of their work since 2001.

The 53 other names on the list may not be so familiar to us, but they all share a common trait: each was deliberately killed because of their work as a journalist. Many of the people on the list were aware of the dangers they faced, having received threats of harm and even death, but had chosen to continue anyway. It is for this reason that we honour these individuals through this award, remembering their courage and recognising their bravery.

The Legatum Institute founded the Courage in Journalism Award following the death of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the widely respected Maltese journalist who was killed by a car bomb in October 2017. Following Daphne’s death, and in discussion with the Caruana Galizia family, we decided to create this award to honour her legacy.

Profiles of the 55 journalists on this year’s long-list can be viewed via the link below:

The Nominees  – The Courage in Journalism Award 2020

In order to review these cases, we reconvened our expert judging panel and after a thorough review process and much discussion, the judges narrowed-down the list to a shortlist of six. A second round of discussion and deliberation was undertaken before the judges settled on the final recipient of this year’s award. The recipient will be announced on the 26th February 2020.

The circumstances surrounding each journalist’s death vary considerably and the details of each has been gathered from publicly available information and media reports. In some cases, only a very limited amount of information was available.

Although the number of journalists killed this year has decreased from the year before, the need for courageous journalism is still great. Any one of us who reads newspapers, consumes broadcast news, or views news media websites owe a huge debt to the men and women who work tirelessly to bring us a fair, truthful, and accurate account of the facts. This Award pays special tribute to those who have paid the ultimate price in doing so.

The Ceremony

On Wednesday 26th February 2020 the Courage in Journalism Award will be presented at a reception at the Legatum Institute in London. In addition to announcing the recipient of the award, the ceremony will provide an opportunity to remember all of the journalists who have died as a result of their work. To register your interest in attending the event, please email

The Judges

Nathan Gamester

Chief Operating Officer

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