Journalism for an Equitable Asia Award 2020-21
  • Bangkok

Asia, just like the rest of the world, is grappling with COVID-19. Despite tremendous economic growth and advances in healthcare, technology, and elsewhere during the preceding decades, we are struggling to overcome the pandemic and the resultant economic and social fallouts. And like with any crisis, the worst impacts are brunt the people left-behind the most. Impoverished communities, daily wage workers, women caregivers, migrants, those living in congested and underserved urban slums, elderly, differently-abled, and refugees and displaced people have been hit harder.

If current trends continue, more people could die from starvation by the end of the year than from the pandemic. Moreover, women and children have faced increased violence at home during the lockdowns. Inequalities, not just between people, but also between nations and regions, have become visible. Many nations in our region and elsewhere have paid a hefty price – in lives, in GDPs, and in social stability by excluding communities. To tackle the pandemic where no one can be safe in isolation and where we can only be safe if all of us, our systems must change to be inclusive.

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Journalism for an Equitable Asia Award aims to recognize and encourage more journalists to write for a fairer Asia that works for all its people. The award will launch onsite or online. If the COVID-19 pandemic still persists in the early part of 2021 where travel and face-to-face meetings are not possible, then online sessions such as webinars will be held.

The Judging Panel will be made up of 5 people media and inequality experts and will include representation from the Asia Centre, Oxfam International, and independent experts.

Judging Criteria:

  • Thematic Relevance 40%
    • Does the article tackle issues of inequality?
    • Is the topic relevant and important to the country/region concerned?
    • Is the discussion of the issues well supported by evidence?
  • Social Relevance 35%
    • Does it advocate for a more equitable society?
    • Does it accurately reflect the affected communities’ voices and concerns?
    • Is the discussion of the issues well supported by evidence? Does the topic identify causes leading to the specific inequality and what can be done to address the issues?
  • Value Alignment 10%
    • Does it advocate for a more equitable society?
    • Does it tackle inequality through the lenses of helping/empowering those worst affected?
    • Does the article evoke a call for action?
  • Technical 15%
    • Is the article well researched and evidence-based?
    • Is the article and analysis well structured and rational?
    • Is the article presented in a way that is easily understood by the reader?




  • The top 3 winners will receive cash awards and will be recognized at the Award Ceremony.
  • The top 10 journalists will be invited to participate in the Journalism for an Equitable Asia Forum following the Award Ceremony to be held in Bangkok.(Depending on their ability to participate)
  • Top 5 journalists from each country will receive certificates recognizing their work.


  • Written English articles of minimum 650 words in length published in print or digital platform (Any written medium or public platform is eligible given the fulfilment of all the other criteria)
  • Journalists writing two or more pieces published on the theme of inequality crisis and the pandemic from 31st January 2020 to 31st January 2021 will be eligible
  • The nominated article(s) should cover how vulnerable communities across Asia are facing challenges from COVID-19, but go beyond to include structural issues such as inequality, poverty and dysfunctional governance from lenses such as economic inequality, women’s rights, public services, taxation, climate justice, etc. They may also discuss practices and policies that contribute to building a fairer Asia
  • Journalists may also submit articles published in other languages with a mandatory English translation.
Eligible Regions: Bangladesh, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam

Application Process

  • Awards nominations can be submitted online through the Apply Now link.
  • Journalists themselves, readers, media institutions or interested others such as civil society and academia may submit nominations.
  • Each valid nomination must contain the name of the journalist, verifiable details of the published article(s) (links), their media affiliation(s), the contact information (Email, WhatsApp/line, phone) of the journalist.
  • While they are required to submit proof of two published articles, they must also indicate which one they’d prefer to be considered for the award.
  • In case online links are not available they can submit the scanned articles (translations) as pdf documents.

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Application Deadline: January 31, 2021

Application ClosedOfficial link

For Further Queries

For further queries e-mail at [email protected]
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