An environmental twist on this year’s Young Journalist Award

We are excited to announce the return of the prestigious Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award where young journalists, their work and their voices are at the centre, and where journalism’s power to enact meaningful change is as present as ever.

Application form here.

Now in its ninth year, the award enables journalists aged 30 and under from countries with a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of less than $20,000 to submit their best stories.

Each year we receive entries from journalists that are revelatory, prompt public debate and have led to, or have the potential to lead to, positive change in society. This year we want to build on that and introduce a new element.

2021 is the year of COP26, the pivotal UN conference that is being seen as crucial to agree action to avert global climate catastrophe.

We have seen the number of environmental stories submitted for the award increase as journalists encourage us to engage with issues such as the impact of pollution, threats to biodiversity, sustainability and climate change.   

It is then fitting that we should introduce an environmental component to our 2021 Young Journalist Award. 



Meet last year's Young Journalist winner, Peru's Martín Leandro Camacho


Young Journalist Award: The details

Applicants will still be required to submit a portfolio of three stories in any medium (print, audio, video, multimedia, or a combination of all four) and these can be a mixture of investigative pieces and human-interest stories. However, we will be asking all entrants to ensure at least ONE of the three pieces submitted has an environmental reporting element.

For clarity, environmental reporting is covering stories about the interaction of people and the natural world and the issues related to that interaction. Environmental stories should be focused on one or more of the subjects covered by environmental reporting: sustainability, pollution, nature/biodiversity and/or climate change.

Our free online courses in environmental journalism are available to help journalists investigate local stories and understand the environmental drivers behind them.

The portfolio of work submitted for the Young Journalist Award must be in the 12 months preceding the competition closing date, which is September 10th, 2021.



Three finalists will be chosen by an independent judging panel selected by the UK Foreign Press Association (FPA) and an overall Young Journalist Award winner will be revealed on the night of the FPA Awards on Monday 29th November, 2021. All three finalists will be awarded £1,000 learning bursaries or funds to buy equipment.

The chair of the FPA judges will be Yukiko Kishimoto from Nippon TV and the three external judges will be Doug Wills, managing editor of the London Evening Standard and The Independent, Zahera Harb, director of International Journalism at London’s City University and Sir Clive Jones, a Thomson Foundation trustee.

In the week of COP26 (31 October to 12th November), we’ll be showcasing a selection of environmental stories entered into the Young Journalist Award. These will be presented on our website and social media channels. On the night of the FPA Awards, special recognition and an additional £1,000 bursary will be given to the journalist with the best overall environmental story, as chosen by our expert judges, including Patrick Greenfield, environmental reporter for The Guardian.

2021 is the year of COP26, the pivotal UN conference seen as crucial to agree action to avert global climate catastrophe.


While we are optimistic that the FPA Awards ceremony in London will go ahead as planned this year, the unpredictably of Covid-19 worldwide means we will once again be holding a virtual Young Journalist Award, which will be streamed live on the night of the FPA Awards. 

We look forward to seeing this year’s submissions for the Young Journalist Award. Good luck to all those entering.

The application form can be found here. See all previous winners on our dedicated competitions page.

For enquiries relating to your submission, email:

#TFYoungJournalist #TFEnvironment


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Meet our 2020 Young Journalist winner, Martín Leandro Camacho from Peru



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Our 2020 Young Journalist shortlist uses journalism as a vessel to aspire for a better future



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Take our free online courses to understand the environmental drivers behind stories

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