Rules and Information

Investigative Reporting Prize Rules

Please read the below criteria and rules before submitting.


The annual Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting honors investigative reporting that best promotes more effective and ethical conduct of government, the making of public policy, or the practice of politics. The winner receives $25,000, and five finalists receive $10,000. While the subject can address issues of foreign policy, a submission qualifies only if it has an impact on public policy in the United States at the national, regional or local level. Entries from small and mid-size publications and comparable broadcast/online outlets are encouraged.


  • Applications for the 2021 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting have closed. Stay tuned for announcements of the finalists and winners this spring!
  • Submissions will be accepted only from the U.S. news media. Newspapers, magazines, broadcast media, radio, podcasts, and online news organizations are eligible.
  • Original broadcast or publication must have occurred between January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020.
  • No more than TWO entries may be submitted by a news organization. If entries were produced in collaboration with another news organization, the lead news organization must submit the entry and list any secondary partner organizations/collaborators. If your organization is listed as a secondary partner/collaborator in an entry submitted by another news organization this does not count towards your two allowed entries.
  • Books will not be accepted as submissions for this prize.

How To Apply

  • Each submission must include a one-sentence summary of the entry, a brief description of the actual or potential impact of the investigative report, and a brief description of how the story originated and comment on the reporting process.
  • Many entries include a series of articles on a particular topic. Please limit your submission to no more than 5 installments. Any supplemental sidebars and interactive or multimedia features do not count as installments and are permitted.
  • The credited authors, titles of investigative work and all other information must be finalized and accurate at time of submission, as this information will be used in a press release if your entry is selected as a finalist.
  • Any corrections or clarifications added to the story after its initial publication must be clearly identified and explained.
  • Material must be submitted as a live URL and printer-friendly PDF:
    • URL: Applicants are responsible for making sure the URL works outside of their organization. If entry content is behind a paywall applicants must ensure judges are able to view it (e.g. by providing login details or creating private URL). URLs must remain active during the contest period. If entry includes multiple articles/installments, please (where possible) include URL of single landing page/index/playlist with access to all articles/installments.
    • PDF: Please combine all installments into a single printer-friendly PDF.
  • There is no entry fee.
  • Applications must be submitted online. Paper entries will not be accepted.

Prize Money

The winning entry receives $25,000, and five finalist entries receive $10,000 each. Prize money is paid directly to credited authors of the winning/nominated entries, not their organizations.


Please contact Lindsay Underwood at the Shorenstein Center: