Fifty days to go, fifty questions about the AIPS Awards answered

  • August 15, 2021

AIPS Media

LAUSANNE, August 14, 2021 - The AIPS Sport Media Awards 2021 are receiving submissions from all over the world. With the clock marking 50 days before deadline, here is a reminder with the Frequently Asked Questions about the most prestigious prize in sports journalism.

1) Is there a fee to enter? No. Submission is completely free.

2) How many works can I submit? You can submit up to two different works across all categories.

3) What’s the deadline for submitting? There is time to submit until October 4, 2021, 6 pm Central European Time, without exceptions.

4) What kind of works are accepted? We accept all original works that were first published between November 10, 2020, and October 4, 2021.

5) Under which categories can I compete? The 8 senior categories are divided between Writing (Best Column; Best Colour Piece), Photography (Action Photo; Portfolio), Video (Short Feature, Athlete Profile, Documentary) and Audio (for all types of audio reports, podcasts, radio). In addition, there is a Young Reporters Under 30 category, optional for those born after January 1, 1992, and split into Photography, Writing and Broadcasting (Audio & Video).

6) Do I choose the category or AIPS does it for me? You need to choose the category and subcategory, if applicable. But once your work is reviewed, or after the judging process start, we might notify you that your work was moved to a more suitable category for either technical reasons or based on a decision of the Jury.

7) Can I edit a submission once it’s been sent? Yes, it is possible to add files, change your submission or delete it and start a new one, until October 4, 2021. Please notice that you can’t edit the category and subcategory, so if you want to change the category (ie moving from Best Colour Piece to Best Column or viceversa) please drop us a line.

8) How do I know if my work was accepted? You will receive an email after your work was submitted. Then, your work will be reviewed by AIPS Media staff and, if all is in order, it will automatically be participating. If there are any problems, missing files or any other queries, the staff will contact you immediately and let you know.

9) I am a freelancer. Can I participate? Absolutely! The AIPS Sport Media Awards are open to all media professionals, regardless of their work status.

10) What is AIPS? Is the body that represents international sports media from websites, newspapers, radio and TV across all continents. There are 161 national associations that are part of the AIPS network and more than 9,500 AIPS members worldwide. The creation of the AIPS Sport Media Awards in 2018 was yet another step in the constant evolution of AIPS, whose first Congress was held in 1924 on the eve of Paris 1924 Olympic Games.

11) I am not an AIPS member. Can I participate? Yes, you can! There are no limitations to non AIPS cardholders. We hope that, through our Awards and the AIPS Education programmes, you can also get to know what AIPS does in terms of culture and how important it is to be connected.

12) Can a media outlet submit its own work to compete? We do not give Awards to media outlets, but to journalists, photographers and videographers individually, which is why participation needs to come from them directly.

13) What happens if two or more people have worked on a story? In the event of a team production (ie an audiovisual content) we need one person to fill the participation form (name, surname, etc), and in the description field you can acknowledge the rest of the people involved. If it is a co-production, or an article that was written by two people, please add it in the description, too. In Photography, team entries are not allowed.

14) What are the specifications for Writing categories? We accept all types of articles, without limitations of word count, given the international character of the AIPS Sport Media Awards (35 different languages participated in the 2020 edition). Book excerpts or chapters are not accepted unless reproduced in a media outlet under an article format.

15) What are the specifications for the Video categories? The Athlete Profile and Documentary category are reserved for videos of 10 or more minutes. The Short Feature category encompasses all videos up to 10 minutes.

16) What are the specifications for the Photography categories? The photographs entered in the contest must be made by the photographer who owns and retains the copyright for the photo. Photographs may not be manipulated to block out distracting elements or to make significant changes in color and contrast. Only cropping or removing dust and scratches are allowed. A photograph may not be entered more than once i.e. a photo entered into the Action category cannot be entered into the Portfolio category and vice-versa. No team entries will be accepted.

17) What are the requirements for Audio category? Audio category submissions can be either a radio report, podcast, piece of commentary or other audio submission that is not only compelling but also displays some technical innovation and quality research.

18) My work is part of a series, how can I submit it? In that case you need to choose one episode/chapter/episode to represent your submission. This applies to a series of article, a docu-series or a podcast splits into episodes. Please explain the full series in the description. (You can use your two submissions to upload two different chapters/episodes, if you wish so).

19) Can I submit my work in my own language? Yes, all languages are accepted. We will translate into English all submissions that were picked in the different voting stages. For audiovisual works that reach the final stage, please notice that we can require you the script in your original language in order to ensure adequate translation.

20) How does the judging process work? We take the judging process very seriously, with five voting stages before announcing the winners. Once your work has been reviewed and admitted by AIPS staff, the first selection (longlist) is made, considering the ratings of an AIPS panel of experts, Executive Committee members and Jury members. The second stage goes exclusively to the EC, represented by 24 members from 24 different countries. They will narrow the longlist into a shortlist. Then the Jury comes into stage, with 11 relevant members of the sport media industry, plus AIPS president Gianni Merlo as president (voting also in the case of a tie). The Jury will narrow the shortlist into the Top 10 finalists (third voting stage), Top 3 podium finalists (fourth voting stage) and, a day before the final ceremony, the winners (fifth and final voting stage). Jurors names and their career expertise in sport journalism are accessible on the website.

21) What are the prizes of the senior categories? There’s a total of US$ 104,000 for all podium nominees. Winners of each of the 8 senior categories will be entitled to a money prize. The first prize for each is US$ 8,000. Second-placed will earn US$ 3,000. The third-placed will be rewarded with US$ 2,000.

22) What are the prizes for the Young Reporters categories? Each of the winners of the Young Reporter Categories will receive a career-boost opportunity: a scholarship to cover a major international sports event. Young Reporters categories do not include second and third prize.

23) Can I submit two different works for the Young Reporters category? No, out of the two submissions per person, only one can be used for any of the Young Reporters subcategories (Writing, Photography, Broadcasting), but it is still possible to compete in one of the other main categories.

24) How many articles/photo/videos can I submit in the Young Reporters category? Just one. If you’ve accidentally submitted more than one, we will contact you to edit your submission (if it is before deadline). Please make sure to fill all the fields properly to avoid any risks of being disqualified.

25) How do I know if my work has reached the new stage? After a careful review, we first announce all the list of participants and their countries; then we will subsequently publish the longlists by category, and after each voting stage, we will announce the remaining candidates: shortlists, Top 10 and Top 3 Podium nominees. All lists will be published on AIPS Media and AIPS Sport Media Awards websites. The podium ceremony will take place in early 2022, date and venue to be confirmed depending on the pandemic situation.

26) My work does not seem to fit in any of the categories, what should I do? We recommend to contact us via email, or on social media. We will be happy to help and guide you. We think that most work can fit in our currently scheme.

27) What is ‘proof of publication’? It is the way we can check that your work was actually published and in the dates that you have stated. It can be a link or a PDF, MP4 or audio file, depending on the category. In the case of submitting links, they must not be behind paywalls.

28) Do you accept social media platforms as proof of publication? We do, as long as you are a sport media professional and you comply with the rest of the rules. We would like to give as many chances of participation as possible to all journalists, photographers and videographers, which is why we are also accepting video-sharing platforms (such as YouTube and Vimeo) and personal blogs (such as Medium or Facebook) to ensure that everyone has equal possibilities and visibility regardless of their employment status.

29) What are the continental rankings? A few days after the winners are announced, we will also publish the continental ranking, with the top rated works per category. We consider this a celebration to the best performers on a regional level. Certificates of achievement will also be released. Each continental section or national association is free to pay tribute to the best ranked.

30) Can I send a submission by email? No, submissions are only valid if made in the website. They will not be accepted by email, social media or any other platform.

31) How many countries were represented in the AIPS Sport Media Awards? In the first edition, there were participants from 119 countries. The last one had 129 represented countries.

32) How many people participated in the past? A total number of 1273 submissions participated in the first edition of the Aips Sport Media Awards. The second edition showed a record of 1746 submissions from 120 countries. The third edition set the record of 1871 submissions from 129 countries.

33) What are the special categories? There are two special categories not open for submissions: Investigative reporting and A life in sport. These special categories will not have finalists: winners will be directly informed in advance by the jury. These categories are not entitled to a money prize.

34) Can I know more about the past winners? If you want to check the previous winners, and their prestigious work, you can see all the names in the website. Podium 2018 Edition, Lausanne ceremony; Podium 2019 Edition, Budapest ceremony; Podium 2020 Edition, Vigevano castle ceremony.

35) What changed after the pandemic? The first two galas, in Lausanne 2019 and Budapest 2020, had IOC president Thomas Bach and FIFA president Gianni Infantino delivering some of the trophies. All podium nominees had to be present in the final ceremony in order to claim the prize. The third edition, due to the pandemic, was held in a medieval castle in Vigevano, Italy, in an online ceremony broadcast live on YouTube.

36) Why is the website in English? The main language of the Awards is English. But the website publishes all the rules in different languages (clicking on the right corner in a desktop computer). You can write to us in whatever language you speak, and we will get back to you.

37) What’s the social media policy for @AIPSAwards account? On our social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) we publish announcements (deadline, voting stages, rules, reminders) and we might contact you to remind you to submit your work before the deadline or to see if you need any assistance. Following you back is under no circumstances an endorsement nor it represents any advantage.

38) How can I submit? In order to submit, first you need to sign up at and, once you’ve created your own profile, you can click on ‘add submission’, select category and sub-category, upload your work (links or files), add media name, proof of publication, and then submit.

39) Can I submit two works in the same submission page? No. You should do it separately. Be aware that you need to repeat the process for a second submissions. We don’t accept two submissions in one form (ie two articles within the same page).

40) I am a freelancer for an agency but the work was published in a different media outlet. What should I choose when completing the form? If your proof of publication is the media outlet where it was published, then you should fill the media outlet’s name. If your proof of publication is the agency you work for, then fill the agency name. If you want both names to appear next to your name, please specify in the description. The more information we receive, the more accurate we can be when publishing our lists, sometimes containing more than 1,000 names, nationalities and media outlets. Please remember that your own profile also has the field ‘Company’, applied only to media outlets employees and not freelancers.

41) I am from one continent but my work has been published in a different continent. Which continent will I represent in the continental ranking? The continental rankings are based in the journalists’ nationalities, not the countries where the media outlets are based. Therefore, you will always represent your own continent, based on the information you have given to us.

42) What’s the advantage of submitting now? The earlier you submit, the easier it is for us to review your work and send it to a professional translator, if it is in a foreign language different from English. You can add your own translation into English, if you prefer it, but you are not entitled to. Remember that you can still edit and make amendments in your submission, based on our suggestions, but only until deadline. So, the earlier you submit, the better.

43) What does first publication or broadcast mean? It is the first date in which the video, audio, article or photograph was published / released. In the photography categories, it is the date in which it was published in your agency (if applicable) or media outlet, but also taking into account the date of the event, that must be in the valid participation window. Private screenings for video products are not considered as officially released. If you have any doubts, please write to us, we will be happy to review your personal case.

44) Can I submit the same article/video/photo for the Young Reporters category and in one of the senior categories? Yes, you can.

45) Can one of my works submitted for the senior categories be moved to the Young Reporters category? If your submission does not go through to the next round, after the second/third voting stage, the Jury might propose to move it to the Young Reporters category, only possible if you had not participated in the Young Reporters category with a different submission. You will be notified if that happens.

46) What is the AIPS e-College and how it connected with the Awards? Born as soon as the pandemic was announced, the e-College, also part of the Cultural project of AIPS, was the first distance learning programme with top guests from all over the world and AIPS Sport Media Winners and Nominees to interact with, tell their stories and debate about sport media quality and discuss the current challenges in our profession. The e-College 2021 added continental sessions in four different languages. We are glad to see many attendants, most of them under 30, now participating in our Awards.

47) Will my work be republished in AIPS media? We might republish some of the works from podium nominees, with watermark if they are photos, or redirect to the original link, for promotional purposes only. AIPS will not use under any circumstances any of the material received nor will it redistribute it to third parties.

48) If I’m selected as a Top 3 Nominee, will I have to travel to the final ceremony? Originally, you needed to confirm that you’d be able to travel, with all expenses covered by AIPS, in order to be present at the ceremony. The pandemic has changed this in the last edition. We are monitoring the situation month by month, and we will announce our decision at the beginning of 2022.

49) Will this Award change your career? Yes! We felt that there was not a global award to underline sport media excellence. The prestige offered by the AIPS Sport Media Awards, open to all professionals and all languages alike, offers a really view of the best storytellers across the world. It also represents an inspiration to young journalists and, definitely, a CV booster.

50) Have you registered and submitted yet? We hope you have!


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