Becas Avina: Por un periodismo comprometido con el desarrollo sostenible de América LatinaAvina Awards: For journalism committed to sustainable development in Latin America.

Avina AWARDS consist of financial and technical support for original journalistic research proposals on sustainable development in Latin American countries.

The grants aim at cooperating with mass media and professional journalists to enrich the public agenda by searching for sustainable development models in Latin America.

The reports sponsored by Avina AWARDS have reached millions of people through publications in printed and digital newspapers, broadcasts of audio-visual material, and postings on internet portals.

The first two editions of Avina AWARDS for Journalistic Research were supported by institutions such as the Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), the Association of European Journalists (AEJ), the Argentine Journalist Forum (Foro de Periodismo Argentino – Fopea), the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), the Brazilian Association for Journalistic Research (Associaçao Brasileira de Jornalismo Investigativo – Abraji), the Press and Society Institute (Instituto Prensa y Sociedad – Ipys), the News Agency for Children’s Rights (Agência de Notícias dos Direitos da Infância -ANDI), Communication Initiative Latin America (CILA), the Alliance of Communicators for Sustainable Development (ComPlus), Reporters d´Espoirs and the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.

Proposals submitted are assessed by an international jury appointed by Avina, composed of reputed members from the world of journalism and/or specific thematic areas.


Since the establishment of the Avina AWARDS program in 2006, 110 journalists have received the award. Their reports provide a different coverage of the social situation in Latin America, frequently overlooked or only briefly addressed by mass media.

The research sponsored by Avina focuses on the leaders of community initiatives who are guided by solidarity and cooperation. These stories give visibility to hitherto “invisible” sectors of society. Thus, these reports often narrate stories of women committed to social change.

Latin American media that have published these reports include newspapers La Nación and Clarín (Argentina), El Nacional (Venezuela), El Espectador (Colombia), El Tiempo, (Ecuador), Diario de São Paulo (Brazil), El Periódico (Guatemala) and Público-Milenio (Mexico), among many others.

Some of these award-winning reports have also been published in magazines such as Expansión and Gatopardo (Mexico), and broadcast by radios such as Radio CBN (Brazil) and Radio Nacional de Colombia (RCN). International media include El País, Le Monde Diplomatique, in its Southern Cone edition, BBC World Service, CNN in Spanish, Radio France International and Radio Netherlands.

The jury responsible for selecting the winning proposals has included journalists and experts in communications with a long and acknowledged professional track record in media and other Latin American organizations.

Three of the 60 journalistic proposals benefitting from the second edition of the Avina AWARDS (2008-2009), were also recognized with prestigious international awards:

The Route of Smoke,” a multi-media report published by Andreia Franzeres and Cristiane Prizibisczki in O Eco, (Brazil), won the Earth Journalism Award in the category of Forest Themes.

The Slow Death of the Sea Forest,” another multi-media production, by Leonardo Cavalcanti was published in Correio Braziliense, winning the Imprensa Embratel 2009 Prize in the Socio-Environmental Responsibility category, and the CNT Journalism Award in the Environment category.

Oxygen: the New Gourmet Product,” research carried out by Juan Manuel Fernández for the Costa-Rican journal Mercados y Tendencias, received the AmCham Award for best article in the Social Responsibility category.

With the aim of enabling winning journalists to exchange information and collaborate to provide a common regional approach to their reports, the Avina AWARDS program held two meetings at the Latin American level.

The First Latin American meeting of the Avina research awards program was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2006. During the event, the Brazilian lawyer and Avina leader-ally, Oscar Vilhena, and Avina’s advisors, Bernardo Toro and Gabriel Griffa, gave a speech on the challenges of the rule of law, integration and sustainable development in Latin America.

The second meeting of Journalistic Research for Sustainable Development was held in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, in 2008. As part of the seminar, the Colombian journalist Javier Darío Restrepo gave a talk on “Journalistic Ethics and Sustainable Development,” followed by a debate chaired by Jaime Abello Banfi, Director of the Ibero-American New Journalism Foundation (Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano).

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