The Sigma Awards 2024 Rules

Entries for the 2024 competition are now close. Participants had until 17 January 2024 at 23:59 ET to enter.

The Sigmas application process is easy. The no-category rule gives you more opportunities and fewer constraints to have your journalism recognized.

Entries are now close though. You will have to wait until the end of the year to submit your work by filling our online form and our Jury and Prize Committee of international experts will take care of the rest. That’s it.

You don’t have to think about what category to enter a piece of work in or figure out whether it has a better chance in this category or that category. Just send in the work.

Why do we do this? We find categories restrictive and so 2020. We want to be able to reward your great work in the best way possible. So the jury members will decide on the best work overall and come to a consensus on how to divide the US$5,000 cash prize.

We've always set ourselves the goal of being language-agnostic, and thanks to the support of Google, the application form for this year is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, French, Arabic, Ukrainian and Chinese (simplified and traditional). Entries in other languages need to fill the application form in English and provide as much translation as possible in order for our Jury to fully appreciate your work.

If participants want to be considered for a portfolio or a Young Talent prize, they just have to specify that on the online form and we’ll take note of it. A portfolio or Young Talent entry has to include examples of work, to be added via the link section of the application form.

For those submitting a portfolio as an individual or freelancer: The entrant must have the solo byline, or some sort of clear credit naming them as the creator of the work. Any portfolio that includes work with multiple bylines (or no bylines) MUST include a signed letter from a senior editor saying that they reviewed the portfolio and can attest that it was exclusively or primarily done by the person who entered.

Here are the criteria for the Sigma Awards 2024:

  • Entries must be for work published in calendar year 2023 (between 1 January 2023 and 31 December 2023)
  • Entries have to be submitted via our online form.
  • Entries have to be received by January 17th, 2024 at 11:59pm ET, to qualify.
  • Applicants can enter as many projects as they want.
  • Entries have to specify if they qualify as a large or a small newsroom or as an individual, where applicable. Small newsrooms are defined as those with 35 or fewer journalists (including regular freelancers/contractors), or equivalent (eg, two half-time freelancers count as one person.)
  • Organizations that do not qualify under this definition but who believe they belong in the small newsroom category may petition for an exception by sending a letter from the editor-in-chief explaining his or her rationale to Marianne Bouchart, executive director at
  • Collaborative work has to be entered as a large newsroom.
  • Entering organizations grant The Sigma Awards the right to use their material in their entry, including the organization's name and logo, on The Sigma Awards website and other marketing material around the awards.
  • 2023 has been another special year for all members of the data journalism community, and we expect to receive a large number of entries tackling the ongoing conflicts in Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Gaza, and other parts of the world. However, we’d like to specify that all data journalism projects, regardless of their topics, can be entered into the competition.

Other considerations:

  • The judges appreciate short, concise, and well-curated entries that pare the work to its essentials.

What we’d like to see:

  • Great data collection and analysis in the service of journalism, ideally shining a light on facts and issues of public interest that would otherwise not be known;
  • Great storytelling and engagement with strong visual and interactive elements of (ideally) that kind of reporting;
  • Great public service, either in reporting/analysis of key issues or in terms of empowering communities to discover important information for themselves;
  • Great innovative ideas that will likely move the field forward.

About nominating a project

All entries have to be entered by their author(s) or someone explicitly nominated by the author(s) to enter on their behalf. However, people can and are encouraged to nominate their favorite data projects via X f.k.a. Twitter by posting a link with the hashtag #SigmasNominations. Our team members do their best to reach out to the authors and get them to enter the competition.

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