Prize horiz 15pt lines.png


NOTE: Judges defer on assessing organizations or individuals from their own countries. Instead, Global Youth & News Media replaces that score with the average from the other judges.


Different subsets of the Core Jury assesse different categories.


MTHOBA XOLA CHAPI (South Africa) - is director of Vuselela Media which trains media students to produce broadcast-quality content for the South Africa Broadcasting Company. He is also the regional communications officer for Africa of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

VARLEE S. FOFANA (Liberia, Guinea, South Africa) is a student at the African Leadership Academy in South Africa and a contributor to Global Youth & News Media's World Teenage Reporting Project>Tolerance Profile Challenge. He is a Liberian who lived in Kouankan, Guinea, as a refugee during the Liberian Civil War. From this experience, he became inspired to write stories. He is one of 10 scholars in the SMART Liberia Educational Advancement College Readiness Program and an alumnus ambassador of the Yale Young African Scholars. His account of growing up in a refugee camp as accepted as part of the World Teenage Reporting Project and  won first place in News Decoder’s 8th Storytelling Contest for its member schools . News Decoder is an educational news service that helps young people make sense of international news and a partner in the Global Youth & News Media Prize.

JOSH LAPORTE (Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina) is head of the Internews country program in Sarajevo to enhance media development and media literacy. He has been lead project coordinator at the International Press Institute and headed media development at the European Journalism Centre (2006 to 2020), directing programs across Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America that used an advocacy-strengthening approach focused on youth media literacy, journalist safety, diversity/accountability reporting and access to independent information.  A permanent resident of Belgium, he holds United States citizenship. He is a board member at Global Youth & News Media.

DR. ARALYNN ABARE MCMANE (France, USA) is founder and executive director of Global Youth & News Media. She specializes in news media youth engagement, journalism education and news/media literacy. She has worked with WAN-IFRA (The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers), UNESCO and dozens of individual media outlets. An international journalist and consultant, she has also done journalism education and research for news and academic organizations based in Europe and in the United States as well as directed news media development projects around the world.

NOLWAZI MJWARA (France & South Africa) is a Trustee of News Decoder and a communications consultant at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France, specializing in cultural heritage issues. She has previously held roles in social media and communications at the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers and UNICEF. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science from the University of Cape Town, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Master of Arts specializing in communications from the American University of Paris.


GRZEZORZ PIECHOTA (United Kingdom & Poland) is Researcher-in-Residence at the International News Media Association, a research fellow at Harvard and Oxford universities in the U.S. and the U.K. and a prize-winning practitioner of youth engagement strategies for news media. Among the projects he led while at Gazeta Wyborcza was the rallying of young people to save a river from destruction by a proposed highway and the massive overhaul of digital literacy in Poland’s schools. His emphasis now is technology-enabled disruption patterns across industries, including news media.

DARA ROSEN (USA)  is a former chief editor at The Eagle Eye, the newsmagazine of Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, which was the co-recipient of the first, honorary Global Youth & News Media Prize in 2018. The other co-recipient was The Guardian US. She is now a journalism student at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers and a speciall correspondent with Global Youth & News Media for Spring semester 2021.

WENDY TRIBALDOS (Panama) is a journalist, educator and museum studies specialist and co-author of News Literacy and News Publishers, a 7-part report and database. She is also a prize-winning practitioner of youth engagement strategies for news media. While at La Prensa in Panama, she developed several award-winning initiatives, including highly effective and enjoyable introductions to news for children. She is a board member at Global Youth & News Media.


KYLE PLANTZ (USA) is a journalist specializing in media literacy, science, politics and solutions journalism. He is the educational program coordinator at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University of New York.  Previously he was the program assistant for the National Association for Media Literacy Education and a solutions specialist focused on environment, agriculture, and climate change at the Solutions Journalism Network. Previously, he was a political reporter in New Hampshire covering the 2016 presidential election and then a journalist at Science News, a nonprofit magazine covering advances in science, medicine and technology. He has a degree in journalism, history, and political science from Boston University.



XUE BAI (China) is the originator of From My Window: Children at Home During COVID-19,  a United Nations free, downloadable book for children (also available in print)  that looks at the lives of housebound children during the coronavirus epidemic. This year, she will finish a graduate degree in art and culture management at the Pratt Institute in New York, where she is a researcher and heads that school’s chapter of Net Impact, a global movement of leaders using their skills and careers to build a more just and sustainable world.

HELEN LEE BOUYGUES (France) is founder and president of the Reboot Foundation, which is  devoted to elevating critical thinking through advocacy, research and resources. A former partner at the McKinsey & Company international consulting firm, she has served as interim CEO, CFO, or COO for more than a dozen companies. She is a columnist for Forbes magazine and is working on a book about critical thinking.

SANTHOSH KUMAR (India) is a specialist in gamification using game-like elements in non-game scenarios to make serious matters more memorable. He is managing partner at The BS Lab in Chennai, a design agency that helps brands connect to their customers through memorable fun engagements. During the initial days of pandemic, his company The Gamification Republic, created quizzes using Indian mythology as a theme to convey the protocols to be followed. He is also founder of Mooremarket, a closed group community for conscious consumption with more than 85,000 members.

ALISON MESTON (France) is communications director at the International Science Council. Prior to joining the ISC, she worked in the Communication and Information sector at UNESCO, as director of Press Freedom for WAN-IFRA (the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers), and as a public affairs officer for the British Red Cross. She also spent 12 years in the labour movement in Australia and the UK, organizing campaigns in sectors such as nursing, care homes, education, and the food and airline industries.

GUGULETHU NDEBELE (South Africa) became chief executive officer at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in 2019.  The academy opened in 2007 with a mission “welcoming talented, underprivileged girls to a new lifestyle; a world filled with knowledge, social skill development and possibilities.” Previously she spent five years as CEO of Save the Children South Africa and 18 years in the Department of Basic Education where, since 2007, she had been deputy director general responsible for social mobilisation and support services (including a range of health-promoting programmes).

SWETA PAL (INDIA) is communications director at It’s Ok To Talk, an initiative of the Goa-based youth mental health research organization Sangath, where she also leads the India chapter for the global Speak Your Mind campaign. She also co-leads Outlive! with Gonsalves, a national youth suicide prevention public engagement initiative. Previously, she was communications officer at Public Health Foundation of India (Gurgaon) and a journalist for Prevention magazine.She is an expert in health communications, development of online and offline mental health campaigns, setting up and supporting youth advisory groups and youth training programmes especially for youth with lived experience of mental health needs.

MARIANE [VAN NEYENHOFF] PEARL (Spain) is a journalist based in Barcelona whose work often focuses on people who are often overlooked, particularly the women and children who live in communities plagued by poverty and conflict. In 2019, she co-founded  The Meteor, a platform built by a collective of activists, journalists, and creators to focus on modern feminist work.  She is the widow of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl who was kidnapped and assassinated in Pakistan in 2002 and a board member of The Daniel Pearl Foundation, which promotes mutual respect and understanding among diverse cultures through journalism, music and dialogue. She is author of A Mighty Heart,  a celebration of her husband’s life and a call for peace and In Search of Hope: The Global Diaries of Mariane Pearl, a collection of her columns for Glamour. She is managing editor emeritus at the Chime for Change Foundation, which fosters empowerment of women and girls around the world via access to education, health and justice.

ALEXANDRA ISELIN WALDHORN (Norway, USA, France)  is a communications officer at UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning in Paris France. She has been a  journalist for Radio France International and for ABC News Radio and directed Children's PressLine, a news content service by youth reporters for customers such as New York Daily News and PBS NewsHour.  She has also worked in WAN-IFRA's press freedom and young reader divisions. She is a board member of Global Youth & News Media.


DR. KRISTI WESTPHALN (United States) is a PhD-prepared pediatric nurse practitioner and child health expert with over 15 years of clinical expertise caring for children and families. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Department of Bioethics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and practicing at the University Hospitals Rainbow Center for Women and Children. As a senior fellow with the George Washington University Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement, she was a host and co-producer for  Healthcetera radio and co-authored studies exploring the presence of nurses as sources for health news stories (Woodhull Study Revisited). Since 2019, she has served as a health consultant for Cleveland's public broadcast affiliate, Ideastream, where she hosts and co-produces the Health’s Up podcast that focuses on healthy choices through the voices of children and teenagers.

IAN YEE (Malaysia) is co-founder of The Fourth, a not-for-profit social enterprise focusing on investigative and impact journalism projects which use video-driven multimedia content and activism campaigns to create positive change on social justice issues. He is also executive director of the Environmental Reporting Collective, a network of investigative journalists from across the globe who collaborate on massive cross-border environmental reporting projects. He is also co-founder of As a journalist, editor, and producer, Ian's work has concentrated on stories of interest to and with an impact on young people (particularly with the R.AGE team in Malaysia). He and the R.Age team at the Malaysia Star won nearly 40 awards and two Peabody Award nominations. Ian is also currently an Obama Foundation Leader and Acumen Fellow.

GUEST Jurors:

FOCUS: Inaugural Scott C. Schurz Press Freedom Teacher Award

ZAFFAR ABBAS is a Pakistani journalist, who has been the editor of Pakistan's English-language daily DAWN, since October 2010. DAWN is the country's oldest and largest English-language publication and now a multimedia enterprise. Mr. Abbas was the 2019 honoree of the  Committee to Protect Journalists' Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award, for extraordinary and sustained achievement in the cause of press freedom. DAWN, founded in 1941, has a long history of aiding education in Pakistan and regularly teaches its readers about the importance of press freedom, most recently in this article published on World Press freedom Day 2021.


Dr. DOAN VIET HOAT (USA). Before the Vietnames government sent him to jail for a total of 22 years, Doan Viet Hoat had received a Ph.D. in education from Florida State University (Tallahassee)  and was a professor and then vice president of Van Hanh University (a Buddhist private university in Saigon). Before, during and after his incarceration, he has worked constantly to advance the cause of freedom of expression and to help his native land. For example, when he met with the leadership of The World Association of Newspapers, which had awarded him its Golden Press of Freedom, he asked them to organize a continuing education program for Vietnamese journalists. This interview, meant as a resource for teaching human rights, offers a glimpse of what this man is all about.

JAN-WILLEM BULT (Netherlands) is head of Children, Youth & Media at Free Press Limited, a global media development NGO based in Amsterdam and chief editor of its WADADA News for Kids which has provided a global journalistic voice for children around the world since 2004. He is founder of the Children in the Centre Foundation, which assists child enrichment projects worldwide, and past president of the Eurovision Children's and Youth TV Experts Group. After a 14-year career as head of children’s programming for Dutch public broadcasting (NPO), he founded his own company in 2014 to create films for children and adults around the world.

MELISSA FALKOWSKI (USA) is faculty adviser to The Eagle Eye student newsmagazine at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, where she has taught all levels of secondary English since joining the faculty in 2004. Along with The Guardian US, The Eagle Eye was co-recipient in 2018 of the first Global Youth & News Media Prize in recognition of their joint coverage of the March for Our Lives demonstration that year in favor of gun control. In 2019, she was named National High School Journalism Teacher of the Year by Columbia University's Scholastic Press Association for her courage during and after the shooting deaths of 17 students and faculty at her school on February 14, 2018 and her ability to "inspire her student staff to report through the tragic aftermath." She is co-editor with Eric Garner of  We Say #NeverAgain: Reporting by the Parkland Student Journalists. She has degrees in English education (Florida Atlantic University ) and journalism (Kent State University).


SOLOMON ELLIOTT (United Kingdom) founded The Student View in 2016 as a media literacy charity to train teenagers across the United Kingdom about how to spot misinformation and as local news reporters. Previously he was a community organizer and teacher of English and politics in South London. In 2019, he became a member of the BBC’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group to improve BBC on how it portrays all of the UK’s communities. That same year, The Student View received the top News/Media Literacy Award in the 2019 Global Youth & News Media Prize.


SHAELYNN FARNSWORTH (USA) s national director of educator outreach and success at the News Literacy Project, based in Washington DC, which was a news/media literacy laureate in the 2019 Global Youth & News Media Prize. Her more than 20 years of experience in education began when she taught secondary school English in Conrad, Iowa, where she focused on information consumption skills, creating innovative ways for students to demonstrate understanding, and inspiring healthy skepticism about digital content. She was recruited by a regional state education agency in Iowa, where she spent seven years supporting districts throughout the state in literacy, technology, artificial intelligence and systemic change. She was a member of the state’s literacy, social studies, and technology leadership teams. She holds two degrees in English from the University of Northern Iowa.       

Dr. PAUL MIHAILIDIS (Austria, USA) is an associate professor of civic media and journalism and assistant dean in the school of communication at Emerson College in Boston, MA, where he teaches media literacy, civic media, and community activism. He is founding program director of the MA in Media Design, Senior Fellow of the Emerson Engagement Lab, and faculty chair and director of the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change. His work has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Slate Magazine, the Nieman Foundation, USA Today, Newsweek, CNN, and others. He sits on numerous Editorial Boards, and the advisory board for iCivics.

Dr. CRISTIANE PARENTE DE SÁ BARRETO (Portugal, Brazil) is a global consultant, researcher and columnist on media and education. She is managing director at Comunicação e Educação (Portugal and Brazil) and has conducted studies and programmes for universities, media and NGOs all over the world. She is the author of the Educação & Mídia for Gazeta do Povo since 2012 and, since 2021, commentary for Observatôrio de Midia of the Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro. Previously, she coordinated 60 news in education programmes for the Brazilian publishers association, Associação Nacional de Jornais. Her doctorate is in media education from Universidade do Minho (Portugal) with an emphasis on media literacy

CHIDO ONUMAH (Nigeria and Canada) is coordinator of the African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), set up in 2008. He is chair of the Pan-African Alliance for Media & Information Literacy (PAMIL). He has also worked for over two decades as a journalist, rights activist and media trainer in Nigeria, Ghana, Canada, India, the US, the Caribbean and Spain.

MARGARET HOLBORN (United Kingdom) is head of secondary and higher education at the Guardian Foundation and manages the Behind the Headlines programme, which is based at the Education Centre at the Guardian newspaper offices in London and empowers young people to understand, critically analyse, engage with and participate in the media. Since 2002, 146,000 young people, teachers and adults have taken part in their activities. Prior to setting up the Centre she was a teacher and manager in a South London secondary school, where she taught history, politics and citizenship along with careers and business studies.

ANDREW HESLOP (France & Germany, UK) is executive director of media freedom at WAN-IFRA, The World Association of News Publishers. He has been with WAN-IFRA since 2010 and was previously responsible for editorial and communications in the Press Freedom and Media Development team. Based in Paris, he has worked throughout the Middle East, Africa and Asia as part of WAN-IFRA's on-going efforts to defend press freedom and support independent news publishers. Andrew, who is British, previously worked for over 10 years as a journalist and editor in the UK, Spain and France.

SOTIRIA TSALAMANI  (Belgium) is a part of the multicultural team of EAVI- Media Literacy for Citizenship as a learning designer. EAVI aims to empower individuals to be active, engaged citizens in today’s increasingly challenging media environment. She is the author of several articles at EAVI including, Press Freedom: One of the pillars for democratic societies. She holds a degree in modern Greek language & literature (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece), is pursuing a master’s in educational sciences (Vrije Universiteit, Belgium), and holds a British educator certificate. Sotiria’s work focuses on promoting media literacy skills and ensuring the fundamental human rights to establish democratic and balanced societies. EAVI stands for European Association for Viewers Interests.




JAZMÍN ACUÑA (Paraguay) is editor at El Surtidor, a visual news digital outlet that was the top laureate for The Planet Award of the 2018 Global Youth & News Media Prize. With her team, she also received the Gabriel Garcia Márquez prize in innovation in 2018 and the Peter Benenson award by Amnesty International. She previously worked in public broadcasting and did research on the role of media in the justice and reconciliation process in South Africa. She will do her judging with Alejandro Valdez Sanabria, El Surtidor general manager.


BASANT RATHORE  (India) is senior vice president for strategic planning, brand and business development at the Jagran Group, whose Dainik Jagran organization was the silver award laureate for The Planet Award of the 2019 Global Youth & News Media Prize. Previously, he worked at  agencies such as Ogilvy, Mudra, Mindshare and Madison where he has planned and bought media for leading brands. He has conducted over 30 media workshops for professionals and has taught Media Management at several marquee management institutes across India. He has been with the Jagran group for the last 14 years. Under him, Dainik Jagran has emerged as the most awarded newspaper brand in India    .                                                           

BELLA LACK (UK) has been an environmental activist since age 11 when she saw a video about the effect of palm oil on orangutans. Most recently, she co-stared in the documentary ANIMAL, direced by Cyril Dion (Demain/Tomorrow) and also featuring Jane Goodall, the British primatologist and anthropologist  Her upcoming first book, 'Children of The Anthropocene' (Penguin, June 2022) describes youth who are combating the environmental crisis. She is an ambassador for the Born Free Foundation, RSPCA and Jane Goodall Institute. She has been the Youth Ambassador for the Born Free Foundation since 2018 and is also part of the Ivory Alliance, which is a group of 'influencers' and politicians working to combat the Illegal Wildlife Trade.

DAVID CALLAWAY (USA) founder and editor-in-chief of Callaway Climate Insights, which provides news, critical analysis and original perspectives at the intersection of global finance and the challenges of climate change. He is a former president of the World Editors Forum and worked at Bloomberg News, Marketwatch and the Boston Herald before spending six years as editor-in-chief of USA Today, the internationally distributed American daily.

SUE PHILLIPS (UK, France) is a trustee at News Decoder, which is a partner for the Global Youth & News Media Prize. She has spent more than three decades in senior leadership posts in media and public affairs. At the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, she held senior production roles in London, Moscow, Rome and Washington before serving as CBC’s London Bureau Chief. At Al Jazeera, she worked as London Bureau Chief and then as Director of Foreign Bureaux, Doha. She held senior positions at the Doha Film Institute and the National Museum of Qatar. As a media consultant for the African Wildlife Foundation she produces content for a variety of global platforms. In 2017 she founded Wildlife Workshop and delivers Conservation Journalism training in Africa and Borneo. Sue is a Patron of the Borneo Nature Foundation supporting the protection of tropical rainforests and biodiversity.


RORY RUSNAK (Ireland) founded Youth for Positive Change in 2019 at age 14, which spotlights young people who are making an impact in their communities and beyond. The organization also provides advice and resources to young people who want to get involved in activism. 


RINA TSUBAKI (Spain) founded The Lookout Station at the European Forest Insitute, where the science and journalism communities use a scientific approach to explore new ways to tell climate change stories at @europeanforest.  Previously, for the European Journalism Centre, she designed, developed and implemented a wide variety of initiatives, including the  Verification Handbook, a step-by-step guide for verifying user-generated content, and the News Impact  series for editors, newsroom managers, start-ups, developers, designers all across Europe.

CATHY WATSON (Kenya) is chief of programme development at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), a center of science and development excellence that harnesses the benefits of trees for people and the environment. She has lived in East Africa since 1986, working first as a BBC journalist and then setting up Straight Talk Foundation, which pioneered social and behaviour change communication in Uganda through award-winning newspapers for 25,000 schools, radio in 17 languages and face-to-face programmes. The initial focus was HIV prevention among youth, but it broadened into other challenges and demographic groups. She also set up Mvule Trust  which provided education to over 3400 young Ugandans, including hundreds of health workers, agriculturalists, foresters and teachers,

KATINA PARON (USA), a journalism professor at Hunter College (City University of New York), has created byline opportunities for youth reporters for nearly three decades. She edits the monthly teen-written feature in Ms. magazine and served as senior project editor for the teenage journalists who profiled the 1200+ victims of gun violence in “Since Parkland,” the top Journalism Award laureate of the 2019 Global Youth & News Media Prize. She is the author of “A NewsHound’s Guide to Student Journalism'' (McFarland), a comic book-style resource for classrooms and newsrooms.

KRISTEN DAVIS (France) is founder and CEO of (France), which uses technology to help enterprises and societies evolve. Previously, she was director of information technology and innovation director at The International New York Times after working at Ziff-Davis APN in Australia and for Future Publishing in the UK. She also heads the USA board of APOPO, a global nonprofit using scent detection animal technology to detect landmines and tuberculosis to save lives. She is a board member at Global Youth & News Media.


BENEDICTE AUTRET (France) joined the Google Syndication team in 2005 and has since embraced the world of partnership with news organizations. Initially working with some of the largest UK print companies, broadcasters and telcoms she now serves as Google’s head of strategic relations for news & publishers for the United Kingdom, Ireland, France & Benelux. Prior to joining Google, she worked for WILink Europe. She holds a degree from the EDHEC Business School in France. [She did not have a vote in cases with Google involvement.]


ANNE COLLIER (USA) is a youth advocate and executive director of The Net Safety Collaborative, the national non-profit organization that is piloting the new social media helpline for U.S. schools and helping Google update its global Be Internet Awesome digital literacy initiative. She has served on three national task forces on youth internet safety, most recently for the Obama administration, and now serves on the safety advisory boards of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube. Earlier in her career, she worked on print, radio, TV, and web editions of the Christian Science Monitor and was editor of its first web site in the mid-’90s. She has been writing about children and connected media at since the late-'90s. [She did not vote in cases with Google involvement.]


ADNAN KAKA SHAFI (Kenya) is the founder and CEO of Sauti Afrika, a podcast that aims to help youth talk about difficult issues in their communities. The podcast is based in the African Leadership Academy and continues to work under a new team to chase it's vision to 'Foster tolerance through conversation'.  He represented African Leadership Academy as a student ambassador and content contributor with News Decoder for the 2018-2019 academic year.

BARBARA MCCORMACK  (USA) is vice president for education at the Freedom Forum Institute in Washington DC. She leads the team responsible for creating NewseumED: quality, educational resources and programs on First Amendment freedoms and media literacy. Through on-site and virtual classes and its website, NewseumED reaches 10 million students. She works to promote access to media literacy resources as a member of the steering committee for the North American subchapter of GAPMIL, UNESCO’s effort to promote media and information literacy worldwide. A former middle and high school teacher, she and her team have been recognized by the Journalism Education Association, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the Education Commission for the States for their contributions to the teaching of the First Amendment  and news and media literacy.

ADAM THOMAS (Netherlands) was director of the European Journalism Centre (EJC) (departure set for summer 2021), an independent European non-profit connecting journalists with new ideas based in the Netherlands. In his previous role as Chief Product Officer at Storyful, he led five teams of developers and designers, creating products for world’s biggest media organisations. Previously, he was Head of Communications at the international nonprofit Sourcefabric and worked on media development projects in over 50 countries worldwide. [He did not have a vote in cases with EJC involvement.]

JO WEIR (Canada, UK)  - Based in London, she is a media development expert and currently serves as editorial director at Al-Fanar Media, which covers education, research and culture in the Arab World. She spent 25 years at the Reuters Foundation where she was the director of Journalism Training and Media Development. During that time she directed projects in over 90 countries where training and mentoring was provided to over 13000 journalists, including helping set up Iraq’s first independent news agency, Aswat al-Iraq. As a consultant, she works with Chime For Change and others on humanitarian projects which empower women and girls, and with UN agencies, the European Union, NGOs and companies on media development projects. She was a co-founder of the Global Youth & News Media Prize with Aralynn McMane.