The Spring 2018 Reporting and Writing Contest has closed. Our next contest will take place later this year.

Our fourth storytelling contest, named in honor of the late Arch Roberts Jr, is now open to students at our member institutions.

Here’s your chance to tell a story that will resonate with young people around the world -- and win you and your school fame and fortune!

Our jury of three independent experts is looking for work that provides a fresh perspective on the world’s challenges. They are eager for submissions that touch on issues of global relevance, challenge preconceived notions and dare to examine conflicting viewpoints.

We accept written articles, essays, photographs, video, podcasts and multimedia content. Winning entries and other quality submissions will be published on

Your voice and perspective are unique. Here’s a chance to make yourself heard.

News-Decoder’s mission is to foster global understanding amongst young people. This contest is an opportunity to leverage your personal experience and perspective to address an issue you care about while showing sensitivity to contrasting viewpoints.

Our jury is looking for balance, originality and authority in your storytelling.

This contest challenges youth to tackle complex and important topics:

  • Conflict
  • Development
  • Economics
  • Environment
  • Human Rights & Equality
  • Security
  • Discovery

Submissions are not limited to those categories. But we encourage students to tackle big issues and to hold themselves to high standards.

The Ground Rules

  • The deadline for submissions is 11:59 pm Central European Time on Monday, April 30 (5:59 pm U.S. Eastern). The winners will be announced on mid-May.
  • Submissions should be sent via the submission form.
  • All students enrolled at the 14 academic institutions in News-Decoder’s 2017-18 program are eligible to participate. The institutions are listed here.
  • The $1,000 in prizes will be divided among four categories of submissions: text, photography, video, audio. A submission can include more than one medium.
  • The topic should be of international interest and be able to resonate with a global audience.
  • A submission can have up to two authors.
  • All forms of digital media are acceptable: text, video, photographs, infographics, audio.
  • Written text can be up to 800 words and video up to two minutes. Up to 15 photographs can be submitted on a single topic. Podcasts must be limited to 10 minutes.
  • The maximum file size is 10.6 MB. If your file is larger than this size, please upload a zip file or supply a link(s) to your project for viewing elsewhere.
  • Articles written in the first person are allowed.
  • Submissions will be judged on originality, style, organization, clarity and the degree to which they examine opposing viewpoints.
  • Submissions must be original material and not have been published previously, or submitted for publication elsewhere, for a public audience. Unpublished schoolwork that has been reworked for the contest is acceptable. Authors must have the rights to all material, including any images, music or other content.
  • News-Decoder reserves the right to publish submissions on its website ( News-Decoder may edit a submission before publication to ensure it meets our editorial standards. Material that is published will carry the byline of the author or authors.

Meet the Judges

Nadia Dala is a Belgian journalism lecturer, author and multimedia journalist. She worked as a reporter in Europe and the Middle East after studying in Tunisia and Egypt, and won the Pascal Decroos Award for excellence in investigative reporting. Her books include a study of the history of Algeria and the rise of Islamic parties. She has taught at Georgetown University and is currently senior lecturer at Thomas More college university in Belgium.

Robert Holloway is a British-born French citizen who had a long career at Agence France-Presse as a journalist and editor before becoming director of the AFP Foundation, the international media training arm of the global news agency. He joined AFP in 1988 and served as Sydney bureau chief, foreign editor, head of the English desk in Paris, United Nations correspondent in New York, deputy managing editor and acting editor in chief.


Charlotte Parker works at Acumen, a non-profit venture fund working to change how the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. Before moving to San Francisco, she served as a fourth-grade teacher through Teach for America in South Texas and helped launch the NationSwell Council, a membership network and events series for service-minded leaders, in New York City. She has worked as a freelance reporter in South America.


AWR Photo_contest_spring_18

The contest is named in honor of the late Arch Roberts Jr, on behalf of a generous donor. Roberts had a distinguished career in international relations, spending more than 12 years on Capitol Hill with the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee and serving later with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

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