The Gabo Foundation holds the 9th edition of the Gabo Awards for the best in Ibero-American journalism

The Gabo Foundation holds the 9th edition of the Gabo Awards for the best in Ibero-American journalism

  • The most important journalism award in Spanish and Portuguese recognizes courageous public service journalism that contextualizes its audience, gives a voice to those who are not heard, and proposes solutions.
  • Works published on all types of media and in all formats may be submitted.
  • The Gabo Awards will grant $204 million Colombian pesos to the winners and finalists in the 4 competition categories.


The Gabo Foundation, created in 1995 by Colombian journalist and Nobel literature laureate Gabriel García Márquez,  has opened the registration process for the 9th edition of the Gabo Awards, the most important award for journalism in Spanish and Portuguese. 

The difficult economic and social situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has posed enormous challenges for journalism and its financing as well as challenged media outlets’ relationship with its audiences. 

Courageous, public service journalism that, in the midst of this situation, continues its efforts to contextualize its audience, give a voice to those who are not heard, expose injustice, and propose solutions is the type of professional practice the Gabo Awards seeks to feature.

To this end, the Gabo Foundation continues a tradition of institutional awards dating back two decades—with the award presented by Gabo himself in Monterrey, Mexico—and which, since 2013, has been possible thanks to the Gabo Foundation’s partnership with Bancolombia and SURA and their subsidiaries in Latin America. 

In the eight previous editions, the Gabo Awards has received 12,710 entries from 34 countries and has awarded 47 winners, who are examples of excellence, ethical coherence, innovation, and rigor in processing facts; among these are also the recipients of the Gabo Award for Excellence and the Clemente Manuel Zabala Award.

These works bring to life the dream that Gabriel García Márquez had when he created the Gabo Foundation a quarter of a century ago: to promote the higher practice of what he called “the best profession in the world.” They are also a safe haven for those seeking relevant information in polarized contexts where misinformation abounds.

How to apply for the 2021 Gabo Awards

Journalistic works published for the first time in Spanish or Portuguese between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 are eligible for the 2021 Gabo Awards in the following categories:

Text: for the author(s) of the best written journalism work.

Image: for the author(s) of the best visual journalism work: photography, video, animation, data visualization, and other formats.

Coverage: for the author(s) of the best body of work on current affairs in any format.

Innovation: for the journalist or team that has made the best contribution to the development of new types of media, content, means of communication, and ways of connecting to an audience.

All entries that comply with the contest rules will be submitted to a judging process and evaluated by a jury composed of more than 50 renowned journalists. After three rounds of judging, the jury will choose ten nominees per category. From there, a group of three finalists will be chosen, including the winner of each category.

The winners of the four categories will receive: $35,000,000 Colombian pesos, a certificate, and a copy of the “Gabriel” sculpture created by Colombian artist Antonio Caro. The two finalists in each contest category will receive $8,000,000 Colombian pesos.

Entries must be registered on the Gabo Awards platform between Friday, June 4 and Thursday, July 15, 2021.

A constant commitment to good journalism

The Gabo Awards ceremony will be held virtually in November 2021. By doing so, the Gabo Foundation will conclude a year in which different challenges have arisen for innovative journalism committed to truth and quality information. 

Among these is the publication of the digital book “Journalism in the Face of Misinformation,” which compiles reflections on the roots and modus operandi of misinformation and the paths available to journalism to contribute to societies that are better informed and more democratic. 

This book is part of the joint activities done by the Gabo Foundation and the Sura and Bancolombia groups as part of the Journalistic Ethics program, which renewed one of its flagship initiatives this year: the Ethics Clinic. Its new directors, Yolanda Ruiz and Mónica González, share their analysis of the concerns and ethical dilemmas facing journalism in Ibero-America through a bimonthly podcast and a monthly article, respectively. 

The Gabo Foundation will also produce the first Spanish translation of the Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report, in order to bring the Ibero-American public closer to the most complete report on the evolution of trends in the consumption of digital information worldwide, and to allow journalists to better understand what citizens value most when it comes to information. 

In addition, the Foundation is committed to strengthen local journalism through a training program for digital native media journalists in the region focused on the coverage of local issues, which will provide them with tools, examples, and mentoring on new digital narratives and sustainability models.