George Gongadze Prize

The Prize was founded by PEN Ukraine in partnership with the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School Alumni Association and the Ukrainian Pravda publication.

Who is the Prize for?

George Gongadze was a man who refused to admit failure, who never gave up and never abandoned his path. George’s decision in 2000 to establish an online publication, the Ukrainian Pravda, was a revolutionary at the time as well as innovative step which influenced the formation of independent journalism in Ukraine.

The George Gongadze Prize seeks to support journalists who are not afraid of challenges and are able to find innovative ways of conveying the truth, who promote implementation of liberal reforms in Ukraine, discover new opportunities for the whole media environment, and are capable of creating stability in what they do while remaining true to the principles and values in the profession.


– devotion to principles and values of independent journalism,
– professionalism and competence,
– innovation,
– significant contribution in development of a particular genre or media environment at large,
– creation of materials that lead to resolution or understanding of certain issues in the society and changes in the country.

* Only journalists working in Ukraine for the last 5 years are eligible for the Prize.


George Gongadze Prize is annually awarded on May 21, George Gongadze’s birthday. The laureate receives a statuette, certificate and reward in the amount of UAH 100,000.

Jury of the Prize

The jury of the Prize is made up of 9 persons. Regardless of the year, it consists of a member of the family of George Gongadze, President of PEN Ukraine, representatives from the Ukrainian Pravda and Kyiv-Mohyla Business School Alumni Association, as well as the winner of the previous year. Besides, 5 members of the jury are responsible for invitation of 4 additional members selected out of Ukrainian media experts, media managers, moral authorities and leading intellectuals. Invited members may be part of the jury for no longer than 3 years.

The 2020 George Gongadze Prize judges are:

Myroslava Gongadze – George’s widow, journalist, editor-in-chief and Director of the Voice of America Ukraine;

Andriy KurkovPresident of PEN Ukraine and writer;

Olena Prytulajournalist, co-founder and owner of the Ukrainian Pravda;

Vakhtang Kipiani journalist, founder of The Historical Truth publication and author of the eponymous TV program, founder of the Archive Museum of Press and the first winner of the George Gongadze Prize (2019);

Mykola Sushko – patron of the Prize, representative of the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School Alumni Association;

Larysa Denysenko – journalist, writer and human rights defender;

Igor Kozlovskyy – religious scholar, writer, member of PEN Ukraine;

Myroslav Marynovych human rights defender, publicist, religious scholar, Vice Rector of Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, honorary President of PEN Ukraine; 

Yulia Mostova journalist, co-founder and chief editor of The Mirror of the Week publication.

In 2019 the jury comprised of: George’s widow, journalist, Chief Editor and Director of the Voice of America Ukraine Myroslava Gongadze; President of PEN Ukraine and writer Andriy Kurkov; journalist, co-founder and owner of the Ukrainian Pravda Olena Prytula; Head of the Kyiv Mohyla Business School Alumni Association Mykola Demchenko; strategy expert, Head of the expert company pro.mova, member of the Nestor Group and member of UA:PBC Supervisory Board Yevhen Hlibovytskyi; journalist, translator and The Ukrainian Week correspondent in France Alla Lazareva; Dean of the Kyiv-Mohyla Business School Oleksandr Savruk; journalist, writer and human rights defender Larysa Denysenko; professor of history and Director of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute Serhii Plokhii.

Selection procedure

Members of the jury nominate the contenders for the Prize. Selection procedure is divided into three stages. In the first stage – in January–February – judges propose nominees based on a short written justification. During the second stage – in April – judges vote for the short list. In the third stage, judges vote: each member of the jury has 1 vote, and the candidate who gains more votes becomes the winner. The short list is publicized no later than May 14.

*Judges may call off the Prize and the winner be deprived of this status in case s/he commits an act that contradicts ethical and professional standards of journalism.

Awards ceremony

Apart from the awarding itself, it features a speech about George Gongadze and lecture about challenges before the freedom of speech in Ukraine and the world.

Design of the Prize was developed by Twiga Ukraine

Prize patrons in 2019: Serhiy Dulepov, Dmytro Chernov, Liudmyla Perebyinos, Maksym Diadyk, Mykola Demchenko and Olha Myshurovska, Oleh Brusylovskyi, Roman Kvashenko, Oleksandr Tkachuk, Yaroslav Volkovetskyi, Maryna Maslova, Roman Mishchenko, Andriy Isak, Oksana Prosolenko, Anton Artemenko, Dmytro Novytskyi, Mykola Sushko.

Prize patrons in 2020: Dmytro Chernov, Liudmyla Perebyinos, Maksym Diadyk, Mykola Demchenko and Olha Myshurovska, Mykola Sushko, Oleh Brusylovskyi, Oleksandr Tkachuk, the Brunners family, the Viknianskis family, the Mishchenkos family, Roman Kvashenko, Serhiy Dulepov, Yaroslav Volkovetskyi.