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DORI J. MAYNARD JUSTICE AWARD

Cash Prize: $2,500

Recognizes reporting on social justice issues. Sponsored by the O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism at Marquette University in Milwaukee, this award is named in memory of Dori J. Maynard, who was an ASNE board member and a strong advocate for news and newsroom diversity and journalism that addressed injustices. Judges will give weight to journalism that shines a light on ignorance, stereotypes, intolerance, racism, hate, negligence, inequality and systemic obstacles. 

  • Individual or teamwork will be accepted in this category.

  • The submission may consist of a single or multiday presentation.

  • All entries — whether news, features, editorials and columns — will be judged on the quality of: the writing, the visual storytelling, the use of digital tools and community engagement.

  • Digital components might include (but are not limited to) blogs, tweets, Facebook posts, mobile content, video, audio, photo galleries, data visualization tools and/or other interactive elements.

  • A maximum of 10 articles may be submitted per entry.

  • A nominating letter no longer than 500 words may accompany the entry but is not necessary.

  • As a condition of accepting the award, the primary individual or individuals responsible for the work will agree to visit Marquette for a symposium or similar event to engage with students and faculty while sharing their expertise and showing how they produced their award-winning work. All expenses for the visit will be borne by the university.

  • All digital and print entrants for this category must have participated in the 2021 News Leaders Association annual diversity survey, which is being extended through February for awards applicants. NLA will provide the diversity survey link to applicants. To request your link please click hereBroadcast outlets, which are not part of the NLA survey at this time, are currently exempt from diversity survey participation and can apply for this award.

 

BATTEN MEDAL

Cash Prize: $2,500

The Batten Medal each year recognizes coverage of an issue that presents an urgent challenge to the United States. This year, the award will focus on coverage of climate. The Batten Medal is sponsored by editors from the former Knight Ridder company. 

  • Individual or teamwork will be accepted in this category.

  • A maximum of 10 pieces may be submitted per entry. This can be 10 articles/columns or digital/interactive components, or a combination of 20 (maximum) articles/columns and digital components.

  • Digital and interactive components might include (but are not limited to) blogs, tweets, Facebook posts, mobile content, video, audio, photo galleries, data visualization tools, etc.

  • If it's an individual entry, then up to two of the pieces submitted for judging may include joint bylines or credits where the nominee was the lead or primary writer.

  • A nomination letter no more than 500 words may be included to add context to the entry but is not required.

 

DEBORAH HOWELL AWARD FOR WRITING EXCELLENCE

Cash Prize: $2,500

Recognizes the best story on any topic, with preference given to strong and stylish writing. Sponsored by Advance Publications, Inc., this award is dedicated to former editor Deborah Howell who loved compelling writing.

  • Individual or teamwork will be accepted in this category.

  • Only 1 story may be submitted per entry.

  • A nominating letter no longer than 500 words may accompany the entry but is not necessary.

 

FRANK A. BLETHEN AWARD FOR LOCAL ACCOUNTABILITY REPORTING

Cash Prize:  $2,500

Recognizes outstanding work done by a news organization that holds local authorities accountable for actions (or inaction). This award is named in honor of Frank A. Blethen, who has been The Seattle Times publisher and CEO since 1985, and is sponsored by The Seattle Times. Work done in the previous calendar year may be considered for this category. The impact of the reporting will be strongly weighted by the judges. Work done over two calendar years may be considered for this category — 2020 and 2021.

  • Individual or teamwork will be accepted for this category.

  • A maximum of 10 articles may be submitted per entry. Each story in a series will count as one of the 10 articles. Each sidebar will count as one article, as well.

  • A nominating letter no longer than 500 words may accompany the entry but is not necessary.

 

BURL OSBORNE EDITORIAL AND OPINION AWARD

Cash Prize: $2,500

Recognizes editorial writing that is excellent journalism and makes a difference in a community. The award is sponsored by The Dallas Morning News in memory of Burl Osborne, who died in 2012.

  • Individual or team efforts will be accepted in this category. Editorials submitted can be the work of the same individual or team and can be signed or unsigned.

  • A maximum of 5 editorials/columns may be submitted per entry.

  • A nominating letter no longer than 500 words may accompany the entry but is not necessary.

 

PUNCH SULZBERGER INNOVATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD

Cash Prize: $2,500

Recognizes innovation by a news organization in reaching underserved or disenfranchised audiences such as minority, immigrant or rural communities. Sponsored by The New York Times, this award is dedicated to the memory of former publisher Arthur Ochs "Punch" Sulzberger.

  • Individual or teamwork will be accepted in this category.

  • The submission may consist of a single or multiday presentation.

  • Digital components might include (but are not limited to) blogs, tweets, Facebook posts, mobile content, video, audio, photo galleries, data visualization tools and/or other interactive elements.

  • Storytelling examples may be submitted via their URLs and do not require PDFs.

  • A nominating letter no longer than 500 words may accompany the entry but is not necessary.

 

MIKE ROYKO AWARD FOR COMMENTARY AND COLUMN WRITING

Cash Prize: $2,500

Recognizes excellence in writing by an individual that expresses a personal point of view. The award is sponsored by the Chicago Tribune in memory of legendary columnist Mike Royko, who died in 1997.

  • Maximum of 10 articles.

  • A nominating letter no longer than 500 words may accompany the entry but is not necessary.

 

BREAKING NEWS REPORTING AWARD

Recognizes coverage of breaking news events. Judges will weigh reporting in the immediate aftermath of a breaking event and also follow-up reporting that breaks new ground and holds people and institutions to account. 

  • Individual or teamwork will be accepted in this category.

  • Maximum of 10 articles.

  • Multimedia components might include (but are not limited to) graphics, photo galleries, video or interactive elements. Time stamps should be visible on these entries. URLs should be provided.

  • A nominating letter no longer than 500 words may accompany the entry but is not necessary.

 

FIRST AMENDMENT AWARD

Cash Prize: $2,500

Recognizes the best example of protecting or advancing freedom of information principles, and/or overcoming significant resistance to the application of the First Amendment. The award is sponsored by Middle Tennessee State University’s Free Speech Center.

  • Individual or team efforts will be accepted.

  • The work of editors, opinion writers and visual journalists also will be accepted, either alone or as part of a larger effort.

  • Maximum of 10 elements — any combination of articles, editorials and visuals.

  • A nominating letter of no longer than 500 words may accompany the entry but is not necessary. 

 

NEWS LEADER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Cash Prize: $2,500

Recognizes an editor or team of editors who have displayed strong leadership through great journalism and vital decision making on all fronts. The sponsor of the News Leader of the Year Award is the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

  • The entry should consist of a nominating letter no longer than 500 words.

  • The entry fee is waived for this category.

  • All digital and print entrants for this category must have participated in the 2021 News Leaders Association annual diversity survey, which is being extended through February for awards applicants. NLA will provide the diversity survey link to applicants. To request your link please click hereBroadcast outlets, which are not part of the NLA survey at this time, are currently exempt from diversity survey participation and can apply for this award.

 

ROBERT G. MCGRUDER AWARD FOR DIVERSITY LEADERSHIP

Cash Prize: $2,500

The Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership honors the distinguished career of Robert G. McGruder, a former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, former managing editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, graduate at Kent State University and relentless diversity champion. He died of cancer in April 2002. 

Nominees for the award, sponsored by Gannett and the USA TODAY Network, can be individuals, newsrooms or teams of journalists who have made a significant contribution toward furthering McGruder's legacy of diversity in news content and in recruiting, developing and retaining a diverse workforce. The winner will receive $2,500 and a leadership trophy.

  • The entry should consist of a nominating letter no longer than 500 words.

  • The entry fee is waived for this category.

  • All digital and print entrants for this category must have participated in the 2021 News Leaders Association annual diversity survey, which is being extended through February for awards applicants. NLA will provide the diversity survey link to applicants. To request your link please click hereBroadcast outlets, which are not part of the NLA survey at this time, are currently exempt from diversity survey participation and can apply for this award.