2016 National Press Club Journalism Awards
Are You One of the Nation's Top Journalists?
Deadline: April 1, 2016
Through our annual journalism awards, the National Press Club seeks to recognize and honor professional journalists who have produced outstanding work for the public, either independently or as employees of editorially independent news entities. In all cases, judges will give weight to demonstration of individual enterprise, fairness, accuracy and objectivity. Content produced for house organs, pamphlets, theses or reports will not be considered, nor will advocacy outlets of interest groups such as trade associations, consumer organizations or government agencies. Entries may be submitted by either journalists or their employers. Non-traditional entrants are free to explain in supporting materials how they meet these journalistic criteria, and should submit a statement explaining their editorial independence.
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Consumer Journalism Award | Washington Regional Reporting Award | Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism | Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence | Newsletter Journalism Award | Joan M. Friedenberg Online Journalism Award | Sandy Hume Memorial Award for Excellence in Political Journalism | Joseph D. Ryle Award for Excellence in Writing on the Problems of Geriatrics | Angele Gingras Humor Award | Ann Cottrell Free Animal Reporting Award | Michael A. Dornheim Award | Lee Walczak Award for Political Analysis | Breaking News | News and Feature Photography
Consumer Journalism Award
These awards recognize excellence in reporting on consumer topics. Judges will look more favorably on solution-oriented or strategic-oriented pieces that prompt action by consumers, the community, the government or an individual.
- Periodicals (including magazines, journals, newsletters and online reporting)
- Broadcast (including network, syndicates, cable and broadcast TV and radio stations)
Entries: A single article or broadcast or a series of related articles or broadcasts that will be judged as a unit. If the entry is a continuing column, no more than five examples should be submitted. Include a letter detailing how the piece or series resulted in action by consumers, the government, the community or an individual.
Prize: $750 award for each category.
Washington Regional Reporting Award
This prize recognizes the work of Washington-based regional reporters who provide a clear understanding of events, issues and politics of importance to a city, state or region. This contest honors reporters who demonstrate excellence and versatility in covering Washington from a local angle.
Entries: Up to 6 articles that demonstrate a diverse body of work. Entrants must be full-time professional reporters but may work for more than one publication. Articles must be printed in daily newspapers or online editions of daily papers.
Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism
Sponsored by former U.S. News & World Report reporter Arthur Rowse, these awards honor excellence in examining the role and work of the news media. All entries must focus on criticism of journalistic practices or reporting on the industry, and must encourage responsible media behavior.
Entries: Up to 5 articles or broadcasts (not necessarily in the same outlet) and must be accompanied by a letter explaining the significance of the work and any subsequent actions resulting from its publication or airing.
Prize: $750 for each category
Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence
Named for Edwin M. Hood, a distinguished diplomatic correspondent for the Associated Press and a founding member of the National Press Club, these awards recognize excellence in reporting on diplomatic and foreign policy issues. Entrants must demonstrate an understanding of American foreign policy and how foreign affairs affect those policies.
Entries: A single article or broadcast or a series of articles or broadcasts (maximum of 5) that will be judged as one unit. Include a letter detailing how and why the piece or series broke fresh ground or how it brought clarity and understanding of foreign policy issues to the U.S. audience.
Prize: $750 for each category
Newsletter Journalism Award
This competition acknowledges excellence in newsletter journalism.
- Best analytical or interpretive reporting piece
Entries: A single story or a series of no more than 5 related stories. Entries must be published by an independent newsletter.
Joan M. Friedenberg Online Journalism Award
This award is named in memory of Joan M. Friedenberg, founding editor of the Online Newshour and wife of former Club President Jonathan D. Salant, and is funded by donations from Joan's friends and family.
The winner will have done original reporting and have taken advantage of online technology, such as interactive databases, primary-source interviews, and accompanying charts and graphs, in order to provide a thorough and graphically attractive report. This is not a contest for stories that run online rather than in a print publication; this is to recognize the best journalism that uses online technology to provide a more compelling report than a print or broadcast story alone. Both online-only reports and sites that accompany print or broadcast stories are eligible; in the latter case, entrants must show how they used online content to enhance the print and broadcast reports.
Entries: Entries should be on a single topic. Please provide specific URLs where appropriate or note a designated area for the award material on the site.
Entrants must submit a body of work that substantially represents the way it looked during the award year. Entrants must submit a cover letter explaining why their entry deserves the award. Entrants must also submit passwords if they are needed to access the material online. This contest is not restricted to traditional media, though advocacy groups and others that lobby are ineligible.
Sandy Hume Memorial Award for Excellence in Political Journalism
This award honors excellence and objectivity in political coverage by reporters 34 years old or younger. It is named in memory of Sandy Hume, the reporter for The Hill who broke the story of the aborted 1997 coup against House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Entries: One article or a series of no more than 5 articles on a single topic. Entrants must demonstrate analytical excellence and a clear knowledge of political issues and personalities. Entrants must be under 35 years old when the entry was published. Entrant’s date of birth must be included.
Prize: $750 award.
Joseph D. Ryle Award for Excellence in Writing on the Problems of Geriatrics
This award honors excellence and objectivity in coverage of the problems faced by the elderly. It is named in honor of Joseph D. Ryle, a longtime National Press Club member who left an endowment for the award.
Entries: One article or a series of no more than 5 articles on a consistent topic. Entrants must demonstrate a clear knowledge of geriatric issues and the health care industry.
Prize: $750 award.
Angele Gingras Humor Award
This award, named for Angele Gingras, a longtime National Press Club member who specialized in writing amusing stories for magazines and newspapers, honors excellence in humor writing.
- Body of work
Entries: Three examples of a regular humor feature or column that appears in a general circulation newspaper or online journalism site.
Ann Cottrell Free Animal Reporting Award
This award honors excellence in reporting about animals. Established by the family of journalist and longtime Press Club member Ann Cottrell Free, who wrote extensively about animals and their welfare, this prize recognizes serious work by journalists that informs and educates the public about threats facing animals.
Entries: A single article or broadcast or a series of up to 5 articles or broadcasts that will be judged as one unit. Submissions that provide evidence of impact or that prompted action will be given particular consideration.
Prize: $750 for each category.
Michael A. Dornheim Award
This award is presented in celebration of the career of the late Michael A. Dornheim, a longtime reporter and editor at Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine. The recipient must be a working journalist writing about aerospace, defense, the airline industry, or aerospace science and engineering.
Entries: Up to 6 examples of work.
Lee Walczak Award for Political Analysis
This award is named in memory of Lee Walczak, a Washington editor, bureau chief and White House correspondent who worked for Bloomberg News and Business Week, and recognizes excellence in political analysis. It is funded through the support of McGraw-Hill Cos. Inc., Lee's employer for 37 years, and by contributions from Lee's family and friends.
Entries: One article or a series of no more than 3 articles on a consistent topic. Judges will consider entries that, like Walczak's work, explain why things happen by describing new developments, putting them in context and forecasting the outcome.
This award recognizes excellence in breaking news reporting. Entries will be judged for quality of reporting, speed and innovation. Particular attention will be given to reporting in the first 24 hours and the use of a variety of formats to reach news consumers.
Entries: No more than five stories, written or assembled under deadline pressure, covering a single event or occurrence. Material should be submitted as originally presented. A letter describing how the reporting was done on deadline is encouraged. Supplemental material should be clearly marked. Entrants must also submit passwords if they are needed to access the material online.
Prize: One free year of membership in appropriate category. No cash award.
News and Feature Photography
These awards recognize excellence in spot news photography and in feature photography. Entries are limited to photos taken in 2014 and should demonstrate a photographer's instincts and photo skills.
- Spot News photography
- Feature photography
These photos must be published in news publications such as newspapers, magazines or online media during 2014.
Entries: Spot news entries should be a news photograph of an unplanned event that is spontaneous and requires the photographer to rely on instincts and photo skills.
A feature photo entry should be a general feature photo or a news feature photo that showcases the instincts and skills of the news photographer.
Photos taken for house organs, pamphlets or reports, or advocacy outlets of interest groups such as trade associations, consumer organizations or government agencies will not be considered.
The photo awards are intended to honor professional photojournalists who have produced outstanding work, either independently for news organizations or as employees of those news organizations. Non-traditional entrants are free to explain in supporting materials how they meet these journalistic criteria.
Prize: One free year of membership in appropriate category. No cash award.
Technical Submission Guidelines:
- Entrants should submit a printed copy of the photo as it appeared in a newspaper or magazine where the photo (or photos) appeared, or a printed copy or 'screen grab" of the news website where it appeared. The date of publication should be visible.
- Content must not be altered in Photoshop or by any other means to digitally add or subtract, beyond retouching to eliminate dust and scratches and reasonable adjustments such as cropping, dodging and burning and minor color adjustments.
- JPG entries are required in all photography divisions, for both single-image and multiple-image story categories.
- File type: JPG; be sure each file is a .JPG and carries the extension ".JPG"
- Quality (under "compression"): .JPG high
- Resolution: 200 to 300 dpi, minimum
- Color Mode: RGB
- Image Size: 2,500 pixels or larger, on the longer side - width or height.
- File size for a single photograph should be no more than 4 MB
- Provide caption information for the photos that will be clear to the judges, maybe by numbering the photos in a picture story and matching numbers on the captions.
- Please provide your contact information, phone and email address, in case more information is needed.
Don't Want to Apply Online?
If you're more comfortable filling out and mailing in your application manually, click the button below to download an awards application in PDF format. Please be sure to include a check payable to "National Press Club Journalism Institute" in the amount of $50 for each application you submit. Applications will be discarded if received without payment or if the check is declined.