Announcement

Call for Education Journalism Awards Entries
National Awards for Education Reporting offer $10,000 top prize

The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce the launch of the 2018 National Awards for Education Reporting. Journalists may submit entries from 9 a.m. EST Nov. 15 through midnight PST Dec. 15, 2018.

Professional journalists who have published work in 2018 on any educational topic in any medium are encouraged to enter the contest, which features a total of 19 prizes with cash awards ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

EWA will bestow 16 awards with $1,000 cash prizes based on the categories “News,” “Features,” “Public Service,” “Best Beat Reporting” “Best Audio,” and “Best Visual.”  (Each category is broken down by various newsroom size divisions.) EWA also welcomes entries for the Edwin Gould Foundation’s Eddie Prize, which recognizes coverage of challenges facing low-income college students and comes with $7,500.

Winners of the three “Best Beat Reporting” category prizes will also be eligible  for the Ronald Moskowitz Prize for Outstanding Beat Reporting, with an additional honorarium of $2,500.  Winners of the other categories and divisions will be considered for the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting, which comes with an honorarium of $10,000.

All winners will be honored at EWA’s 72nd National Seminar, to be held in May 2019.

This year’s categories and size divisions differ from last year’s in several respects. The main changes are:

  • A new “Public Service” category:  To better showcase the value of the education journalism, EWA broadened last year’s “Investigative” category to “Public Service.” Besides investigative work, this category will be open to opinion, explanatory or any other type of journalism that benefits society.
  • Separation of “News” and “Features”: To offer greater opportunity to recognize journalists who do the hard work of covering and breaking news under time pressure, EWA created two separate categories to replace the formerly combined news and feature category.
  • Elimination of outdated distinctions: Because so many news organizations now produce content for many different kinds of media and platforms, EWA changed the rules to allow any independent news media organization to enter any of the categories. To encourage entries involving podcasts, data visualizations and online videos, we changed and divided  the “Broadcast” category into “Best Audio” and “Best Visual.”
  • Deletions: To make room for the new categories, we eliminated the stand-alone “Opinion” and “Magazines” categories. Essays and op-eds can be entered in the new Public Service category. Magazine articles should be entered in the categories for which they are most appropriate: News, Feature or Public Service. Magazine reporters are also eligible to enter the Beat Reporting category. We also eliminated the Data Journalism category because data-based journalism has now become an integral part of high-quality  news, feature, investigative and explanatory reporting.

“These changes will go a long way toward reflecting the new realities of multi-platform journalism and the ways newsrooms are evolving and changing, and will enable us to surface the absolute best in education reporting,” said Steve Drummond, NPR executive producer, and chairman of the EWA Board of Directors Awards and Advocacy Committee. 

Caroline Hendrie, EWA’s executive director, added: “Although their job is to communicate, many journalists don’t feel comfortable communicating about themselves or their achievements, even when their legitimacy comes under attack.” But in the past few years alone, she noted, journalists honored by EWA have spurred the state of Texas to scrap a secret policy to deny services to kids with disabilities, prompted officials in Oregon to improve investigations into allegations of educator sexual misconduct, and unmasked the practice of graduating chronically absent students in Washington, D.C.

“All Americans benefit from watchdog reporting on the education beat,” Hendrie said, “and EWA looks forward to shining a light on more such accomplishments in the coming months.”

In addition to impact, entries will be judged on criteria that include the quality of writing and reporting, freshness and depth of insights, clarity of explanation, and innovation of presentation.

For more information on the awards, visit ewa.org/awards  or contact EWA at awards@ewa.org.

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The Education Writers Association (EWA.org) is the national professional organization dedicated to strengthening the community of education writers and improving the quality of education coverage to better inform the public. Member journalists benefit from the organization’s  high-quality programs of training, information, support, and recognition.