Announcement

EWA Opens Entries for 2020 Education Reporting Awards
Journalists Working in All Media Invited to Compete

The Education Writers Association is pleased to announce the launch of the 2020 National Awards for Education Reporting. Journalists may submit entries from 9:00 a.m. Eastern time on Nov. 16, 2020 through 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on Dec. 15, 2020.

Journalists who have published work in 2020 on any education topic in any medium are encouraged to enter the contest, which features a total of 20 prizes with cash awards ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

EWA will bestow 17 awards with $1,000 cash prizes based on the categories Audio Storytelling, Beat Reporting, Features, Investigative Reporting, News, Public Service and Visual Storytelling. Each category includes 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. News outlets of any size are invited to enter the Eddie competition.

Winners of the three Beat Reporting category prizes will 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 (excluding the Eddie) will be considered for the Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting, which comes with an honorarium of $10,000.

EWA’s reporting competition aims to highlight the many outstanding reporters working to strengthen democracy by providing life-saving news and information about the approximately 9 million Americans working in education, and the more than 70 million Americans who are trying to better themselves through formal education.

“As Americans struggle through a pandemic, an economic shutdown, political divisions and a reckoning with systemic racism, the need for accurate and timely news and information about education has never been greater. The nation’s education journalists have risen to this challenge despite furloughs, cutbacks and office closures. Despite having to juggle work with overseeing their own children’s home education. Despite their own personal health crises and challenges. And despite political, personal – and sometimes physically violent – attacks,” said Steve Drummond, executive producer at National Public Radio and chairman of EWA’s Awards and Advocacy Committee. ”As it does every year, the 2020 EWA awards program aims to showcase education journalism that reveals injustices and shines light on what does and doesn’t work to serve students, families, and the public.”

By revealing the horrors of punitive isolation rooms in Illinois schools, the winners of EWA’s 2019 grand prize sparked policy makers and school leaders to restrict the traumatizing punishment, for example, he noted. Another prize-winning story on the lack of educational resources in prison has pushed legislators to improve funding so that the incarcerated can build skills to help them succeed upon release. Yet another prize winner’s investigation into the numbers of Indiana high school dropouts listed as “home schooled” led to changes in leadership at some of the affected schools. 

“News organizations have been called the ‘Fourth Estate’ because they play such a crucial role in strengthening our democracy. Education journalists have played an especially important role this year in helping Americans navigate several overlapping crises,” said EWA Executive Director Caroline Hendrie. “Although our profession is under both political and economic assault, our members day in, day out, remain committed to their craft and to serving the public. EWA’s awards program is one way to celebrate the tremendous strength and quality of the education journalism community.”

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

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

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.