Information

2018 Award Categories

The Education Writers Association adjusted the awards categories for 2018 to account for changes in the ways journalists present their work and to emphasize the benefit that investigative and explanatory journalism offers communities.

Among the most important changes: a broadening of the standard categories to include journalism in any media. Now the News, Feature, Beat, Public Service and Eddie categories will accept entries of any and all media types. And the new Audio and Visual categories will accept entries from any independent news outlet.

The EWA awards are limited to the work of professional journalists published, posted or aired on independent news outlets in 2018. Professional journalists are defined in EWA Bylaws, Article II, Section 1.1.

All categories but the Eddie Prize have subdivisions organized by the size of the newsroom(s) that produced the entry. Calculate the staff size by counting all the full-time-equivalent (FTE) employees in the newsroom. In addition to reporters, the calculation should include, among others, all editors, designers, online producers and multimedia content producers, such as photographers, data analysts and videographers. (Read more about newsroom size rules here.)

If a collaboration brought together newsrooms of different sizes, please submit the entry into the category for which the larger or largest newsroom is eligible. Please coordinate with any partner organizations to ensure the same material is not submitted by more than one partnering outlet.

Any item submitted in one category may NOT be submitted in a second category, unless that other category is for beat entries or the Eddie Prize. (However, the beat entry package should not be identical to a package submitted to any other category.)

Entrants should review all categories before entering their submissions.

EWA reserves the right to move submissions into categories we deem to be more appropriate.

Entries to the Education Writers Association awards contest will be judged on criteria that include: quality of writing and reporting; freshness and depth of insights; clarity of explanation; and innovation and effectiveness of presentation.

For further details check out our Rules and FAQ pages.

Categories

Single-Topic News: This category recognizes excellence in breaking news, revelatory reporting, and/or news analysis in any medium. Each entry should consist of a single piece, or a cohesive package or series (of no more than four parts or a total combined viewing or listening time of less than one hour), focused on a single news event, topic or issue. For this category, judges may consider any time constraints reporters faced in covering breaking news, as well as whether the work revealed important but previously hidden or unknown information.

  • Small: <25 FTE newsroom employees
  • Midsize: 25-99 FTE newsroom employees
  • Large: 100+ FTE newsroom employees

Feature: This category honors excellence in human-interest reporting, writing and presentation. Each entry should consist of a single non-breaking feature story (or package or series of no more than four pieces, or a total combined listening or viewing time of less than one hour) such as (but not limited to) a profile, narrative or interview, focused on a single topic, event or general theme.

  • Small: <25 FTE newsroom employees
  • Midsize: 25-99 FTE newsroom employees
  • Large: 100+ FTE newsroom employees

Beat Reporting: This category honors individual reporters who demonstrate breadth, depth, persistence, imagination, sensitivity and responsibility in covering the education beat in any medium throughout the year. Entries will be judged as a package that may include breaking news, features, in-depth reporting, news blogging, and data analysis. Entries may consist of up to five pieces, and/or reels with viewing or listening times of no more than one hour. No more than one piece may have a byline shared with other reporters.

  • Small: <25 FTE newsroom employees
  • Midsize: 25-99 FTE newsroom employees
  • Large: 100+ FTE newsroom employees

Public service: This category recognizes journalism that makes a substantive contribution to the public’s understanding of critical issues of common concern and/or makes a demonstrable positive impact on individuals or a community. Judges will consider factors such as relevance, clarity, enterprise and demonstrated impact. This category can include investigative, explanatory, and/or opinion pieces in any media. Each entry should consist of a a single piece, or a cohesive package or series with no more than four parts, or a total combined viewing or listening time of less than one hour.

  • Small: <25 FTE newsroom employees
  • Midsize: 25-99 FTE newsroom employees
  • Large: 100+ FTE newsroom employees

Best audio storytelling: This category honors exceptional audio journalism on an education event, topic or issue. Each entry should consist of a single piece (or cohesive package or series), with a total listening time not to exceed one hour. All entries must include a transcript. Judges may consider originality of voice, overall production quality, and innovative use of storytelling techniques.)

  • Smaller: <10 FTE newsroom employees
  • Larger: 10+ FTE newsroom employees

Best Visual Storytelling: This award celebrates exceptional visual reporting of any type;  including, but not limited to, journalism that relies heavily on videos, images, graphics, interactives or illustrations to inform the public about an important educational event, topic or issue. Entries do not have to be exclusively visual, and can accompany reporting presented in another medium. They can include a complementary text or audio narrative, for example (if there is audio included in the story, a transcript must also be provided). But their primary focus should be visual storytelling. Judges may consider factors such as technique, the appropriateness of medium choice, originality, design and overall visual excellence. Each entry should consist of a single piece, or a cohesive package or series (of no more than four parts or a total combined viewing or listening time of less than one hour), 

  • Smaller: <35 FTE newsroom employees
  • Larger: 35+ FTE newsroom employees

The Eddie Prize: This prize honors the best work by an eligible journalist on the challenges low-income students face getting into and/or completing college. Judges will be evaluating the entries for ingenuity of reporting and trenchant analysis that uncovers, highlights or furthers the discussion about the challenges low-income students face, and problems or conditions related to their efforts to obtain a degree. Special attention will be paid to works that bring to life aspects of this issue that may not have previously come to the attention of the public. There are no size divisions for the Eddie Prize. The winner of this category will receive a $7,500 cash award. (Read more about the Eddie Prize.)

EWA staff is available to answer questions or concerns about the Awards, including eligibility and the revised categories. Please email your queries to awards@ewa.org.