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January 11 2011

19:30

Two journalism awards to know: Worth Bingham for investigations and Taylor Family for fairness

January is awards entry season in newsrooms across the country — the time when copy machines burn through countless toner cartridges, churning out copies of that great story you wrote back in April, the one that got the mayor thrown in jail.

And since more journalists are facing financial difficulties these days, it’s worth appreciating the journalism awards that attach a goodly-sized chunk of money to the prestige that comes with winning. I want to let you know about two such prizes we administer here at the Nieman Foundation that have deadlines looming: The Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism and the Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Newspapers.

Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism

First up: the Bingham Prize, named for the late reporter and member of the storied Bingham journalism family. You can read all about the prize here, but here’s the description:

The Worth Bingham Prize honors investigative reporting of stories of national significance where the public interest is being ill-served. These stories may involve state, local or national government, lobbyists or the press itself wherever there exists an “atmosphere of easy tolerance” that Worth Bingham himself once described in his reporting on the nation’s capital. The investigative reporting may cover actual violations of the law, rule or code; lax or ineffective administration or enforcement; or activities which create conflicts of interest, entail excessive secrecy or otherwise raise questions of propriety.

In other words, good old fashioned watchdog reporting. The winner of the Worth Bingham Prize will receive $20,000; past winners include Seymour Hersh, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Dana Priest, Anne Hull, Diana Henriques, Bill Dedman, and other great journalists. We accept entries from newspapers, magazines, and online-only outlets (sorry, broadcasters).

The deadline is coming up quick, though: Entries must be postmarked by this Friday, January 14. So get cracking! Entry details here.

Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Newspapers

The second prize is the Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Newspapers. The prize was established by the family that published The Boston Globe for more than a century, in particular Globe chairman emeritus William O. Taylor. The purpose of the award is “to encourage fairness in news coverage by America’s daily newspapers”:

The guidelines for the Taylor Fairness Award do not offer a definition of fairness. This is deliberate, recognizing that elements of fairness in journalism are diverse and do not easily lend themselves to a precise definition for a journalism competition.

Past winners include the Chicago Tribune, The Hartford Courant, The Charlotte Observer, The Sacramento Bee, and the Globe itself. First prize is $10,000. The contest is only open to newspapers and their websites. You’ve got a little more time to apply for this one: Friday, January 21 is the deadline. Details here.

Good luck!

January 05 2010

15:30

Two awards to know about: Worth Bingham and Grantham

January is awards entry season in newsrooms across the country — the time when copy machines burn through countless toner cartridges, churning out copies of that great story you wrote back in April, the one that got the mayor thrown in jail.

And since more journalists are facing financial difficulties these days, it’s worth appreciating the journalism awards that attach a goodly-sized chunk of money to the prestige that comes with winning. I want to let you know about two such prizes that have deadlines looming.

First is the Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism. This is a prize we administer here at the Nieman Foundation, named for the late reporter and member of the storied Bingham journalism family. You can read all about the prize here, but here’s the description:

The Worth Bingham Prize honors investigative reporting of stories of national significance where the public interest is being ill-served. These stories may involve state, local or national government, lobbyists or the press itself wherever there exists an “atmosphere of easy tolerance” that Worth Bingham himself once described in his reporting on the nation’s capital. The investigative reporting may cover actual violations of the law, rule or code; lax or ineffective administration or enforcement; or activities which create conflicts of interest, entail excessive secrecy or otherwise raise questions of propriety.

In other words, good old fashioned watchdog reporting. The winner of the Worth Bingham Prize will receive $20,000; past winners include Seymour Hersh, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Dana Priest, Anne Hull, Diane Henriques, Bill Dedman and other great journalists. And this year, we’re accepting applications from online-only outlets as well.

The deadline is coming up quick, though: Entries must be postmarked by this Friday, January 8. So get cracking.

The other prize hasn’t been around as long as the Worth Bingham, but it has an even larger dollar amount attached. It’s the Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment and, as you might surmise from the name, it honors the best environmental reporting of the year. And first place is $75,000. About the prize:

The purpose of the Prize is to encourage outstanding coverage of the environment, to recognize reporting that has the potential to bring about constructive change, and to broadly disseminate the Prize-winning story to increase public awareness and understanding of environmental and natural resource issues.

(Disclosure: I sit on the advisory board of the Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting at the University of Rhode Island, which administers the Grantham Prize.)

You’ve got a little more time to get that application ready: The deadline is February 1 (except for book-length entries, which are due sooner). Much more about the prize here.

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