Nominations open for Ancil Payne Award to celebrate Ethics in Journalism

Established more than 20 years ago by Seattle broadcasting legend Ancil Payne (1921–2004), the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism honors media organizations and journalists who report with integrity and character in the face of personal, political, or economic pressure.

The $10,000 prize honors courageous reporting and difficult ethical decisions that make a difference in the community but are often invisible to readers, listeners, or viewers.

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Meet the 2019-20 Ancil Payne Award Winners

How to Nominate


Who: The Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism honors U.S.-based individual journalists, groups of journalists, newsrooms, or news organizations that make a difference in their communities while exhibiting extraordinary commitment to the highest standards of ethical conduct in journalism, even when faced with personal, economic, or political pressure.

What: You can nominate a single story or a series in any medium—including newspaper, magazine, broadcast, podcast, or online publication—published in the 2020 calendar year. The judges are most interested in the challenging decisions nominees have made and the process they used to report, write, edit, and publish (or chose not to publish) journalism that made a difference. We would like to see more nominations of multimedia, broadcast, and web-based work this year.

How: To nominate yourself or other journalists or news organizations, please fill out our online nomination form by February 15, 2021.

If you are nominating someone else, the form will ask you to provide contact information and story link(s) and briefly explain why you believe the individual or media organization deserves an Ancil Payne Award. We will then prompt your nominee to complete the application.

If you are nominating yourself, the form will ask you to share contact information and links to published work and answer the following:

  • Describe the ethical dilemma.
  • What pressures did the journalist(s) face in making decisions?
  • How did the journalist(s) address the ethical issues?
  • Please describe the process—formal or informal—that informed the decision.
  • What was the impact of the story or actions?

You can also upload letters of recommendation explaining why the nominee deserves an Ancil Payne Award.

To see past Ancil Payne Award winners and learn more about the award visit UO School of Journalism and Communication.

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