University of Florida Launches $25,000 Collier Prize for State Government Accountability

Awards Program Now Accepting Entries 

Gainesville, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019 — The Collier Prize for State Government Accountability is now accepting entries for the $25,000 prize, one of the largest journalism prizes in the nation. Information about the prize and how to submit entries is available on the Collier Prize site.

The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) announced the creation of the prize last April. It is designed to encourage coverage of state government, focusing on investigative and political reporting, and will be awarded annually at the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) dinner starting in 2020. UFCJC is partnering with WHCA to promote, administer and present the annual award.

The award is funded by Nathan S. Collier, founder and chairman of The Collier Companies headquartered in Gainesville, Florida. Collier is a descendant of Peter Fenelon Collier, who in 1888 founded Collier’s, a weekly magazine focused on investigative journalism and publishing stories from renowned journalists such as Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Ida Tarbell and Samuel Hopkins Adams.  One of the magazine’s most famous investigative series was the “The Great American Fraud,” which analyzed the contents of popular patent medicines and led to the first Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906.

In announcing the award in April, UFCJC Dean Diane McFarlin cited a diminished investment in statehouse coverage over the last decade.

“The professional news media’s watchdog role in state capitols has declined precipitously over the last decade in the number of journalists employed to cover state governments,” said McFarlin, former publisher of the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune. “The result is that citizens don’t know what they don’t know, and the danger is that corruption and malfeasance can proceed unchecked. We hope this prize will encourage more rigorous coverage of a government body that has a direct impact on citizens’ lives every day.”

For more information about the prize and how to enter, go to https://www.jou.ufl.edu/collierprize or contact Randy Bennett at 352-273-1223, rbennett@jou.ufl.edu.

About Nathan S. Collier

Nathan S. Collier is founder and chairman of The Collier Companies, the largest owner of multifamily housing with more than 45 properties and approximately 11,000 apartments in Florida, Oklahoma and Georgia. Collier, who earned a bachelor’s, master’s and J.D. from the University Florida, has endowed the Nathan S. Collier Master of Science in Real Estate program at UF’s Warrington College of Business. He is a generous supporter of the arts in Gainesville and financial patron of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum, and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

About the White House Correspondents Association

The White House Correspondents’ Association exists to promote excellence in journalism as well as journalism education, and to ensure robust news coverage of the president and the presidency.

About the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications

The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, recognized by its peers as one of the premier programs in the country, is driving innovation and engagement across the disciplines of advertising, journalism, public relations and telecommunication. The college’s strength is drawn from both academic rigor and experiential learning. It offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and certificates, both online and on campus. CJC students have the opportunity to gain practical experience in the Innovation News Center, which generates content across multiple platforms, and The Agency, an integrated strategic communication and consumer research agency focused on marketing to young adults. The College includes seven broadcast and digital media properties, the Joseph L. Brechner Center for Freedom of Information and the nation’s only STEM Translational Communication Center and Center for Public Interest Communications.

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