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Nominations are now open!


Established in 1999 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.

The deadline to nominate is February 15th, 2019.


Self-Nominations & Invited Nominees Nominate an Individual or Organization



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: Nominations can be for a single story or a series in any medium—including newspaper, magazine, broadcast, podcast, or online publication—published in the 2018 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, 2019. The form will ask you to share contact information, 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.

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