The 16th Annual Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism

The University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) is pleased to announce that it is now accepting nominations for the 16th Annual Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism for work published in 2015.

A hallmark for excellence in journalism ethics, this annual award recognizes journalists and news organizations that have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to ethical decision-making and conduct, even when faced with economic, personal or political pressure.

“Ethical practice is the cornerstone of good journalism. As we continue to move into digital landscapes, it is increasingly important that we acknowledge the significant work of highly ethical reporters and editors,” says Julianne H. Newton, interim Edwin L. Artzt dean of the SOJC. “Making ethically grounded decisions about challenging stories is core to excellence in journalism. We are proud to honor those who exemplify the highest values of socially responsible journalism.”

Last year, Gillian McGoldrick and Reed Hennessy, editors of the Neshaminy High School newspaper,The Playwickian, were honored alongside its managing editors, Jackson Haines and Madison Buffardi for defending their editorial decision-making rights. The high school students faced adversity at every turn when they decided to ban their high school’s mascot name, “Redskins,” from their 3,000-circulation monthly publication.

David Jackson, Gary Marx, Duaa Eldeib and the Chicago Tribune were recognized for their five-part series “Harsh Treatment,” which tells the story of hundreds of young Illinois state wards who were assaulted and raped while state authorities failed to act on reports of harm.

The selection committee also honored Daniel Gonzalez, Bob Ortega and The Arizona Republic for “A Pipeline for Children,” which told the story of the surge of children and families fleeing from Central America across the southern U.S. border in 2014.

The Ancil Payne Awards accepts entries from news organizations and journalists in broadcast, print and digital media. Journalists and outlets can nominate themselves or be nominated by a third party. Nominations for the Ancil Payne Award are limited to material published, broadcast or posted in the United States, or decisions made by journalists or news organizations based in the United States.

Criteria and nomination information can be found online. The submission deadline is Monday, Feb. 15, 2016. Up to three winners will be awarded $5,000 prizes.

A panel of judges representing both the news industry and academia will determine the 16th Annual Ancil Payne Award winners. Award winners will visit the School of Journalism and Communication in Eugene, Ore. in April 2016 to visit with SOJC students and faculty and receive their awards. Winners of the 16th Annual Ancil Payne Award will be announced in March 2016.

About the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism 

Established in 1999 at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication by Seattle broadcasting legend Ancil Payne (1921-2004), the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism honors journalists and news organizations that have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to ethical conduct, even when faced with economic, personal or political pressure.

Ancil Payne, a leader in Northwest broadcasting and a lifelong contributor to the arts, politics, and education, helped establish King Broadcasting’s reputation for and commitment to ethical journalism as its CEO. Payne created the award to recognize journalists acting with integrity and character, restore public trust in the media, and inspire people to do good work.

For more information about the Ancil Payne Award, contact Amy Pinkston, SOJC director of communication, at pinkston@uoregon.edu.