The University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) is pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted for the 15th Annual Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism for work published in 2014.

A hallmark for excellence in journalism ethics, the 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 Julie 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, Michael Phillips of the Wall Street Journal was honored for his series “The Lobotomy Files,” an in-depth investigation into the roughly 2,000 soldiers lobotomized during and after World War II by the Veterans Administration.

Abbey Crain, Matt Ford and Mazie Bryant of the University of Alabama’s Crimson White newspaper were chosen for their work on “The Final Barrier” examining segregation in Greek life at the University of Alabama.

The selection committee also honored Thomson Reuters news organization for its decision to publish the three-part series “Assets of the Ayatollah.” Although warned by sources within Iran that publishing the series might endanger the news organization’s attempts to reopen its Tehran bureau and faced with mounting costs in securing the safety of their employees in the region, Reuters persisted in supporting their reporters in getting the story.

The Ancil Payne Awards accepts entries from news organizations and journalists in broadcast, print, or 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. Submission deadline is Monday, March 2, 2015. Up to three winners will be awarded $5,000.

A panel of judges representing both the news industry and academia will determine the 15th Annual Ancil Payne Award winners. The award ceremony will be held  Thursday, May 21, 2015 on the University of Oregon campus. Winners of the 15th Annual Ancil Payne Award will be announced in April 2015.

About the Ancil Payne Awards 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 Awards for Ethics in Journalism honor journalists and news organizations that demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to ethical conduct, even when faced with economic, personal, or political pressure.

Ancil Payne, a leader in Northwest broadcasting and lifelong contributor to the arts, politics, and education, was CEO of KING broadcasting and helped establish its reputation for and commitment to ethical journalism. In creating the award, Payne envisioned a program that would reward 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.