Disability Center Accepting Entries for 2023 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disabilities

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Kristin Gilger
Director, The National Center on Disability and Journalism (NCDJ)

The National Center on Disability and Journalism (NCDJ), headquartered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in the United States, is now accepting entries for the Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability from print, broadcast and online outlets around the world.

The Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability is a national journalism contest devoted exclusively to disability coverage. It is administered by the National Center on Disability and Journalism, headquartered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

The professional prize is supported by a gift from Katherine Schneider, a retired clinical psychologist. Schneider, who was blind from birth, established the award to help journalists improve their coverage of disability issues, moving beyond “inspirational” stories that don’t accurately represent the lives of people with disabilities.

Schneider said “There are so many worthy stories that need to be told, and with the NCDJ contest, we’re able to showcase many from around the world and recognize those properly conveying the needs, the struggles and the successes alike.”

In the professional contest, winners will receive a total of $8,000 in cash awards in large and small media categories. First-place winners in each category receive $2,500 and an invitation to speak about their work at an awards ceremony this fall at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Second-place winners receive $1,000, and third-place winners will receive $500.

For the second year, the Gary Corcoran Student Prize for Excellence in Reporting on Disability, which recognizes the best work by college journalists on topics related to disabilities, will also be awarded.

The Corcoran student award honours the life and advocacy of Gary Corcoran, a wheelchair user from the age of 19 who worked to improve accessibility of housing, public transit, air travel and public venues across Phoenix. Prize amounts are $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second place and $1,000 for third place. Entrants must have been enrolled as a student at the time of publication or broadcast, and the work must have appeared on a campus or affiliated platform.

Pauline Arrillaga, incoming executive director of the NCDJ, noted that “Reporters across the U.S. and beyond are producing some terrific work about topics related to disability. These awards aim to celebrate their efforts but also serve to bring more attention to these issues.”

Journalists working in digital, print, audio and broadcast media are eligible to enter both contests. Entries are accepted from outside the U.S, although the work submitted must be in English. Entries for both contests must have been published or aired between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023. The deadline to enter is August 1, 2023. There is no entry fee, and reporters may self-nominate.

Entries are judged by professional journalists and experts on disability issues. Past judges have included PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff; Tony Coelho, former six-term U.S. congressman from California and the primary sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act; and Daniel Burke, former religion editor at CNN.

Entries close on August 1, 2023.

For more information and to apply, visit https://ncdj.org/contest/.