Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize

Call for entries for the 2017 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize

WBUR and Boston University are pleased to announce this Call for Entries for the 15th annual Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize, awarded to a rising public media journalist 35 years or younger as of December 31, 2017. The deadline for entries has been extended to Friday, March 9, 2018.

Daniel Schorr
Daniel Schorr

The winner is rewarded $5,000 for a news story or segment — whether broadcast, podcast or published online, using any combination of audio and other media — of significance and quality. By sponsoring this award, WBUR hopes to inspire a new generation of journalists to stretch the boundaries of the medium and encourage journalists in training to choose public radio and media as a career path. As the media landscape continues to evolve, we are particularly interested in entries that use digital and multimedia platforms.

We are guided by the vision and example of the late Daniel Schorr, who gave American journalism a lifetime of commitment through his insight, intelligence and integrity. Dan was greatly honored to have this award carry his name. He believed strongly in supporting talented journalists as they rose through the ranks of the broadcast industry — particularly young journalists who have found a calling in public radio.

The recipient of the 2016 Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize was Sarah Gonzalez of NPR member station, WNYC. Gonzalez’s winning entry, “Kids in Prison: Racial Disparities, Longer Sentences and a Better Way,” examined why black teenagers in New Jersey are tried as adults more than any other racial or ethnic group, resulting in harsher treatment and longer sentences. Gonzalez embarked on the five-part series after anecdotally hearing that prosecutors chose to try black and Latino kids as adults, but rarely white kids who had committed the same kind of crimes. After months of being told the data did not exist at the state or local level, she obtained court data that conclusively showed racial disparities. Gonzalez was a reporter with the WNYC Data News Team for the series. She is now the youth and families reporter for WNYC.


The work honored contributes to the public media audience’s understanding of a significant issue; shows creativity and initiative; demonstrates state-of-the-art production values; and adheres scrupulously to the highest standards of journalism and broadcast journalism, including clarity of expression, accuracy, fairness and seriousness of purpose.

The work may focus on any local, national or international news issue significant to the listening public. It may be in the form of a produced news story, a news feature, a documentary, a series on a single topic or an investigative report, and it may be a traditional audio story or a multimedia piece.

- The journalist awarded the Prize must be 35 years of age or younger as of December 31, 2017.

- A journalist seeking the Prize may offer only one submission for consideration. Group applications are not permitted; a single journalist must be principally responsible for the work submitted.

- Works must have been broadcast in the U.S. OR published online OR produced as a podcast by any CPB-qualified radio station between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017.

- Each entrant must submit an online Application Form that contains a link to the submission, as well as a completed Broadcast Certification Form. The Broadcast Certification Form can be filled out, scanned and returned via email to quiana@wbur.org with the subject line SCHORR PRIZE, or submitted by mail with attention to:

Quiana Scott-Ferguson
890 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

This form confirms the date of broadcast or digital publication and certifies that the work is substantially that of the nominee. It must be signed by a general manager, program director, news director or web editor of a CPB-qualified radio station, network or program.

- Journalists may submit their own work. Alternatively, works may be submitted by general managers, program directors, news directors, producers or web editors of CPB-qualified radio stations; personnel supervising news programming at NPR, PRI or other networks providing programming to the public radio system; or independent producers providing programming to the public radio system.

- No journalist employed by WBUR is eligible for the prize.

- All entries must be received at or before noon on Friday March 9, 2018. A complete entry consists of:

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

- Applicants are welcome to share a modest amount of the news coverage generated by the work if the work is felt to have greatly impacted a listening audience -- e.g., news photos from a station’s website or program guide.

A panel of judges made up of distinguished journalists will evaluate all Schorr Prize entries. No officer or employee of WBUR is eligible to participate in the panel. Judges’ names and affiliations will be posted at wbur.org.

For questions please contact Quiana Scott-Ferguson at quiana@wbur.org

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