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SPJ Awards

Awards: Important Dates

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National Contests
Awards, Fellowships and Internships
— SPJ Honors: Public | Members
National Chapter Awards
National Contests (discontinued)
Local/Regional Contests

National SPJ Contests

Sigma Delta Chi Awards
The Sigma Delta Chi Awards — among the premiere prizes given in the profession — recognize achievement in professional journalism in its many forms. Nominations now open.

Mark of Excellence Awards
The Mark of Excellence Awards honors the best in collegiate journalism, judged at the regional and national levels. Nominations now open.

SPJ National High School Essay Contest
SPJ wants to increase high school students’ knowledge and understanding of the importance of the Free Media to our lives. The top three national winners receive scholarship awards. Nominations now open.

New America Award
SPJ's New America Award honors public service journalism that explores and exposes issues of importance to immigrant and/or ethnic communities in the United States. Nominations now open.

Order a duplicate plaque/certificate


National Awards, Fellowships and Internships

Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award
Established by the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, the Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award recognizes, with a $10,000 award, accomplishments on behalf of First Amendment freedoms by an individual, group of individuals or an organization.

Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship for Editorial Writing
The Pulliam Editorial Fellowship awards $75,000 to an editorial writer to help broaden his or her journalistic horizons and knowledge of the world. Provided by the SDX Foundation, the annual award can be used to cover the cost of study, research and/or travel in any field.


National SPJ Honors (Public)

Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award
The Award honors an outstanding journalism educator who has made a significant contribution to the profession and/or journalism education and to maintaining the highest standards of the profession.

Ethics in Journalism Award
The Ethics in Journalism Award honors journalists or news organizations that perform in an outstanding ethical manner demonstrating the ideals of the SPJ Code of Ethics. It also honors especially notable efforts to educate the public on principles embodied in the code or hold journalists ethically accountable for their behavior. Nominations are open. Self-nomination is permitted.

Fellows of the Society
The Fellows of the Society honor is presented to journalists for extraordinary contributions to the profession.

Historic Sites in Journalism
The recognition honors individuals, news organizations and places of national historic journalism interest.

Sunshine Award
The Sunshine Award recognizes those making important contributions in the area of open government.


National SPJ Honors (Members)

Howard S. Dubin Outstanding Pro Member Award
The Award salutes individual professional members who have made significant contributions to their SPJ chapter.

David L. Eshelman Outstanding Campus Adviser Award
The Award honors individuals who have done an outstanding job serving as SPJ campus adviser and who have contributed to their chapters and the national organization over an extended period of time.

Julie Galvan Outstanding Graduate in Journalism Award
The Award honors a graduating student in journalism who is outstanding in his or her class on the basis of character, service to the community, scholarship, proficiency in practical journalism and significant contributions to their SPJ chapter.

Robert D.G. Lewis First Amendment Award
This Award honors a student who has demonstrated outstanding service to the First Amendment through the field of journalism.

Wells Memorial Key
Wells Memorial Key is the highest honor SPJ bestows upon a member for outstanding service to the Society over a period of years.


National Chapter Awards

Circle of Excellence Awards
The awards recognize chapters for outstanding efforts in five key areas.

Outstanding Professional and Campus Chapter Awards
The awards salute chapters for overall excellence in supporting the Society’s missions, members and the profession. Up to three large and three small professional chapters will be selected each year for recognition, with one in each category being chosen as the chapter of the year. On the campus level, one will be selected from each of SPJ's 12 regions, with one being chosen as the overall campus chapter of the year.


Local and Regional SPJ Contests

Recognizing outstanding achievement in journalism and dedicated service to the profession and the Society is an important part of the Society of Professional Journalists. The purpose is to stimulate high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism. Many SPJ regions and local chapters have developed their recognition programs to honor individuals and groups for their work, service and contributions to the Society and the profession.

The Green Eyeshade Awards
Open to journalists in 11 southeastern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Northwest Excellence in Journalism Awards
Includes Professional, High School/Community College contests and Scholarships. Sponsored by SPJ Western Washington Pro Chapter.

Press Club of Long Island Awards

Dateline Awards
Sponsored by the SPJ Washington, D.C. Pro Chapter.

South Florida Chapter Scholarships
Must be from South Florida.

The Golden Press Card Awards
Sponsored by the East Tennessee Pro Chapter.

Journalist of the Year & Excellence in Journalism
Sponsored by the Metropolitan Detroit Chapter.

Ohio’s Best Journalism
Conducted jointly by the Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland SPJ pro chapters.

Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism
Sponsored by the Chicago Headline Club.

Page One Awards
Sponsored by the SPJ Minnesota Pro Chapter.

Los Angeles Pro Chapter Annual Awards
For more information, visit this chapter's website.

NJ-SPJ Excellence in Journalism Awards
This contest is open to all news outlets who cover New Jersey. Outlets based in New Jersey compete in the Garden State Division. Outlets based in Philadelphia or New York, along with national outlets compete in the Metro Division. Content producers are not required to live in New Jersey.

Best of Indiana Journalism Contest
Sponsored by the Indiana pro chapter. Entry form and additional information available from chapter website.


Discontinued Awards

Bayonet Awards
Recognizing the nation's edgiest student journalists. Are you sharp enough?

First Amendment Award
The First Amendment Award honored individuals and organizations for extraordinarily strong efforts to preserve and strengthen the First Amendment.

Helen Thomas Award
The Helen Thomas Award honored an individual or individuals for a lifetime of contribution to the journalism profession.

Heroes of the 50 States: The State Government Hall of fame
A joint venture by SPJ and the National Freedom of Information Coalition. It was developed by leaders in both organizations as a way to recognize long-term contributions of individuals to open government in their respective states.

Kunkel Awards
SPJ’s Kunkel Awards recognizes excellence in video game journalism. Anyone can nominate an entry at no cost, and all entries will be judged by professional journalists.

Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information Internships
The Society of Professional Journalists annually awards two Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information Internships. One intern works in the offices of the Society’s First Amendment legal counsel in Washington, D.C. The other intern works at the Society’s National Headquarters in Indianapolis.

Regional Director of the Year Award
This Award honored an outstanding SPJ regional director.