Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism 2018 – $10,000 prize for U.S.-based Journalists

Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism 2018 – $10,000 prize for U.S.-based Journalists

Deadline: February 15, 2018

Nominations are now open for the 2018 Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism. Established in 1999 by Seattle broadcasting legend Ancil Payne (1921–2004), the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism honors media organizations and journalists who report with integrity and character in the face of personal, political, or economic pressure.

The $10,000 prize honors courageous reporting and difficult ethical decisions that make a difference in the community but are often invisible to readers, listeners, or viewers. This award specifically considers the decision-making process and highlights the difficult choices journalists must make every day—choices that are often invisible to media consumers.


  • The Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism honors U.S.-based individual journalists, groups of journalists, newsrooms, or news organizations who:
    • make a difference in their communities
    • exhibit extraordinary commitment to the highest standards of ethical conduct in journalism, even when faced with personal, economic, or political pressure.
  • Individuals or organizations engaged in gathering, assessing, creating, and publishing journalism in U.S.-based media during the 2017 calendar year may be nominated.
  • In addition, journalists who make ethical decisions in the 2017 calendar year that result in principled actions to defend and protect journalistic integrity may be nominated for the 2017–18 Payne Award.
  • Nominations can be for a single story or a series in any medium—including newspaper, magazine, broadcast, podcast, or online publication—published in the 2017 calendar year.

The judges are most interested in the challenging decisions nominees have made and the process they used to report, write, edit, and publish (or chose not to publish) journalism that made a difference. They would like to see more nominations of multimedia, broadcast, and web-based work this year.


  • To nominate yourself or other journalists or news organizations, fill out the online nomination form
  • The nomination form has three sections:
    • Contact information
    • Brief summary describing the ethical issue and action taken
    • Supporting documentation. You can also upload optional letter(s) f recommendation explaining why the nominee deserves an Ancil Payne Award.

Questions? Email [email protected].

For more information, visit Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism.