Every day, I send out a newsletter with the best of nonprofit journalism from the Midwest, with an audience mostly comprised of nonprofit news editors. As the audience development specialist for INN’s Amplify News Project, I try to include other links that I’m seeing from the journalism industry that could be helpful for smaller outlets trying to grow their audience—events, trainings, guides, etc.
The links for journalism award submissions are among the most clicked-on resources I share. Consistently.
It’s no secret that journalists love awards. And many of these awards go to publications with the time and resources to keep track of them all.
I asked around, hoping to find an existing industry awards calendar that I could share with the newsrooms I collaborate with on a daily basis. I put a call out on Gather, the awesome audience engagement community led by the Agora Journalism Center. Katie Fleeman, who is wonderful and does audience engagement for Knowable Magazine, quickly volunteered to help put this together. (Full disclosure: Knowable Magazine is applying for INN membership.) She, after all, had a similar story—as the person in charge of award submissions for Knowable, she had a hard time keeping track of the awards on her radar and ended up with last-minute submissions.
So, together, Katie and I made a public calendar happen. In an effort to make journalism awards more accessible, we’ve created a public journalism awards Google Calendar.
For those who don’t use Google Calendar, we also have the deadlines listed on the INN.org calendar. Our hope is that this list acts as a resource for everybody in the journalism industry to make these awards more accessible.
We spent about a month going through every journalism award program we could find—Katie used her expertise in science awards while I focused on awards our members had previously won. Many of the award deadlines for this year have already passed, but there are still many that are fair game.
We'll keep in touch with award program leaders to keep the calendar up-to-date with deadline and submission periods for future years. We’ll start by updating the calendar weekly, and evolve as things change. We'll also keep a comprehensive list of all the awards programs on our radar.
How you can help (please do!)
We know there’s no way we have a comprehensive list because there are a ton of awards out there. That’s why we created this Google Form—help us help you and submit awards we're missing. For a list of what we have already and what we’re working on updating, view the full list here. The more comprehensive this is, the easier it will be for you to apply for awards.
The spirit of nonprofit journalism is collaborative—we want this to be collaborative, too.
Why INN? How does this help nonprofit news?
For INN, this serves as a way to help smaller outlets with less bandwidth expand their brand and the reach of their stories by removing organizational barriers to entry. It’s a challenge to keep up with these award deadlines, especially for newsrooms with fewer than eight staffers (which makes up about 50 percent of INN newsrooms, according to our 2018 INN Index report).
The easier it is for outlets to enter their stories, the more likely it is that they will win awards. And awards can often play a role in convincing audiences and funders of an organization’s worth—or at least of its quality.
Questions? Concerns? Feedback? Love what we’re doing?
Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.