SOJC seeks nominations for Ancil Payne Award for media ethics

2018 awards ceremony

It’s no secret that journalism can be a difficult job.

In the last year, journalists and media organizations have faced everything from fake news accusations to a mass shooting and assassinations. Yet the public is often unaware of the high ethical standards journalists must maintain to report the facts and hold power accountable.

To shed light on the tough calls journalists and editors make on a regular basis, the UO School of Journalism and Communication has presented the Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism every year since 1999. Nominations are now open for the 19th annual award.

“Journalists have one of the strictest codes of ethics in the world, and the work they do to keep the public informed is more important than ever,” said Juan-Carlos Molleda, Edwin L. Artzt Dean and professor in the School of Journalism and Communication. “Yet the challenges and dangers they face are mounting. The Ancil Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism recognizes and rewards journalists who make incredibly difficult ethical decisions while providing a crucial service to democracy.”

Founded by Seattle broadcasting legend Ancil Payne, the award has been supported by Payne’s family since his death in 2004. The award comes with a $10,000 prize to reward media organizations and journalists who report with integrity and courage.

Members of the UO community and general public are encouraged to nominate deserving journalists for their work by Feb. 15. To nominate, use the online form to submit the name of a U.S.-based individual journalist or news organization, a link to a story published during the 2018 calendar year in any medium, and a brief explanation of why you think the nominee deserves the Ancil Payne Award.

The School of Journalism and Communication will then prompt nominated journalists to complete a full application for consideration. Self-nominations are accepted and encouraged from those working in the industry.

The school will announce the winner in March and host an award ceremony featuring the honored journalists in April.

Last year’s Ancil Payne Award winners were The Seattle Times reporters Jim Brunner and Lewis Kamb for “The Murray Investigation,” which uncovered former Seattle mayor Ed Murray’s alleged history of sexual assault. The series resulted in Murray’s resignation and multiple lawsuits against him.

“We hope to once again receive many high-quality nominations for the Ancil Payne Award this year,” said Molleda. “We want to give journalists and media organizations the recognition they deserve for the difficult decisions they make every day in pursuit of the truth.”

—By Becky Hoag, School of Journalism and Communication