National SPJ Awards & Contests

National SPJ Contests

For more information about all awards and contests listed below, please visit:

Sigma Delta Chi Awards
The Sigma Delta Chi Awards are among the premiere prizes given in the profession, and are unique, because they recognize achievement in all forms of journalism: print, television, radio, graphics, magazines, research, newsletters and online.

Mark of Excellence Awards
The Mark of Excellence Awards honors the best in collegiate journalism. Judged at the regional and national level, the annual competition offers 39 categories in newspapers, magazines, photography, radio, television and online journalism.

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.

New America Award
SPJ’s New America Award honors public service journalism that explores and exposes an issue of importance to immigrant or ethnic communities in the United States.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 SPJ Contests

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.

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