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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Shadid Award Nomination

Anthony Shadid works with students on a visit to the UW-Madison campus in 2010. (Credit: UW-Madison)

The Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison seeks nominations for the Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics. Now in its ninth year, the Shadid Award recognizes ethical decisions in reporting stories in any medium, including print, broadcast and digital, by journalists working for established news organizations or publishing individually.

The award focuses on current journalism and does not include books, documentaries and other long-term projects. Entries should involve reporting done for stories that were published or broadcast in 2018. Individuals or news organizations may nominate themselves or others.

The nomination window opened November 12, 2018.

The Shadid Award includes a $1,000 prize and travel expenses to accept the award and discuss the reporting at an awards ceremony in spring of 2019.

The Shadid Award is different from other journalism prizes in that it seeks to recognize the difficult, behind-the-scenes decisions reporters make in pursuing high-impact stories and in fulfilling their ethical obligations to sources, to people caught up in news events, and to the public at large.

“Especially in a moment when trust in journalism is at a low ebb, it is essential to highlight the difficult choices reporters face in bringing important stories to light and the care they show for the people involved in their reporting,” says Lucas Graves, chair of the judging committee.

Previous winners of the award include:

  • 2018: Brian Grow and John Shiffman, Reuters
  • 2017: Shane Bauer, Mother Jones
  • 2016: Martha Mendoza, Margie Mason, Robin McDowell and Esther Htusan, Associated Press
  • 2015: David Jackson, Gary Marx, Duaa Eldeib and Anthony Souffle, Chicago Tribune
  • 2014: Adam Goldman, Matt Apuzzo and Ted Bridis, Associated Press

A graduate of UW-Madison, Anthony Shadid died in 2012 on a reporting assignment in Syria for the New York Times. He won two Pulitzer Prizes for his courageous and insightful foreign correspondence. Shadid sat on the the Center for Journalism Ethics advisory board and strongly supported its efforts to promote public interest journalism and to stimulate discussion about journalism ethics.

Letters of nomination must include:

  1. Name and contact information of the nominators and their relationship to the story
  2. Names and emails of the reporter or reporting team that produced the report
  3. Brief description of the story and a link to it online
  4. Description of conflicting values encountered in reporting the story
  5. Options considered to resolve the conflicts
  6. Final decisions and rationales behind them

Nomination letters of three pages or less should be saved in pdf format and attached to an email sent to

Deadline for submissions is: January 15, 2019.

By entering this competition, you grant the Center for Journalism Ethics permission to use your entry as a positive example of ethical decision-making if your entry is judged a finalist for the award.

If you are chosen as a finalist for the award, your nomination letter will be posted on our website. If there is anything within the nomination letter that needs to be kept confidential, please let us know.


What is the Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics?

The Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics recognizes outstanding application of ethical standards by an individual journalist or group of journalists. The award is named after Anthony Shadid, a University of Wisconsin-Madison alumnus and foreign reporter for the Washington Post and The New York Times. Mr. Shadid won two Pulitzer Prizes for his courageous and informed journalism. In February 2012, he died from health complications while crossing the Syrian border.

When are nominations due to the committee?

January 15, 2019

Who should I nominate?

Yourself, a journalist, or a group of journalists who has exhibited outstanding commitment to ethical standards in the publication of important public journalism during 2016.

Is there a cost to nominate someone?

No, it is free.

What kind of publications are not accepted?

Documentaries and books are not accepted. We seek journalism published in any other medium, though, including but not limited to websites, newspapers, radio, television, and digital platforms.

How are the nominations judged?

The committee of journalists and editors uses the nominations materials provided to choose the finalists and awardee based on the thoughtfulness and responsibility of the journalists in resolving an ethical dilemma.

What should I submit to the committee?

Send the committee a letter no more than three pages. Include the name and contact information of the nominator and the nominator’s relationship to the story, and the names and emails of the reporter or reporting team. Additionally, the letter should include:

  • A brief description of the story and a link to it online.
  • The conflicting values encountered in reporting.
  • The options considered to resolve the conflict.
  • The final decision and the rationale for making it.

How do I submit nominations?

Send the nomination letter in PDF format to

When will the finalists be announced?

The committee expects to narrow the nominations to finalists in early February.

What does the winner receive?

The award includes a $1,000 prize and travel expenses to accept the award and discuss the reporting at a ceremony in spring of 2019.

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