Awards

 
 

NABJ Awards  

Each year, NABJ offers three Awards programs to highlight the impact and work of its members and other journalists, communicators and organizations covering or telling the story of the Black community. NABJ recognizes journalism and content that best covers the Black experience or addresses issues affecting the worldwide Black dIaspora. NABJ also awards the Ethel Payne Fellowship to a deserving member. The travel award provides an opportunity for an NABJ member to gain foreign correspondence experience in Africa and the necessary assistance to complete a project or singular report on Africa. New fellowships from various media partners are also offered on an annual basis. For more information, contact: awards@nabj.org.

 

NABJ Special Honors Awards

NABJ Special Honors Awards

NABJ’s most coveted awards honor the groundbreaking accomplishments of Black journalists and those who support the Black community in the media. Honorees will be celebrated later this year. The nomination deadline is April 26.

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NABJ Hall of Fame Induction

NABJ Hall of Fame Induction

Every year, NABJ pays homage to legendary Black journalists who have made outstanding contributions to the industry. The NABJ Board of Directors approves nominations. New inductees will be installed at the NABJ Hall of Fame Ceremony later this year. The nomination deadline is April 26.

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NABJ Salute to Excellence

NABJ Salute to Excellence

The NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards honors journalists, students and media professionals who cover or communicate about the people or issues of the African/African-American Diaspora. Entries will be judged on content, creativity, innovation, use of the medium and relevance to the Black community in more than 100 categories. Solo practitioners, agencies of all sizes, large and small businesses, corporations, media outlets, nonprofits, associations and government agencies are all encouraged to apply. You do not have to be an NABJ member to submit a nomination.

Award winners will be recognized later this year. The nomination deadline is April 26.

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The Ethel Payne Fellowship

The Ethel Payne Fellowship

The NABJ Ethel Payne Fellowship is a $5,000 award bestowed to a worthy journalist. The travel award provides an opportunity for an NABJ member to gain foreign correspondence experience in Africa and the necessary assistance to complete a project or singular report on Africa. The fellowship is named for the first female, African-American commentator employed by a U.S. network when CBS hired her in 1972. Known as the “First Lady of the Black Press,” Payne, a Chicago native, was a lecturer and columnist whose eloquent advocacy while reporting on the civil rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s gained her national fame. Payne, who died in 1991, was the first African-American female journalist to focus on international news reporting. The fellowship was established to provide rich coverage of the African continent beyond the common storylines of HIV/AIDS, famine and war. Proposed projects are encouraged to tell the untold and dynamic stories of Africa and African people. The winning fellow must finish their travel to Africa and publish their story/project by June of their award year.

The 2020 Ethel Payne winner was Larry Miller of WUSA-TV. His proposal focused on telling the story of the struggle of young farmers in South Africa, amid the controversy to expand Black-owned farms.  

The 2021 Ethel Payne Winner was Melissa Noel, whose work Beyond The Return: Black Women Entrepreneurs In U.S. & Africa Fueling Movement For Future Partnerships”  was published on ESSENCE online.

Stay tuned for the next application dates.

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Thumbs Down Award

Thumbs Down Award

Each year, at the annual convention, NABJ also announces a Thumbs Down Award recipient or co-recipients. The Thumbs Down Award is presented to an individual or organization for especially insensitive, racist or stereotypical reporting, commentary, photography or cartooning about the Black community or for engaging in practices at odds with the goals of NABJ. Those receiving the award in 2019 included some member newspapers of the former American Society of News Editors’ who did not complete its annual newsroom diversity survey, as well as CNN for the diversity “deficiencies” among the media company’s news management ranks, which has since seen some progress. The 2020 Thumbs Down Award went to