Entries for the Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability

We are now accepting entries for the Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability, administered by the National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. 

Entries can be filled out online.

Award details:

The Schneider Award, now in its fourth year, is the first journalism contest focused exclusively on disability coverage. The contest accepts print, broadcast and online entries, which must be published or aired between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016. The entry deadline is July 31, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. MST. The online application and additional information are available at http://ncdj.org/contest/.

Prizes include a $5,000 award for the first-place winner, who also is invited to speak at the Cronkite School. The second-place winner receives a $1,500 award, and additional honorable mention awards of $500 may be given at the judges’ discretion. The award is made possible by a grant from Katherine Schneider, a retired clinical psychologist who also supports the Schneider Family Book Awards operated by the American Library Association.

“An estimated one in five people in the U.S. have a disability,” said NCDJ Director Kristin Gilger, who also is the associate dean of the Cronkite School. “Too often, their stories get overlooked or are underreported by the media. The Schneider Award spotlights the tremendous work of journalist who are making a difference in covering people with disabilities.”

Last year, Heather Vogell of ProPublica won the Schneider Award for ““Violent and Legal: The Shocking Ways School Kids are Being Pinned Down, Isolated Against Their Will,” which examined the practice of educators secluding and physically restraining uncooperative school children, many of whom are disabled.

Second place was awarded to Josh Kovner of the Hartford Courant for “Saving Evan: A Mother and Son Navigate the Challenges of Treating Autism”, a story following Carol Marcantonio’s journey to help her 11-year-old autistic son become independent when he reaches adulthood. 

Radio producer Eric Mennel took third place for a North Carolina Public Radio story, “Why Some NC Sterilization Victims Won’t Get Share of $10 Million Fund.” Mennel profiled Debra Blackmon, an intellectually disabled woman who was sterilized at age 14 in 1972 as part of a state-sponsored eugenics program in North Carolina.

‘Sensitivity, not Sensationalism’

 

A Nieman Reports’ article examines the current state of reporting on disabilities, including the tendency to portray people with disabilities as only heroes or victims.

The story highlights Dan Barry’s reporting on disability for The New York Times.  Barry was awarded the Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability in 2014 for “The Boys in the Bunkhouse, which describes the lives of a group of men with intellectual disabilities who spent 30 years working at a Iowa turkey processing plant for almost no pay.

Nieman Reports also touches on the work being done by the National Center on Disability and Journalism to improve the quality of reporting on disability through the Schneider reporting contest and publication of a disability style guide, among other efforts. Read more