Entries are now being accepted for the NCDJ 2022 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability


The National Center on Disability and Journalism is now accepting entries for the 2022 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Disability Reporting, the only journalism competition devoted exclusively to disability coverage.

For the first time this year, the Gary Corcoran Student Award for Excellence in Disability Reporting has been added. It will reward the best work by university student journalists on subjects related to disabilities.

For professional journalists, winners will receive a total of $8,000 in cash prizes in the large media and small media categories. First place winners in each category will receive $2,500 and will be invited to the Cronkite School for a public lecture or presentation in the fall of 2022. Second place winners will receive $1,000 and third place winners $500.

The student award honors the life and advocacy of Gary S. Corcoran (1951-2015), a 19-year-old wheelchair user who volunteered countless hours to help make airlines , public transportation and public places in Phoenix accessible to everyone. The student prize amounts are $2,500 for first place, $1,500 for second place, and $1,000 for third place.

Entries must have been published or broadcast between July 1, 2021 and June 31, 2022. The deadline for participation is August 7, 2022.

For both awards, work may have been published in digital, print or broadcast format. Applications from outside the United States are accepted, although the work submitted must be in English. For the student prize, entrant must have been a registered student at the time of publication or broadcast.

The entry form for the Schneider Award Professional Prize is available at Schneider Prize Entry 2022.

The entry form for the Corcoran Award Student Prize can be found at Corcoran Prize Entry 2022.

Entries are judged by professional journalists and experts in disability issues. Past judges have included “PBS NewsHour” anchor Judy Woodruff; Tony Coelho, former six-term U.S. Congressman from California and lead sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act; and Daniel Burke, CNN religious editor.

In 2021, Washington Post reporters won the top two spots in the major media category. William Wan took first place for ‘Pandemic isolation has killed thousands of Alzheimer’s patients while families watch from afar’, which examines the number of deaths caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic and how the isolation associated with dementia has been exacerbated by the pandemic. The Post’s Hannah Dreier took second place for “What to do about Ahav?”, a profile about a mother who works to care for her mentally ill black son during the pandemic and a time of racial unrest, with photographs by Bonnie Mount.

In the small media category, reporters from the Arab investigative network ARIJ took first and second place. Ayat Khiry won first place for ‘Falling on Deaf Ears’, an investigation into how deaf and hard of hearing people struggle to receive services in public hospitals in Egypt. Safaa Ashour finished second for “Blue, Beaten and Bruised”, which details the physical abuse of children at special needs centers in Egypt.

For all past winners, visit https://ncdj.org/contest/.

The professional award is supported by a donation from Katherine Schneider, a retired clinical psychologist. Schneider, who was born blind, created the award to help journalists improve their coverage of disability issues, moving beyond “inspirational” stories that don’t accurately represent the lives of people with disabilities. “That kind of stuff is remarkable, but it’s not life as most of us live it,” she said.

Both the Schneider and Corcoran awards are administered by the NCDJ, part of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. The NCDJ offers resources and materials for journalists covering disability issues and topics, including a widely used Disability Language Style Manual. For more information, visit http://ncdj.org/.


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