Victor McElheny Award FAQs

The Victor K. McElheny Award recognizes outstanding coverage of science, public-health, technology, or environmental issues at the local or regional level. Winners will receive a $5,000 award and be honored at a ceremony hosted by the Knight Science Journalism Program at MIT. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the award:

When can I apply?

Submissions are accepted each year between December 1 and January 31. The submission window for the 2020 Victor K. McElheny Award is now closed.

Who can enter?

Freelance or staff journalists working for independent news organizations are welcome to submit their work. Media outlets may also submit entries on journalists’ behalf.

What kinds of pieces are eligible?

We welcome works of local or regional journalism from the preceding calendar year. Submissions may be individual pieces, or a series of up to three works on a related theme. Entries may be works of broadcast, print, or digital journalism. Audio and video entries should be no longer than 60 minutes in total. As the award honors small and regional markets in the United States, only U.S. media outlets are eligible.

My local reporting was produced in partnership with a national news outlet. Is it eligible?

A story is eligible for the Victor McElheny award provided (1) the local or regional media outlet can demonstrate a significant contribution to the work and (2) the story had a local or regional focus.

My piece isn’t in English. Can I apply?

Yes, but your submitted piece must be accompanied by an English translation.

Is there a fee?

No, but each applicant may submit at most three entries.

Should I include a cover letter?

Definitely. Tell us in 300 words how your piece impacted the community you cover — and why you think it stands out as meaningful journalism.

When will winners be announced?

We announce the winner(s) of the Victor McElheny award in March. The winner(s) is honored at an award ceremony at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts in April.

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