In 2015, the 18-year-old AAN Awards will for the first time include a $500 investigative prize and $500 prize for the best coverage of gender issues. These will be funded by alt-weekly legends Mike Lacey and Fran Zankowski, among others.
Judges for this yearâ€™s competition will include former editors from the Washington Post and Businessweek as well as a former president of the National Press Club and other prominent journalists from a variety of distinguished outlets. And, for all of you writers and editors with big ambition, there will be a well known literary agent as well. All are affiliated with the prestigious Georgetown University Master’s in Professional Studies Program in Journalism.
“We are delighted to work with AAN this year as judges for the association’s annual awards,â€ says Georgetown assistant dean Amy Kovac-Ashley. â€œThe alt press plays a special role in covering communities, and we look forward to seeing the best of what the alts are producing now.”
As in past years, there are dozens of editorial, online, and design categories. This yearâ€™s Wild Card topics are Environmental Coverage and Gender Issues, the latter of which Zankowski is sponsoring.
Entries will be accepted online beginning January 12 through February 12, 2015. Instructions for the contest site, along with individual category guidelines, will be posted next month.
Finalists will be announced in late May, and winners will be celebrated at a reception on July 18, 2015, at the AAN Annual Convention in Salt Lake City. The Association offers scholarships for a few journalists to attend the convention. Special consideration will be given to contest finalists.
Journalists from across North America compete directly against one another for the AAN awards, which celebrate the journalistic values of alternative media greats like Norman Mailer: speaking truth to power, courage, and an eagerness to report on issues and communities that many mainstream media outlets ignore.