John Bartlow Martin Contest Seeks Public Interest Articles

Miami New Times and Other AAN Members Have Been Previous Winners

Evanston, Ill. — Dec. 10, 2003 — Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism is seeking entries for its 16th annual John Bartlow Martin contest, which recognizes the year’s best public interest magazine article. The deadline is Jan. 23, 2004.

A cash prize of $2,000 is awarded annually for the entry deemed most outstanding by the panel of judges. This year’s judges are Laura Goldstein, executive editor of This Old House; Jim Mullen, editor of Miami New Times, and Terry Noland, articles editor of Esquire.

During his life, John Bartlow Martin advanced the tenets of public interest journalism. His magazine stories about labor racketeering, poor working conditions, racism, crime and abuse of mental patients were marked by careful reporting, incisive writing and a palpable concern for victims. In many cases, these stories prompted public policy changes and inspired other journalists to make a difference with their own words. In his ten years at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, he helped turn students into serious investigative writers.

The John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism was established in 1988 to encourage outstanding stories in this crucial area. Last year’s winners were the staff of Miami New Times for their multi-part series on poverty in Miami. Previous winners have included articles published in U.S. News & World Report, The New Yorker, Newsweek, and Esquire.

Single stories or series work should shed light on the causes, consequences and remedies of problems in American society. The work should analyze and critique the policies, relationships and events behind these problems and solutions. Originality, excellence of writing and the consequences of the article(s) also will be considered.

Entries must have been published in a magazine in the United States during 2003. For the purposes of this contest, a magazine is defined as a publication that appears regularly no more than once a week. Newsletters are excluded, but circulation size is not a criterion of the award.

Entries may be submitted by either authors or publications. The award will go to the authors.

Two copies of each entry must be sent. Do not cut out stories or jumps; send full pages. Do not mount stories.

Each copy must be accompanied by our entry form or a cover letter. Legible photocopies are acceptable. You may attach documentation of specific results.

Please type or print.

Entries must be received no later than Friday, Jan. 23, 2004. Send entries and cover/form letter to: John Bartlow Martin Award, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, 1845 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60208.

A check for $40 should accompany each entry. Please make checks out to “Martin Award/Medill School of Journalism.” The fee will ensure the continuation of the award.

Entries become the property of the Medill School of Journalism and will not be returned.

The winner of the John Bartlow Martin Award will be announced on Monday, April 12, 2004. Decision of the judges is final. The winning author(s) will receive a cash prize of $2,000. Second and third place finishers will receive Certificates of Award.

For more information and an entry form, look at the Medill Web site at Or write to the above address or contact John Barlow Martin Award at (847) 491-5661 or (847) 491-3956 (fax).