SEJ Awards: 2022 FAQs

What is the deadline to enter?
Who can enter?
Can I enter more than once?
Am I in the Large or Small category?
What happens if I enter the wrong category?
If my entry is disqualified, will I be reimbursed?
What are the eligible air/publication dates?
What prizes are offered?
How much does it cost?
What do I need to do to enter?
Who will select the winners?
When will the winners be announced?
What will happen to the winning entries?

 

What is the deadline to enter?

March 1, 2022, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time
Books category:
postmark deadline March 1, 2022

Late entries (additional fees apply): April 5, 2022, 11:59 p.m. ET
Late Books category: postmark deadline April 5, 2022

►These are firm deadlines: If you submit after the deadline (electronically or by mail), the form will still operate, but your entry won't be sent to judges and your entry fee won't be reimbursed. Be sure to leave yourself enough time! (If your entry is submitted late because of an SEJ website malfunction, email sej@sej.org.)

ADD THIS TO YOUR CALENDAR AND GIVE YOURSELF A FEW REMINDERS!

 

Who can enter?

  • You don't have to be an SEJ member or on an environment beat to enter.
  • Reporters who cover health, politics, science, energy, local government or any other beat are encouraged to enter their work on environmental subjects.
  • Students enrolled in a university, college or high school — and graduates submitting work they did while enrolled as students — are eligible for the student category. Mid-career journalists who return to school, post-graduate students and students sharing a byline with non-students are not eligible to enter the student category.
  • SEJ welcomes entries from outside the U.S., but non-English entries must be accompanied by a complete English translation.
  • Judges for this contest may enter except in a category they are judging.
  • Group entries are accepted. Everyone with a byline MUST be included in the group. Photographers, graphic artists etc, contributing reporters without a byline etc. can also be included. Only individuals or teams of individuals can enter; publications, stations, websites, programs or networks may not enter.
  • Members of SEJ's Board of Directors, Awards Committee, SEJ staff and awards personnel may not enter. Exceptions will be made for group entries where a board member of SEJ was involved only because of their position in the newsroom, but did not play a significant role and is not listed as part of the team.

 

Can I enter more than once?

Yes, you may enter the contest multiple times, but stories you already entered once may not be entered again. This could result in duplicate stories being disqualified. Note: Separate entry fees apply for each entry. See costs here.

 

Am I in the Large or Small category?

  • Print and online determined by organization size. More than 75 employees = large. Under 75 = small. All employees of the organization count. 
  • TV and audio: Large is for national networks in the U.S. and elsewhere and top 30 television and audio markets in the U.S. and in equivalent markets outside the U.S. Small is for broadcast networks under the top 30.
  • Small-newsroom entities collaborating with large-newsroom entities qualify as large-newsroom.
  • FREELANCERS: Determine category size by where your entry ran or aired.

 

What happens if I enter the wrong category?

If you've entered the wrong category, every effort will be made to move you to the correct category. But there are no guarantees that we will be able to do that in time for your entry to be reviewed by the correct category's volunteer judges. If you are disqualified, you will not be reimbursed, so check category types carefully before submission:

Investigative Categories: An investigative report or series on a single environmental topic, originally published or aired between February 1, 2021 and January 31, 2022. Investigative reporting uses journalistic skills to disclose facts about businesses, government agencies or individuals that, absent the reporting, would not likely be disclosed. Judges will be encouraged to weigh the results of the reporting in their deliberations.

Beat Reporting Categories: Three to five broadcast or published news reports and/or commentary on a broad range of environmental topics or a broad range of various issues within a single environmental topic published or aired between February 1, 2021 and January 31, 2022. Entry must be the work of three bylines maximum, plus a photographer, graphics artist, or other individual vital to the development of the stories.

Feature Categories: Entry must be a single environmental interest story not directly tied to a recent news event, with an emphasis on storytelling. Entries must be published between February 1, 2021 and January 31, 2022. Multi-part stories are prohibited.

Explanatory Reporting Categories: A story, series or occasional series that illuminates a significant, complex environmental subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, storytelling and clear presentation, published or aired by a single news organization. Entries must be published between February 1, 2021 and January 31, 2022.

Student Reporting Category: A story or series on an environmental topic by a student or group of students enrolled in a university, college or high school at the time the content was produced. Entry stories must have been published, aired or otherwise produced in a media outlet accessible to the general public between February 1, 2021 and January 31, 2022.

Book Category: A nonfiction book that covers an environmental topic and has an original copyright in 2021. Books published in English for the first time during the contest year that were previously published in another language are eligible.

Questions? Contact sej@sej.org.

 

If my entry is disqualified, will I be reimbursed?

No. Staff time will have already been spent screening your entry for eligibility. There will be no refunds for entries that are ineligible or for entries that are withdrawn by the entrant. Check the rules for eligibility.

 

What are the eligible air/publication dates?

  • Books: Original copyright in 2021.
  • All other entries: Published or aired between February 1, 2021, and January 31, 2022. Check your category for the number of stories allowed.

 

What prizes are offered?

SEJ Awards for Reporting on the Environment

  • First Place: $500, trophy, electronic banner and discount to attend the annual conference
  • Second Place: $250, electronic banner and discount to attend the annual conference
  • Third Place and Honorable Mentions: Electronic banner and discount to attend the annual conference

The Nina Mason Pulliam Award for the "best of the best" environmental journalism:

  • $10,000 and a trophy to one entry selected from the first-place winners of SEJ's Awards
  • Travel, registration and hotel expenses (up to $2,500) for the winner, or representatives of the winning team, to attend SEJ's 2023 annual conference in Boise, Idaho.

All SEJ Awards first-place winners are automatically entered into the Nina Mason Pulliam Award.

NOTE: Cash prizes are limited to two individuals on a winning team. Cash prize recipients are of course free to share their winnings with others on their team. Winners of cash prizes must work within SEJ's payment structures (currently bill.com and PayPal) to receive payment.  

 

How much does it cost?

In all categories SEJ members in good standing, or teams that include at least one SEJ member in good standing who has a byline or other significant role in the entry, pay SEJ a fee of $45 per entry. Discounted entry fee of $10 may be used by journalists residing in low-to-middle-income-economy countries as designated by World Bank rankings. Non-members who do not wish to join pay $110 per entry. The aforementioned rates apply to entries submitted by the March 1, 2022 deadline. A group or team entry pays the same fee as individual entry. Non-members who wish to join SEJ for the first time, and who qualify, must first apply for membership and pay their first-year discount member dues ($40), then log in to enter at the member rate. Eligibility standards must be met. If a membership application is declined, the applicant will be billed to make up the non-member rate and the member dues will be refunded. (Paid dues cannot be applied to contest fees.)

Late entries must be submitted by April 5, 2022, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Cost will be as listed above with an added $100 late fee. Late entries that are mailed must be postmarked no later than April 5, 2022, and an online entry form must be completed by April 5, 2022, 11:59 Eastern Time.

$15: SEJ member students (student category only). After March 1: $65
$25: Non-member students (student category only). After March 1: $75
$10: Journalists residing in countries designated by The World Bank as low or lower-to-middle income — only journalists residing in these countries and working in local media there are eligible for this rate. After March 1: $20

Reminder: SEJ membership must be current to access the SEJ member rate. If membership dues or awards fees pose a barrier, current or lapsed members can request a fee-waiver from the SEJ Members in Need fund. If you'd like to help, you can make a donation to the fund here.

Nonmember journalists may apply for membership in SEJ to qualify for the member rate.

  1. Complete a membership application.
  2. Eligibility criteria apply! Read the membership application thoughtfully and don't apply if you don't qualify. Individuals engaged in any kind of paid public relations or lobbying work concerning environmental issues are not eligible for membership in SEJ.
  3. You can enter the contest at the member rate after your membership application and dues payment are submitted. However, if you're found to be ineligible for membership, SEJ will bill you for the additional $65 for the non-member contest fee and refund your member dues. Entries will not be processed until the correct payment is received.

 

What do I need to do to enter?

Just read the How to Enter page. Everything you need to know is listed there.

See SEJ Awards 2022 Rules for complete rules.

If you are not sure which category you should enter, email sej@sej.org. The awards committee is the final authority for determining which category an entry belongs in and whether an entered story is eligible.

 

Who will select the winners?

Independent panels of journalists, journalism educators and other qualified individuals appointed by the Awards Committee will judge qualified entries and pick place-winners and honorable mentions. Judges may select no winners or fewer place winners in a category if they decide fewer prizes are warranted. SEJ board, staff, awards committee members and awards personnel do not act as judges.

 

When will the winners be announced?

Winners will be announced as soon as possible after Judges' deliberations -- usually late July or early Sept. The Awards presentation will be held in September 2022.

 

What will happen to the winning entries?

Copies of place-winning stories will be retained as an archive by SEJ and may be reproduced on the SEJ website and in SEJ publications at SEJ’s discretion.

 

ENTER BY MARCH 1!

 

Back to the main Awards page.

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