Journalists encouraged to beat the approaching AHCJ contest deadline

About Jeff Porter

Jeff Porter is the director of education for AHCJ and plays a lead role in planning conferences, workshops and other training events. He also leads the organization's data collection and data instruction efforts.

While 2020 is coming to a close, AHCJ wants to recognize the year’s demanding work of journalism colleagues through the Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.

The contest deadline is Jan. 26 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.

Winners of the contest are recognized at the annual awards luncheon at AHCJ’s annual conference. First-place winners earn $500 and a framed certificate. They also receive complimentary lodging for two nights and registration for the annual conference, June 24-27, in Austin.

Entries can include a wide range of health coverage including public health, consumer health, medical research, the business of health care, health ethics and student health reporting. AHCJ has clarified media outlet size information in its rules and FAQ and has updated its online entry platform. Click here to read the rules, the FAQ and how to enter.

To prepare entries, be ready to give responses to these questionnaire items:

  • Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.
  • Explain types of documents, data or Internet resources used. Were FOI or public records act requests required? How did this affect the work?
  • Explain types of human sources used.
  • Results (if any).
  • Follow-up (if any). Have you run a correction or clarification on the report or has anyone come forward to challenge its accuracy? If so, please explain.
  • Advice to other journalists planning a similar story or project.

The responses aren’t required to be lengthy, but they can provide invaluable help for colleagues who are pursuing their own stories.

In addition, have ready digital copies of your stories to upload. The contest interface will accept PDFs for written stories, plus a large variety of audio or video file types. You’ll have a chance to provide a limited number of links – not to replace files to be uploaded, but to highlight the best online elements of an entry.

Looking for inspiration? See the winners of last year’s awards:

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