Bart Richards Award honors work by Nieman Reports

A series of four deeply researched cover stories focusing on important issues impacting the field of journalism was selected as the 2014 recipient of the Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism, presented annually by the College of Communications at Penn State.

The stories by Nieman Reports -- a quarterly print publication and website covering thought leadership in journalism -- were a unanimous selection for the award that annually recognizes outstanding contributions to print and broadcast journalism through responsible analysis or critical evaluation. Nieman Reports is published by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.

The award will be presented Thursday, May 21, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

With its four 2014 editions, Nieman Reports focused on censorship in China, the state of journalism education, the future of foreign news and the lack of female newsroom leaders. 

Judges for the Bart Richards Award cited several reasons for honoring Nieman Reports.

“Not only are the stories deeply researched, they’re timely, informative and well-written. They provide context and perspective about complicated issues affecting journalism and news reporting, and they provide insight into important questions that are being debated in newsrooms and journalism classrooms,” said judge Tom Mattesky, a retired deputy bureau chief for CBS News. “This is in-depth, critical reporting about the news media and issues affecting the news media at its very best.”

“The breadth and scope of the work was impressive, and the variety of topics provided an important look into issues that truly impact journalism,” said judge Steve Geimann, an editor for Bloomberg News and president of the SDX Foundation, which supports the educational mission of the Society of Professional Journalists. “The work was clearly the best among the finalists, and the kind of work that provides perspective and can make an impact.”

“What I liked most was its consistency,” said Jackie Jones, chair of the Department of Multimedia Journalism at Morgan State University. “It’s the kind of work we ought to be doing with more regularity. It was just outstanding.”

Submissions for the Bart Richards Award came from individuals and media organizations across the United States. The award comes with an honorarium and a trophy.

The award is named after Bart Richards, the longtime editor of the New Castle (Pa.) News who was one of the founders and the second president of the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors. In addition, Richards served as president of the United Press International Editors of Pennsylvania, director of the Reporters Institute of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers Association and was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers Association. Richards served three terms as a representative in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, representing the city of New Castle.

Last Updated April 02, 2015