The Solutions Journalism Network’s awards program recognizes, amplifies and celebrates the best of solutions journalism. By recognizing these stories, we uplift what excellence in solutions journalism looks like.
Submissions for the 2023 Solutions Journalism Network Awards are open Nov. 8, 2023, through Jan. 16, 2024.
Entries will be judged on the Solutions Journalism Network’s definition and four pillars of solutions journalism. In addition, entries will be judged on the basis of the U.S-based Society for Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics.
— Definition: Rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.
— Four Pillars: Features a response to the problem; contains evidence of the response’s impact, not just good intentions; includes insights - context that others can learn from; and discusses limitations to the response.
Entries will be screened by SJN staff and then distributed to a group of judges drawn from SJN’s network of accredited trainers, newsroom partners, journalism school educators and journalists.
Things to do before entering
- Familiarize yourself with the newsroom size and award categories and needed documentation.
- There is no fee to enter the SJN awards. We do, however, ask all entrants to complete the Solutions Journalism Assessment & Goal-setting Tool, a brief (10-15) minute questionnaire designed to help you and SJN better understand your current solutions journalism practice and the support needed to deepen it. All entrants are required to complete the questionnaire - but only once (each entrant is allowed up to three entries). Please be honest - the judges will not see your answers and answers will not shape award decisions.
The Solutions Journalism Network Awards are open to journalists working in any size newsroom, or who work independently. All entrants must submit their original work. The awards are open to all platforms including digital, broadcast, print, podcasts and radio. For a series, pick one story from the series to submit.
Publication date: Eligible entries must have been published or aired between Jan. 1, 2023 and Dec. 31, 2023.
Multiple entries: An individual journalist may submit up to 3 bylined entries. Please submit one form per entry.
Micro newsrooms = 15 or fewer employees
Small newsrooms = 16-50 employees
Medium newsrooms = 51-250 employees
Large newsrooms = More than 250 employees
Freelancers should submit in the category based on the size of the organization where their work was published.
There are five award categories.
General Excellence in Solutions Journalism
This award celebrates the singular entry that encapsulates the definition and four pillars of solutions journalism, including evidence of equitable reporting and measurable impact as a result of the reporting.
This award grants $1,000 to the winning reporter or team and is open to the following formats: digital/print, video/broadcast and/or audio. To enter, please submit the entry along with a description of any impact it had.
The Best of Solutions Journalism in Words
This award honors solutions journalism produced as a print story in either a digital-only, digital-first or print publication, including newspapers, magazines and news websites.
There is one $500 award per newsroom size category (micro, small, medium, large). To enter, please submit the entry along with a description of any impact it had.
The Best of Solutions Journalism in Broadcast
This award celebrates solutions journalism produced in video format for television broadcast, YouTube or other video platforms.
There is one $500 award per newsroom size category (micro, small, medium, large). Videos must be under 10 minutes. Please note: entries in the video category will be judged independent of any other story elements including accompanying text and photos. To enter, please submit the entry along with a description of any impact it had.
The Best of Solutions Journalism in Audio
This award recognizes solutions journalism produced as an audio-only story including podcasts or audio stories published on SoundCloud or other audio platforms.
There is one $500 award per newsroom size category (micro, small, medium, large). Please note: entries in this audio category will be judged independent of any other story elements including accompanying text and photos. To enter, please submit the entry along with a description of any impact it had.
The Best of Student Solutions Journalism
This award honors solutions journalism that was published or aired in on-campus media or student news services. Graduate and undergraduate students are eligible to submit entries. Students may be full-time or part-time and must attend any two-year or four-year university or college at the time of publication.
This award grants $250 per winning entry (up to three entries will be awarded) and is open to the following formats: written form (print or online), audio or video. Please note: audio and video entries will be judged independent of any other story elements including accompanying text and photos. Video stories must be under 10 minutes in length. To enter, please submit the entry along with a description of any impact it had.
All entries must be submitted via the online submission form: https://solu.news/2023Awards
Entrants agree to the following terms upon submitting an entry to the Solutions Journalism Network Awards: Any submission to the Solutions Journalism Network Awards remains the intellectual property of you or your organization. That said, by submitting, you are granting us the right to publish what you submit — photos, text, videos, etc. — on our various websites. We do this to showcase the caliber of finalists and winners. By submitting an entry, you represent and warrant that the entry is original work, that you have the right to submit the work as an entry in the SJN Awards, and that you have the right to grant SJN the rights granted above.
The winners will be announced in early 2024.
For this pilot in our first year, we are limiting submissions to English language content.
The prize money is given directly to the reporter who wrote and submitted the story. If there are multiple authors on a single winning entry, the prize money will be divided among them.
No. For this pilot year, we are not accepting social media submissions; however, responses on social media may be submitted as evidence of the impact a story had.
For this pilot year, we are not accepting photo submissions; however, we do accept photographs as part of a story in an accepted format.
Please contact Holly Wise at firstname.lastname@example.org.