Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism

Balding man in coat and tie holding a crystal award.

Two-time award winner (2023, 2015) Brian Stelter.

About the Award

The Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism honors work that evaluates news media coverage of significant subjects or issues. In 2025, when the award recognizes work from 2024, the award will be presented for the first time on the Penn State campus.


The deadline for materials published in 2024 is Jan. 31, 2025.


The award is intended to recognize constructively critical articles, books, and electronic and online media reports; academic and other research; and reports by media ombudsmen and journalism watchdog groups. Entrants are judged by professionals from journalism and journalism education.

The winner receives a $2,500 honorarium and is expected to attend the award ceremony, which will be conducted in September 2025 on the Penn State campus, and talk on the subject for which he or she is being honored.


Eligible for the award are all significant contributions, current or cumulative, consistent with the award's purposes from whatever source, media or otherwise, in the United States. The nomination should include work done (completed or continuing) in the calendar year. Both individuals and media (or other organizations, enterprises, and groups) are eligible for the award, including newspapers, periodicals, and broadcast/cable stations.

Anyone may submit an entry on behalf of an individual or organization. There are no application forms. Each entry must be accompanied by a letter describing the nature and results of the work and by the relevant published or aired material and/or other necessary documentation. Links to completed work online are acceptable as well.

In the case of cumulative work, limit entries to representative examples of such work.

About the Award

The creation of the Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism was announced at a ceremony at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on October 27, 1994. The award recognizes distinguished contributions to the improvement of print and broadcast journalism through responsible analysis or critical evaluation. The award is one of the few in the country to take a hard look at the media and the job being done by publishers, editors and reporters.

The deadline for materials published in 2024 is Jan. 31, 2025.

Questions may be directed to:
Bart Richards Award
Penn State, Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications
115 Carnegie Building
University Park, PA 16802

Or, email:
Steve Sampsell (
Director of Strategic Communications
Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications