Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
33rd Annual Journalism Prize Competition

Download Announcement Letter & Journalism Prize Competition Overview

Click here for the Online Submission Application


  • Entries must be for work as published in print, presented online, or broadcast during 2019 by a media outlet based in the United States or its territories. (No podcasts allowed).
  • Journalists may apply directly, or they may be nominated for one of the two prizes each year.
  • Submissions with joint bylines may apply, or be nominated.
  • Entires must be submitted on behalf of a journalist(s) and not an organization.


  • Applications must be received by Friday, March 20, 2020.


  • There is no application form or entry fee.
  • Must include a minimum of four, but not more than five articles or stories of the candidate’s best reporting during 2019 on either the presidency or national defense.
  • A letter of nomination from someone who is familiar with the candidate’s work.
  • A brief biographical sketch identifying the candidate’s journalistic experience and training. Include the candidate’s address, phone number, and e-mail address.

Submission by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation Website

Click here for the Online Submission Application
  • All text material submitted electronically should be formatted and submitted as PDFs and measure no larger than 8 1/2 x 14 inches. If URLs are included in the material you must provide live links.
  • Broadcast Video entries must have a PDF transcript with material submission via live URL.
  • Videos and other online content should be submitted via URL and must be placed outside of any paywall. If not possible, provide a simple username and password for judges.
  • URLs must remain active until the Prizes are awarded in June.

Submission by Mail

  • Broadcast entries submitted by mail must include 8 DVD’s with transcripts of broadcast.
  • Postmarked by Friday, March 20, 2020
  • Address to:
    • Journalism Contest Coordinator
      Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
      303 Pearl Street, NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504-5353


Each prize will be determined by a separate panel of judges. Typically, judges are selected from journalism and academia or have experience in the executive branch or national defense matters.


Judging will be based upon the journalist’s ability to foster better public understanding of either the United States presidency or national defense. The prizes recognize reportorial excellence as reflected by resourcefulness, insight, quality of writing and brevity, rather than the quality of editorial comment. Candidates for either prize should have compiled a year-long record of consistent, judicious, sensitive and noteworthy coverage. The prizes recognize the quality of a journalist’s work during the year, rather than any single article or story.

Work may have appeared in print, presented online, or broadcast during 2019 at a local, region- al, national or international level (daily newspapers, news magazines or trade publications with a broad readership). Freelance as well as staff journalists may be candidates.

For the Presidency Prize, reporting should address ways in which the President sets policy and makes decisions, how the President initiates programs and responds to events, how the President relies on Cabinet and senior staff, and the structure and functioning of White House operations.

For the National Defense Prize, reporting should address Department of Defense operations, military operations, unconventional threats and targets, defense resource management, military preparedness, international arms control, or other national security issues.

Submit packet to/or contact for further information:

Contest Coordinator
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation
303 Pearl Street, NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504-5353
Phone: (616) 254-0393
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