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Awards to USA, Canada, and Mexico News Organizations and
Journalists to Honor Excellence in Reporting of Traumatic Events

Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma

Deadline Date:

01/26/22 5:00 PM EST


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Awards of $5,000 to USA, Canada, and Mexico newspapers, magazines, websites, television stations, radio stations, podcast platforms, independent journalists, news organizations, and other news entities to recognize excellence in trauma reporting. Virgin Islands entities may also receive the award. Awardees will be honored for their outstanding coverage of violence, crime, disaster, tragedy, and other traumatic events and their impact on individuals, families, and communities. Entries should focus on the experience of victims and survivors as well as contribute to public understanding of trauma.

The Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma honor North American newspaper, online, audio, television, video and multimedia journalism that goes beyond the ordinary in reporting on trauma. Since 1994, the Awards have recognized exemplary journalism on the impact of violence and other traumatic events. Spotlighting the experiences of victims and survivors, Dart Award winners make significant contributions to public understanding of trauma-related issues. Past honorees share a commitment to telling a powerful story, offering respect and compassion to survivors, and to remaining sensitive to the complexity of a tragic event.

The Dart Awards  honor innovative, ethical and effective reporting across all media platforms. They recognize coverage that engages deeply with the toughest human experiences, and sets a new standard for grappling with the complexity of trauma and its impact.

Recognizing coverage produced for North American outlets, the Dart Awards are the only journalism prize to reward and inspire in-depth trauma reporting across media. They are a team prize, recognizing that trauma reporting of the highest order demands a special commitment from news organizations. 

The Dart Awards are judged by an interdisciplinary panel of journalists, mental health professionals, and survivor advocates in accordance with the following Award Criteria:

  • Exhibit the highest standards of journalistic excellence.
  • Portray victims and survivors of trauma with sensitivity and insight.
  • Inform readers about the ways individuals react to and cope with emotional trauma.
  • Avoid sensationalism, melodrama and portrayal of victims as tragic or pathetic.
  • Emphasize victims’ and survivors’ experience rather than the traumatic event itself.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 200430

Number of Grants:

Judges will make two awards. Two cash prizes are awarded each year.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Each award will carry a $5,000 cash prize.

Term of Contract:

All entries must have been originally published, aired or broadcast between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Entries may be submitted by a newspaper, magazine, website, television station, radio station, podcast platform. independent journalist, news organization, or other news entity.

All entries must have been originally published, aired or broadcast by news outlets based in North America or U.S. territories.

Submissions from freelancers are welcome, but it is encouraged that freelancer entries be accompanied by a letter of support from the news outlet that published, aired or broadcast the work.

Entries will not be accepted by full-time employees of Columbia Journalism School, the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma or Dart Center affiliates.

Standalone blog posts; books; documentaries and other entries exceeding 60 minutes are not eligible.

Pre-Application Information:

The submission deadline is January 26, 2022 at 5:00 pm EST. Entries must be submitted via the online entry form.

The Dart Awards traditionally honor two winning teams, each receiving a cash prize. The judging committee also awards honorable mentions and special citations at its discretion. Honorees will be announced in late-April, 2022.

Winners will be honored in a public ceremony in September 2022 at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.

There is a $50 entry fee for the Dart Awards. News organizations that submit two entries are expected to pay two $50 entry fees. If you are a freelance journalist entering independently from the publishing news outlet, you may pay a reduced entry fee of $25. If this amount is prohibitive, you may request a fee waiver.

All entries must have been originally published, aired or broadcast between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 by news outlets based in North America or U.S. territories.

Awards will be made to winning teams. Team members entitled to share in the prize include reporters, photographers, copy editors, graphic artists and editors who served as team leaders, as well as any other staff members who assisted in the creation of the entry and are named on the online entry form.

There is a maximum of two entries per newspaper, magazine, website, television station, radio station, podcast platform or independent journalist. If more than two entries are submitted by the same entity, the Dart Center will determine the two entries to consider. In addition to these two entries, a news organization may submit a third entry if it is a partnership with another news entity.


For further information about the program:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit the completed online entry form:

To request a fee waiver, or if you are not able to pay via PayPal, email

For all other questions or issues, please email

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Array ( [0] => Virgin Islands (USA); )

USA Territories: Virgin Islands (USA);

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;

International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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