The John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, founded in 1995, is presented each year to a reporter with courage and integrity for cumulative professional accomplishments. The prize honors the legacy of pioneering television correspondent and longtime NBC News anchor John Chancellor.
Watch the November 18, 2020 Chancellor Award ceremony.
Donald G. McNeil Jr. - 2020 John Chancellor Award Winner
The recipient of the $25,000 John Chancellor Award is selected each year by a distinguished panel of journalists who look across the media landscape to identify a reporter who may not be widely known by the public but who is highly respected within the profession for the caliber of his or her work.
The award was established in 1995 by Ira A. Lipman, founder of Guardsmark, LLC, one of the world's largest security service firms. Lipman provided a gift to Columbia University to support the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism and to fund scholarships at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The Chancellor Scholarships provide significant financial aid to students who have the leadership qualities exemplified by John Chancellor.
Ira Lipman became a lifelong friend of John Chancellor after the two met in Little Rock, Ark. in 1957. Chancellor, the NBC News correspondent in Little Rock, was reporting on the desegregation struggle at Central High School, and Lipman became Chancellor’s trusted source. Shining a national spotlight on this gripping regional story, the quality of Chancellor’s informed and insightful reporting propelled him to national attention. He became an anchor of NBC’s Today program and an anchor and commentator for NBC Nightly News. Chancellor is best remembered for the depth of his reporting and his rare personal grace and civility. Lipman subsequently founded Guardsmark, LLC.
The Chancellor Scholarships were awarded for the first time in August 2005, and are currently providing financial assistance for M.S. students. The criteria for scholarship assistance are financial need, academic achievement, and commitment to leadership in print or broadcast journalism.
Ira Lipman passed away on September 16, 2019 at his home in New York City.
How to Enter
The 2020 John Chancellor Award is closed for nominations.
To be entered for consideration, journalists must be nominated. The nominator will need to fill out the Chancellor Application form.
For print nominations: a pdf file with legible pages of the nomination material is recommended. For broadcast nominations: a list of working permanent links to programming is recommended.
Required Supporting Materials:
- A nominating letter by someone other than the journalist that includes a brief summary of journalistic accomplishments. The Chancellor Board looks for sustained journalistic accomplishments over time, where the journalist’s reporting as a whole is greater than any single story he or she may have covered. Please explain the impact of the reporting.
- Nominations may have up to three letters of support.
- Resumé or CV, including any major awards received.
- Provide 5-10 examples of the person's best work:
Newspaper/Magazine Nominee: 5-10 significant newspaper or magazine stories by the nominee. Please link to stories or include PDFs. If sending PDFs please include articles in the original layout, if possible. Photocopies of PDFs must be easy to read.
Broadcast/TV or Radio Nominee: 5-10 significant broadcast stories by the nominee. TV and radio stories should be submitted just as they aired, without reediting. Contact the Chancellor Award office for coverage of breaking news stories, if applicable. Please provide links to stories.
This award is intended for a journalist whose principal audience is in the U.S. If the original reporting is in a language other than English, transcripts or subtitles in English must be provided.
See past winners:
|Mary Chancellor||Chancellor Family|
|Jelani Cobb||Professor of Journalism||Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism|
|Steve Coll||Dean & Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism||Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism|
|Hank Klibanoff||Director of the Journalism Program, James M. Cox Jr. Professor||Emory University|
|Nicholas Lemann||Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism; Dean Emeritus||Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism|
|Michele Norris||Former Host, "All Things Considered"||National Public Radio|
|Lynn Sherr||Former Correspondent||ABC News|
|Bill Wheatley||Former Executive Vice President||NBC News|
|Mark Whitaker||Former news executive||CNN, NBC News, and Newsweek|
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