The John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, founded in 1995, is presented each year to a reporter with courage, character and integrity for cumulative professional accomplishments. The prize honors the legacy of pioneering television correspondent and longtime NBC News anchor John Chancellor.
How to Enter
The 2023 John Chancellor Award will be open for submission in early 2023. Please check back.
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.
Masha Gessen - 2022 John Chancellor Award Winner
Masha Gessen, staff writer for The New Yorker, is the recipient of the 2022 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism. In a career spanning three decades and two continents, Gessen has been a brave and indispensable voice on some of the most important issues that face Russia and the United States. Readers have turned to Gessen to better understand the steady erosion of civil liberties under Vladimir Putin’s regime, the degradation of democratic norms in the Trump era and its aftermath, the state of L.G.B.T.Q. rights in both countries, the plight of refugees at the U.S. border and beyond, and, most recently, Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine.
In reporting that was both prescient and far-ranging, Gessen filed dispatches from Kyiv and Kharkiv just weeks before those cities were devastated; from Moscow as Russia’s few remaining independent news outlets shut down, one by one; and then from Istanbul, Tbilisi, and other destination points for dissident Russians as bombs fell on Ukraine.
They are also a prolific essayist and translator as well as the winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction for The Future Is History, a title that hints at the wide-lens ambition and unique wisdom of their journalism.
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.
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|
|Cheryl Gould||Former Senior Vice President||NBC News|
|Hank Klibanoff||Director of the Journalism Program, James M. Cox Jr. Professor||Emory University|
|Michele Norris||Opinion columnist||The Washington Post|
|Lynn Sherr||Former Correspondent||ABC News|
|Bill Wheatley||Former Executive Vice President||NBC News|
|Mark Whitaker||Former news executive||CNN, NBC News, and Newsweek|