Submitting a Nomination

The George Polk awards are conferred annually to honor special achievement in journalism. Winners are chosen from newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and online news organizations. Nominees may come from any quarter including a panel of 39 advisers. Judges are Long Island University faculty and alumni as well as outside journalists. The awards are presented each spring at a luncheon in Manhattan and are preceded the night before by a seminar featuring a panel of winners.

All submissions must be made electronically.

If you experience any technical difficulties using the online nomination form, please send an email to

For all other non-technical questions or to request more information, please contact


Entries are for work published or presented during the calendar year. The deadline for submission is January 9. There is a fee of $75 per entry, payable by credit card only. Entries will not be acknowledged.


Judges place a premium on investigative and enterprise work that is original, significant, brings results and requires resourcefulness or courage.

Cover Letter

The cover letter spells out what makes the work prizeworthy. It may include information on the genesis of the story, how it was done, the impact it had and other relevant information. If the work beat the competition, that should be detailed. Conversely, if the work was seriously challenged, that should be noted.

Team Projects

We award up to four named reporters for any one entry. More than four will be deemed a “staff” award. Please be aware that the Polks prefer to honor individuals whenever appropriate. We look to the cover letter for guidance, so the letter should cite by name those whose work was essential to the project. The letter may express a preference for a staff award or cite several individuals plus “staff.”


Entries should be submitted by category – foreign, national, etc. – but these categories are by no means binding. Judges may drop or add categories at their discretion. There is no such thing as a wrong category.


Journalists do not have to be U.S. citizens and the media outlet does not have to be American, but all entries must be in English and have appeared in the U.S.

Schanberg Prize

A Schanberg Prize entry is made through the regular application process – that is, beginning with the “submit nominations” link. It should be placed in the “Schanberg” category, and the cover letter should be marked “Schanberg Award” at the top.


In recent years, each winner has been awarded a cash bonus, made possible by the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation and The Rosaline P. Walter Foundation. Judges often confer a career award for a body of work.

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