Newhouse School establishes John M. Higgins Award as part of Mirror Awards

Entries are now being accepted online; this year’s awards carry a cash prize

Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications has established the John M. Higgins Award for Best In-Depth/Enterprise Reporting as part of the annual Mirror Awards for excellence in media industry reporting.

John M. Higgins
Supported by a gift from Discovery Communications and Time Warner Cable Inc., the award carries a $5,000 cash prize. Each of the Mirror Awards’ additional juried journalism awards carries a $1,000 cash prize.

“We are honored to recognize John Higgins in this way, and we thank Discovery and Time Warner Cable for the opportunity,” says Newhouse Dean Lorraine Branham. “This gift allows us to further strengthen our efforts to seek out and pay tribute to those whose job it is to shine a light on the media and ‘watch the watchdogs.’ As John Higgins did, they provide the credible voices that keep the business of journalism honest and ethical, and allow it to continue to be a cornerstone of American democracy.”

Higgins served as the business editor for Broadcasting & Cable and was a longtime reporter on the media and Wall Street. One of the most well-respected journalists of his time, he died in 2006 at the age of 45.

Entries and nominations for the Mirror Awards are now being accepted online (see the “Enter Now” section on the home page of this site). Deadline for entering is Feb. 10, 2012. Anyone can nominate, and there is no fee to enter.

The competition is open to anyone who conducts reporting, commentary or criticism of the media industries in a format intended for a mass audience. Eligible work includes print, broadcast and online editorial content focusing on the development or distribution of news and entertainment. All entries must have been published or broadcast between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011.

Award categories include:
•    Best Single Article, Traditional/Legacy Media ($1,000 prize)
•    Best Single Article, Digital Media ($1,000 prize)
•    Best Profile, Traditional/Legacy Media ($1,000 prize)
•    Best Profile, Digital Media ($1,000 prize)
•    Best Commentary, Traditional/Legacy Media ($1,000 prize)
•    Best Commentary, Digital Media ($1,000 prize)
•    John M. Higgins Award for Best In-Depth/Enterprise Reporting ($5,000 prize)

Entries are evaluated based on three criteria: Excellence of craft; framing of the issue; and appropriateness for the intended audience. Winners are chosen by a group of journalists and journalism educators. An awards ceremony will be held in June 2012 in New York City.

The Mirror Awards are the most important awards for recognizing excellence in media industry reporting. Established by the Newhouse School in 2006, the awards honor the reporters, editors and teams of writers who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public’s benefit.

For more information, contact Jean Brooks at (315) 443-5711 or For press inquiries, contact Wendy Loughlin at (315) 443-2785 or