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Call for Nominations: 2018 Barbara Jordan Media Awards

Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities announces the Annual Barbara Jordan Media Awards call for nominations for media content created or published in 2017. Awards are presented in several different categories including Broadcast, Internet, Photojournalism, Print, Book, and College or High School Student. There is NO FEE for entries. Winners are selected by a panel of professional journalists, people with disabilities, and professionals in the field of disabilities.


Self-nominations are welcome and encouraged in all categories. For more information and Submission Guidelines and Entry Forms, please contact our office or visit our website: https://gov.texas.gov/organization/disabilities/awards/barbara_jordan_media_awards


The deadline for submissions is February 1, 2018 for stories produced, published and/or distributed in Texas in 2017.


Each year the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities accepts nominations for media professionals and students who have produced material for the public which accurately and positively reports on individuals with disabilities, using People First language and respectful depictions. Nominations can be submitted by anyone, including the producer of the piece, by completing the submission form and sending it with any necessary supporting materials to the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities.


The Barbara Jordan Media Awards seek to spotlight journalists who portray people with disabilities in a respectful, positive manner. It is our belief that journalists help shape our culture and our perceptions; well-produced, creative stories showing a person with a disability as a person first benefits us all. Previous award winners are listed on our website.


Elements in past winning entries include:

  • Portraying people with disabilities as independent and productive.
  • Focusing on stories about people first and disability second.
  • Using people with disabilities as sources, rather than as examples.
  • Placing coverage in appropriate subject area (e.g. sports covered in sports section).


Director’s Challenge


A unique opportunity for Texas college students is to submit a nomination for the Director’s Challenge which seeks short videos or public service announcements (30-60 seconds) that promote the rights of persons with disabilities traveling with Service Dogs. An exception is allowed for the Director’s Challenge – the video or PSA may be created or published in Texas any time between December 15, 2017 and the February 1, 2018 deadline.


The Barbara Jordan Media Awards are named in honor of the Houston native and U.S. congresswoman who gained recognition and a place of honor in history. She was known as a remarkable orator who broke barriers and built bridges. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and served for one day in 1972 as the Governor of Texas (both Governor Preston Smith and Lt. Governor Ben Barnes were out of state). In 1973, Jordan was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and eventually began to use a cane and then a wheelchair. Barbara Jordan passed away in 1996.


The Barbara Jordan Media Award itself is a beautiful three-inch bronze medallion designed by David Deming, an internationally prominent sculptor, and is presented to winners in several categories each year at an awards ceremony.


Thank you for considering a submission and for helping us get the word out to all professional journalists and journalism and communications students.


MARK YOUR CALENDAR for the 2018 Barbara Jordan Media Awards April 26, 2018, at Texas State University campus in San Marcos. The 2018 Awards luncheon will be hosted by the TSU School of Journalism and Mass Communication.


For additional information or questions, contact:

Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities

P.O. Box 12428

Austin, TX 78711

Phone: 512-463-5739 or use the Relay provider of your choice

Video phone: 512-434-0102

Fax: 512-463-5745

Email: gcpd@gov.texas.gov

Website: http://gov.texas.gov/organization/disabilities/

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