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Awards / Scholarships

* journalism

CWA Canada in partnership with the Canadian Association of Journalists offers the $1,000 Award for Excellence in Labour Reporting. The award recognizes excellence in Canadian journalism completed in the previous calendar year in any format on labour issues.
The award seeks to honour journalism that goes beyond a work-to-rule, strike, lockout or other job action and shows skill in reporting on the social, economic and political factors that impact the labour environment in Canada. Entries showing impact on policy, law or public awareness are encouraged. This award is meant to recognize great journalism on labour issues that can make a difference in the lives of Canadians.

Who Can Apply?

Entrants must be CAJ members or willing to pay the non-member award fee.

Application deadline: Jan. 13, 2017

More information: CAJ website

The Charles B. Dale Guild Service Award is given annually by TNG-CWA for outstanding service to the Guild at the Local union level. Its purpose is to recognize and encourage the development of local Guild leadership.

The award is a scholarship of up to $2,000 (U.S.) for a course in trade union education "appropriate to the winner."

Who Can Be Nominated?

The Guild Service Award is open to members who serve in an unpaid capacity as Local officers or in other responsible Local positions.

Individuals may not nominate themselves.  They must be sponsored by their Locals and nominated by the Local executive board or representative assembly or a general membership meeting.

2016 Award

Download: Guild Service Award Rules

Nominations Deadline: tba

Mail nominations to:

Guild Service Award
The Newspaper Guild/CWA
501 Third St. N.W., 6th Floor
Washington DC 20001

Email nominations (with Guild Service Award in Subject Line) to:

Created in the name of Empire State College alumnus Morton Bahr, this Distance Learning Scholarship assists union members and other workers by furthering their educational goals and enhancing educational access through distance learning. Students can live anywhere in the world and qualify for the scholarship, completing their studies via the Internet or by mail.

The scholarships cover tuition and other fees toward a two-year or four-year degree with an allowance for study materials and books up to US$130 per course.

Who Can Apply?

Union workers, family members and/or domestic partners interested in registering for degree studies with Empire State College (part of the State University of New York) may apply. All applicants will be considered, but priority is given to members of the Communications Workers of America.
Winners are selected by a committee comprising a representative of CWA and Empire State College faculty and staff. Criteria include an ability to succeed in college studies, a program match with educational and career goals, leadership qualities, financial need and diversity.

2017-2018 Scholarships

Application Deadline: tba
Award Decisions announced: early July for fall enrolment

How Do I Apply?

The Bahr Scholarship web page has more information and downloads.

Students in North America are invited to compete for the David S. Barr Award, which encourages young journalists to focus on issues of social justice. The Award is named after the late Mr. Barr, who for a quarter of a century served as The Newspaper Guild's general counsel, mentor, role model and institutional memory.

Who Can Apply?

The awards competition is open to all high school students and to all part-time or full-time post-secondary students, including those in community colleges and in graduate programs. All entries must be of work published or broadcast that helped to right a wrong; corrected an injustice; or promoted justice and fairness. All entries must be of work published or broadcast between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2016.

2016 Awards

The amount of the award is US$1,000 for the high school student winner and US$1,500 for the post-secondary student winner.

Application Deadline: Jan. 31, 2017


No more than one entry per contestant is permitted. Included with the entry should be a brief summary of the work submitted. At least one original copy of the entry must be submitted with three photocopies. A signed official application form must be attached to each copy of each entry.

Details and Application Form

Mail entries to:
David S. Barr Award
The Newspaper Guild-CWA
501 Third Street, N.W., 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20001-2797

The CWA Joe Beirne Foundation was established in October 1974 by the Communications Workers of America Executive Board to honour the name and memory of the founding President of CWA, who served for more than 30 years.

In his capacity as the first CWA President, Joe Beirne took great pride in the roles he played in the fields of education and learning and other areas of social concern.

The Joe Beirne Foundation's Board of Directors each year approves the awarding of 15 partial college scholarships of up to US$3,000 each. The winners, to be chosen by lottery drawing, also receive second-year scholarships for the same amount, contingent upon satisfactory academic achievement.

Who Can Apply?

Eligible for the scholarships are CWA|SCA Canada members and their spouses, children and grandchildren, including the dependents of retired, laid off or deceased members. Applicants must be high school graduates or high school students who will graduate during the year in which they apply. Undergraduate and graduate students returning to school may also apply.


Application deadline: April 29, 2017

Fill out and submit: Online application form

Further information: Visit the Member Services section of the CWA web site.

CWA|SCA Canada created these scholarships to honour the lives and work of John Belcarz and Dan Zeidler. John, president of the Montreal Newspaper Guild, and Dan, a staff representative for the union, both firmly believed that everything should be done to help people better themselves. In 2017, there are two $1,000 awards.

Who Can Apply?

The scholarships are open to current members of the union, their spouse/partner, children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Applicants must be enrolled in, or about to enter, a full-time post-secondary program.


Applicants must include an essay of up to 1,500 words or a video, audio or multi-media presentation up to five minutes in length on one of three topics. Download a poster (English | Français) for topics and other details. For more information, contact CWA|SCA Canada by email or call 613-820-9777 (local) or 1-877-486-4292 (toll-free).

Application deadline: March 24, 2017

Fill out and submit application form: English | Français

Heywood Broun was a pioneering and crusading columnist for The Tribune and The World in New York from 1912 until his death in 1939. He founded the American Newspaper Guild in 1933 and served as its first president. Broun is best remembered for his reporting on social issues and his passionate championing of the underdog and the disadvantaged.

This annual competition is intended to encourage and recognize individual journalistic achievement by members of the working media, particularly if it helps right a wrong or correct an injustice.

There is a main award of US$5,000, plus two awards of $1,000 for entries of substantial distinction. One of the awards of substantial distinction will be for a broadcast (television or radio) entry.

Who Can Apply?

Journalists working on behalf of newspapers, news services, web sites, magazines and radio and TV stations in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico are eligible, whether Guild members or not. Publications and other employers as such, or entries on behalf of an entire staff of a publication or employer, are not eligible; neither are entries written or reported by managers. Entries may be submitted by applicants for themselves or by others; however, entrants should note that, in keeping with the award's emphasis on individual achievement, the judges frown on obviously mass-produced contest entries.


There is no official entry form, nor is there an entry fee. Entries must be mailed and postmarked no later than Feb. 17, 2015, and must have a clearly legible return address on the outside of the package. Entries posted after Feb. 17 will be discarded on receipt. Faxed and emailed entries will not be accepted.

Entries deadline: Jan. 27, 2017
Details and more information: The NewsGuild web site

The Canadian Journalism Foundation sponsors the Greg Clark Award. The winner will have the opportunity to spend a week observing an organization related to his or her beat.

The Greg Clark Award was created in memory of one of Canada's greatest journalists — a war correspondent, an avid outdoorsman, a humourist, but above all, a great reporter who excelled at storytelling.

How Do I Apply?

Your application should include a two-page proposal outlining how you would use the opportunity and how it would help you in your daily work. Also include two samples of your work, a brief biography and a letter of recommendation from a relevant employer.

Application Deadline: Feb. 24, 2017

Details & More Information: Call the CJF (416-955-0394) or visit the CJF web site.

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) in 1999 renamed its Canadian Press Freedom Award in honour of Tara Singh Hayer, a Canadian journalist and editor of the Vancouver-based Indo-Canadian Times, who was assassinated in November 1998. His murder demonstrated that protecting freedom of expression is a matter of concern not just beyond our borders.

The Tara Singh Hayer Award recognizes a Canadian journalist who, through his or her work, has made an important contribution to reinforcing and promoting the principle of freedom of the press in this country or elsewhere.


Applicants must be nominated by an organisation or individual. Self-nominations are not accepted.

The winner of the award will be a journalist who fits one or more of the criteria:

• has highlighted cases of media repression in Canada or around the world;
• has chronicled attempts at or actual censorship;
• work has involved difficult-to-obtain access to information requests;
• has taken personal risks or suffered physical reprisals for working as a journalist;
• has overcome enormous odds simply to produce the news.


When making a nomination, please send a cover letter outlining how the journalist or media organization fulfils the stated criteria; biographical and professional information on the nominee, along with samples of the nominee's work and contact details.

Submissions in French or English may be in the form of video tapes, audio tapes, articles or columns aired or published between June 15, 2016, and April 30, 2017.

The award consists of a framed plaque and cash prize of $3,000.

Award presented: December 2017, at a ceremony in Toronto.

For further information or to submit a nomination,
please contact Tom Henheffer at CJFE:

555 Richmond St. West,
Suite 1101, PO Box 407,
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5V 3B1

Tel: 416-515-9622
Fax: 416-515-7879

PEN Canada's Paul Kidd Courage Prize is open to Canadian journalists and journalists working for Canadian media outlets who have made a contribution to journalism (print or broadcast), who have risked their careers in pursuit of a story and who take an independent viewpoint.

The award honours exceptional courage in the quest for freedom of expression. Paul Kidd died in 2002, after a career as one of Canada's first globetrotting foreign correspondents. He filed reports to Southam News Service from more than 70 countries, braving street violence, gunfire, terrorism, arrest at bayonet point and open threats from political regimes infuriated by his insistence on getting and reporting the truth.


Nominations should be accompanied by a cover letter explaining why the nominee should win the prize and samples of the person’s work.

Send nominations to:
PEN Canada/Paul Kidd Courage Prize,
24 Ryerson Ave., Suite 301
Toronto, Ont. M5T 2P3

Nominations close: tba

More Information: Call 416-703-8448, ext. 24. Visit PEN Canada's web site.

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety offers this $1,000 national award to students enrolled in an occupational health and safety course or program leading to an OHS certificate, diploma or degree at an accredited college or university in Canada. Three $1,000 scholarships are available.

The award is named for Dick Martin, a former secretary-treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress who is credited with creating the national Day of Mourning to commemorate workers who lost their lives on the job. The Day of Mourning is now observed internationally.

Who Can Apply?

Post-secondary students are invited to submit a 1000-1500 word essay on a topic that best describes their aspirations in the field of occupational health and safety. Entries will be judged on their knowledge of the subject matter, their understanding of the principles and values of Dick Martin, and their understanding of the role of CCOHS.

More information about Dick Martin is available on the CCOHS website, as is a list of previous winners and their essays.


Application Form: Submit online or download PDF from CCOHS website.

Submission Deadline: 5 p.m. January 31 (each year)

Further information: Contact the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety at 1-800-263-8466 or e-mail

The Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism recognize independent and professional reporting that sheds new light on controversial issues. Established in 2002, two US$5,000 prizes are awarded each year, one to a local reporter in a developing country or nation in transition, and the other to a freelance journalist covering international news.

The stories can focus on conflict, human-rights concerns, cross-border issues, or any other issue of controversy in a particular country or region.

Underwritten by the Kurt Schork Memorial Fund and Reuters, and administered by the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR), the prizes were created to honor Kurt Schork, an American freelance journalist who was killed in a military ambush while on assignment for Reuters on May 24, 2000, in Sierra Leone.

Who Can Apply?

Freelance Journalist: Freelance print journalists and those contracted by news organizations are eligible. A freelance journalist is an individual who is not employed by a news organization. They are self-employed, providing services, either on the basis of time or on the production of editorial materials as defined by individual contractual arrangements, and earn the majority of their income from journalistic activity.


The submissions must demonstrate professionalism, meet international journalistic standards, and provide evidence that courage and determination played a role in generating the articles. Winners will be chosen by an international panel of five judges.

Deadline: May 31
Details and Entry Forms: Available on the Kurt Schork Memorial Fund website.

The Union Plus Scholarship offers US$150,000 in scholarships annually to members, their spouses and dependents who are beginning or continuing their post-secondary education.  Awards range from US$500 to $4,000.

Who Can Apply?

The scholarship program is open to students attending or planning to attend a college or university, a community college, or a technical college or trade school. Applicants for scholarships are evaluated according to academic ability, social awareness, financial need and appreciation of labour.

Members of participating AFL-CIO union members from Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and U.S. citizens are eligible. Members do not have to purchase any Union Plus program product or participate in any Union Plus programs to apply for the scholarships and scholarship awards are not based upon participation in a Union Plus program.


Application deadline: Jan. 31

Further information and application forms: Visit the Union Plus web site.