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Mirror Awards – Honoring Excellence in Media Industry Reporting

Now in their 15th year, the Mirror Awards recognize the best reporting, analysis and commentary covering the media industry and its role in our economy, culture and democracy. Established by Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications in 2006, the awards honor the reporters, producers, editors and teams of writers who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public’s benefit.



The Mirror Awards are open to anyone who conducts professional reporting, commentary or criticism of the media industry—television, newspaper, magazine, radio, advertising, public relations, the internet and other forms of content-rich digital communications.

Works eligible for consideration are print, broadcast and online editorial content, including material published in consumer and trade magazines; local and national newspapers; local, national or syndicated radio and television features and programs; online local, national or syndicated radio and television features and programs; and online publications, blogs and websites. Works must have been published or broadcast between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020.

The subject matter of entries should focus on the business, people, processes and regulation involved in the development or distribution of news and entertainment content. Television reviews, film reviews, fictional works and books are not eligible.

Rules of Entry

  • Writers of any age or professional situation may enter or be nominated.
  • Individuals may submit up to three entries total. If more than three entries are received, only the first three entries submitted will be accepted.
  • Written pieces must be submitted with a URL (where applicable) and in PDF format. Podcasts and audio or video stories must be entered with an accompanying URL.
  • Individuals may submit more than one entry per category. However, the same piece cannot be submitted to more than one category.
  • Each entry must be submitted separately.
  • Entries may be used in whole or in part at the awards ceremony or for event publicity.
  • The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • No awards will be given in a category if no entries are deemed worthy of citation by the judges.
  • The Newhouse School will present one award for each winning entry. Additional copies of the award may be purchased.
  • No one person may win in a category more than three times within a five-year period. Entries by any person who has won three times in the last five years will be excluded.
  • Judges reserve the right to move entries if incorrectly placed or deemed a more appropriate fit in another category.
  • All entries must be submitted online at newhouse.syr.edu/centers/mirror-awards between Dec. 15, 2020, and Feb. 15, 2021.


All entries will be subject to a two-tiered judging process. The preliminary jury is composed of media professionals and faculty from the Newhouse School. The top three-to-five entries will be forwarded to a distinguished panel of journalists and academic leaders for final judging. Care will be taken to avoid conflicts of interest.

Evaluation Criteria

Entries will be evaluated based on three criteria:

  • Excellence of craft: What is the overall quality of the writing and newsgathering that goes into each piece? This includes careful attention to sourcing.
  •  Framing of the issue: Does the author use the story to provide a broader perspective on the media and its role in society?
  • Appropriateness for the intended audience: Does the author use language and examples that will make sense to his or her audience? It is expected, for example, that articles published for a trade audience will be somewhat more technical in tone than those for consumer magazines.

Announcement of Finalists and Winners

A list of finalists in each category will be released in early spring. Winners will be announced in June. Use this link to continue to categories and submit:



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