This award was established in 2019 by the Daily Athenaeum, WVU’s independent student newspaper, to honor the investigative work and legacy of Ken Ward Jr. A DA alumnus and reporter for The Charleston Gazette-Mail, Ward describes his career as one of “sustained outrage and investigative reporting.” He was named a 2018 MacArthur Fellow.

The Ken Ward Jr., Investigative Reporting Award seeks to encourage and celebrate investigative journalism done at the Daily Athenaeum by a student journalist. Ward’s significant contributions throughout his career, beginning at the Daily Athenaeum, serve as a standard for future journalists.

 

About Ken Ward Jr.

About Ken Ward Jr.

MacArthur Fellow recipient Ken Ward Jr. is an investigative journalist whose in-depth coverage of the coal, chemical and natural gas industries in West Virginia is exposing the true economic, social, and health impacts of industrial abuse on Appalachian residents and communities. As a staff writer for the Charleston Gazette-Mail for more than 25 years, Ward fearlessly reports on worker safety violations, environmental hazards, and corporate malfeasance of regional coal and chemical companies.

Award Nomination Rules

  • Applications include three investigative reporting projects that reveal issues of importance to the campus or Morgantown communities and that are the result of the initiative and in-depth reporting of the applicant. Reporting should be based on some or all of the following: interviews with sources, significant research, and document review including Freedom of Information Act requests. Each project can include up to three related stories or videos.
  • Applicants must be active members of the Daily Athenaeum. The award is for a body of work and can include work which appeared in the DA online or in print during any semester the applicant was a student.
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  • The award recipient is chosen by a panel of journalists chaired by Ken Ward Jr. The panel can decide not to select a recipient in any given year. The judging criteria include: accuracy, enterprise, significance and thoroughness.
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    Guidelines:

  • Upload or attach three investigative projects composed of up to three elements.
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  • Include a cover letter that details the reporting and its impact.
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  • Entries that include multiple bylines are accepted as part of an entry but the bulk of the entry should be done by a single applicant. Team applications are accepted if all of the reporting projects were done by the same team.
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  • Scripts for video entries are not required but are recommended.
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    Accuracy Requirement:

    Any corrections, clarifications or retractions after the initial printing must be submitted as part of the entry.