The Knight-Risser Prize
for Western Environmental Journalism
The Knight-Risser Prize and Symposium are being reimagined to better encourage coverage of important environmental issues affecting the West. Please follow @JSKstanford on Twitter for more information and announcements.
Eligibility Guidelines > Entry Form >

Entry Form and Instructions

What the Judges Look for

The judges put a premium on journalism with some or all of the following attributes, such as stories that:

  • Report on, investigate, and explain complicated issues
  • Uncover hidden problems or misdeeds
  • Carry wider implications for the North American West in general
  • Result in a tangible impact in Western communities
  • Demonstrate meaningful innovation in environmental journalism, whether through new techniques like crowd-sourcing, use of social media, data-driven reporting, data visualization, multimedia or other interactivity, or work that represents innovative models of collaboration, reporting, or financing great Western environmental journalism.

Issues We Like

Given the Western environmental focus of the award, we are especially interested in stories covering the following areas:

  • Water and other natural resources
  • Wildlife and habitats
  • Regional planning
  • Energy
  • Environmental change, including climate change
  • Interstate and transnational environmental issues
  • The West’s diverse communities and cultures, and the environment

We also encourage stories that address continental and global environmental issues with a focus on the West.

How We Define the North American West
  • The United States west of the Mississippi River, including Alaska and Hawaii
  • Canada west of Ontario, including Nunavut
  • All of Mexico


Journalists working in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are eligible to apply.

We cannot consider entries from publications or programs connected to:

  • Government agencies
  • Advocacy organizations
  • Business or trade groups

Geographical Scope of Your Entry

Entries must be predominantly about an environmental subject occurring in or affecting the North American West, and must have been:

  • Published, broadcast or posted during the previous calendar year, or
  • A series partly published in the previous calendar year (in which case only portions published or dated during the previous calendar year are eligible), and
  • Entered only in one Knight-Risser Prize contest year

Submission Instructions

  • There is no entry fee
  • All entries must be submitted online, using URLs or PDFs
    • We are no longer accepting hard copies, CDs or DVDs.
  • Entrants are limited to one submission per author, per year
  • Entries must be accompanied by a letter of up to two pages that:
    • Summarizes the entry
    • Describes resources that went into reporting it, and if applicable any innovative methods employed
    • Describes the impact of the story
    • Describes any obstacles the reporters faced
    • Briefly summarizes stories not included with the entry if entries are part of a larger series
  • Proof of publication and date: All elements of the story must have been published, broadcast or posted online with an identifiable dateline
  • Corrections or clarifications: Any challenge to the accuracy or fairness of the story, such as letters, corrections, retractions and responses by the news organization, must be included
  • Translation: Non-English-language entries must be accompanied by a complete translation or transcript in English

What You May Enter
You may submit a single story or package with up to four follow-up stories, a series of up to five parts, or up to five stories on a single issue, including multimedia, interactive or social media elements. Photo essays are also eligible.

If a broadcast piece, total airtime should not exceed one hour. A transcript of the submitted entries should be included (with English translation for non-English-language entries). If program length exceeds one hour, you may submit a condensed version; the condensed version must not exceed one hour, must not consist of more than three edits, and must include the beginning and end of the original program. In such cases, a brief description of where the edits occur and what has been cut must be included.


Entry Form


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