The Fourth Estate Award is presented annually by The American Legion to a newspaper, magazine or broadcast outlet for outstanding achievement in the field of journalism. Online media outlets are also encouraged to enter in the broadcast or print categories.  Winners are expected to attend the presentation of the award at the American Legion National Convention in August. A $2,000 travel stipend accompanies each award, to defray expenses of the recipients accepting the award at the American Legion National Convention in August. Individual award pylons are presented to the principal contributors, in addition to a large organizational award.

There is no entry fee.
Submit Fourth Estate Award entries to:

The American Legion
Media & Communications
Attn: Katie Chrisman
700 N. Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204


The Deadline

The deadline for entry is March 15, 2024.
Entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2024.

The Judges

All entries will be judged by members of the American Legion Media & Communications Commission. Submitted material will not be returned.

Conditions for Judging

Entries must have been published, broadcast or posted online during the calendar year immediately preceding the year the award is given. (Example: submissions for the 2024 awards must have been published, posted or broadcast in 2023).

Subject matter must deal with a topic or issue of national interest or concern; submissions must include documented evidence or a statement from the entrant describing how the work brought about change for the better or had a positive, measurable societal impact. Each entry must include a cover letter explaining the entry. Click here for submission form to accompany each entry.

Hard copies or PDFs must be submitted for all print entries. Audio, MPs or electronic files are needed for radio and podcast entries.  DVD, digital format or website links for television entries are required. Online media products should include print pages of applicable sites as well as the URLs. Individuals, publications, and broadcast organizations may submit as many entries as they like, but each entry must be accompanied by its own cover letter on company letterhead with the signature of the submitting authority, the submission form and any supporting documentation.

Notification of Winners

Winners will be notified directly and winners will be publicly announced on the Legion’s national website no later than June 10.

Accepting the Fourth Estate Award

The winning individual, or an appropriate substitute, will be expected to attend The American Legion National Convention on the morning of August 29, 2024, in New Orleans for the purpose of the award presentation. The travel stipend will be presented with the award.

Previous Winners

The Fourth Estate Award has been given annually by The American Legion since 1958.

1958 Jim Lucas

1959 * Advertising Council, Inc.

1959* Chicago Tribune

1959* U.S. News & World Report

1960* Hearst Newspapers

1961 Scripps-Howard Newspapers

1961 Jack K. Warmer, Pres., Warner Brothers Pictures

1962 Fulton Lewis, Jr.

1963 The Copley Press, Inc.

1963 This Week Magazine

1964 The Chicago Tribune

1964 Mississippi Publishers Corp.

1965 Clark Mollenhoff, Cowles Publications

1965 Golden West Broadcasters

1966 Mutual Broadcasting System

1966 The Booth Newspapers

1966 The Columbus Dispatch

1967 The St. Louis Globe-Democrat

1968 William S. White, United Features Syndicate, Inc.

1969 George W. Healy., Jr., The New Orleans Times/Picayune & State

1970 James Geddes Stahlman

1970 Jenkin Lloyd Jones, Editor/Publisher, Tribune, Tulsa, OK

1971 Anheuser Busch, Inc.

1971 John Wayne

1972 Agustine Edwards, Publisher, El Mercurio, Santiago, Chile

1973 Clare Booth Luce

1974 James J. Kilpatrick, Jr.

1975 Jim Bishop

1976 Thomas P. Chisman, Producer-Bicentennial Radio Network & Vic Cantone-Cartoonist

1977 The Columbus Dispatch, Editor Jess Gorkin, Parade Magazine

1978 Milton Caniff, Cartoonist, King Feature Syndicate

1979 National Public Radio

1980 Hy Rosen, Editorial Cartoonist, Albany Times Union

1981 ABC News - Coverage of the Iran Crisis

1982 Newsweek Magazine

1983 The Sacramento Union

1984 C-SPAN

1985 Life Magazine

1986 KMOX Radio, St. Louis

1987 ABC Radio News

1988 Bill Cox- Florida Today

1989 Mary Beth Pheiffer-The Poughkeepsie Journal

1990 Margaretta A. Downey - The Poughkeepsie Journal

1991 Michael Trihey, Tamara Welch - The Bakersfield Californian

1992 Philip Dine - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

1993 Fortune Magazine

1994 KSNW-TV, Wichita, KS

1995 Marcia Stepanek, Charles J. Lewis - Hearst Newspapers

Washington Bureau/Albany Times Union 

1996 High Road Productions, Palo Alto, CA

1997 Tribune Chronicle, Warren, OH

1998 The Tribune, Mesa, AZ

1999 Jerry Mitchell, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, MS

2000 Dateline NBC, Washington, DC

2001 Chronicle-Tribune, Marion, IN

2002 Dayton Daily News, Dayton, OH

2003 The Detroit News, Detroit, MI

2004 Mark Benjamin, United Press International (UPI)

2005 Laurie Stein, WFOR-TV, Miami, FL

2006 Ben Jones & Jamie Mara, The Post-Crescent, Appleton, WI

2007 Jennifer Kraus, Bryan Staples, & Kevin Wisniewski-WTVF-TV, Channel 5, Nashville, TN

2008 Kathy Williams, Greg Groogan, Mark Muller & Michael Baugh-KRIV-TV, Houston, TX

2009 Blake Morrison, Linda Morison, Brad Heath, USA Today,

2010 Lynda Edwards, ABA Journal

2011 Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis, IN -  Indianapolis Star - Internet

2011 David Conti, Pittsburgh, PA - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,- Print

2011 Jennifer Krause, Bryan Staples - News Channel  5, Nashville, TN - Broadcast

2012 Donna Terrell- KLRT-TV, Fox 16, Little Rock, AR - Broadcast

2012 Carl Prine -Pittsburgh, PA -  Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, -  Print

2012 Alex Quade, Fayetteville, NC - Freelancer - Internet

2013 Alison Young - Associated Press-Las Vegas Bureau - Print

2013 Alex Quade, Fayetteville, NC - Freelancer - Internet

2013 Pamela Young - KITV-Sprinkle Media Solutions - Honolulu, HI - Broadcast

2014 Mark Flatten, Washington, DC - Washington Examiner - Internet

2014 Thomas Brennan, Jacksonville, NC - The Daily News - Print

2014 Tisha Thompson, Rick Yarborough, Jeff Piper,  Washington, DC - WRC-TV - Broadcast

2015 Ben Eisler, New York, NY - CBS News - Internet

2015 Drew Griffin,  Atlanta, GA - CNN Communications - Broadcast

2015 Brad Heath, McLean, VA  - USA Today - Print

2016 Brenden Keefe, Atlanta, GA - WXIA-TV - Broadcast

2016 Ellen Gabler, Milwaukee, WI - The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Online

2016 Hope Hodge Seck, Washington, D.C. - The Marine Corps Times - Print

2017 Simone Aponte, Oakland, CA - KTVU FOX 2 - Broadcast

2017 Dennis Wagner, Phoenix, Arizona - The Arizona Republic - Print

2017 Jerry Mitchell, Jackson, Mississippi - The Clarion-Ledger - Online

2018 A.J. Lagoe, Minneapolis, Minn., KARE-11 - Broadcast

2018 Raquel Rutledge, Milwaukee, Wis. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Print

2018 Thomas Brennan, the Warhorse - Online

2019 KNTV, San Francisco – Vicky Nguyen - Broadcast

2019  The Republican, Springfield, Mass. – Cynthia Simison - Print

2019 - Oriana Pawlyk - Online

2020 KAKE (Wichita, Kan.) - Annette Lawless - Broadcast

2020 McClatchy - Print

2020 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Online

2021 ABC Action News I-Team (WFTS) - Tampa, Adam C. Walser - Broadcast

2021 Daily Herald, Chicago, Elena Ferrarin - Print

2021, Gina Harkins - Online

2022 KHON2, Honolulu, Pamela Sprinkle - Broadcast

2022 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Katelyn Ferral and Natalie Brophy - Print

2022 Associated Press, James LaPorta and Kristin Hall - Online

2023 ABC Action News I-Team (WFTS) - Tampa, Adam C. Walser - Broadcast

2023 Military Times, Leo Shane - Print


Contact Information

For more information about this event:

Call the American Legion Media & Communications Division at (317) 630-1298, or send us an email.