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 for entry is March 15, 2024.
Entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2024.
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.
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
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 Military.com - 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 Military.com, 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
For more information about this event:
Call the American Legion Media & Communications Division at (317) 630-1298, or send us an email.