2005 MRE Journalism Contest opens

MRE announces new award in annual reporting contest

WASHINGTON – In a first, Military Reporters & Editors and Knight Ridder Newspapers have teamed up to create a $2,000 annual award for outstanding journalism.

The winner of the Joseph L. Galloway Award for Distinguished Journalism will receive the cash prize at the fourth annual MRE Conference in Washington, to be held this fall.

“I want to thank the officers and members of MRE for naming their annual award for distinguished service for me and Knight Ridder Newspapers for donating the prize money that goes with that award,” said Galloway, who is based in Washington, D.C.

“I only wish there was an award honoring the hundreds of friends and colleagues who have given their lives in search of the truth in the most dangerous places on earth,” he added.

MRE is an association of military journalists. It was formed at the University of Maryland in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in large part over concerns about access to military operations in war zones. The organization’s 2005 journalism contest also will pay homage to reporters working in Iraq, the world’s most dangerous location for journalists.

The Baghdad Press Corps Award will recognize the news organizations and Iraqi journalists working throughout the country. It is given to journalists reporting from Iraq, where 19 reporters and 12 media assistants were killed in 2004. We honor all of them, men and women, embeds and independents, foreigners and Iraqis, who risk their lives daily to tell the most important story of the year.

All entries in the contest’s print category are eligible for the Galloway award. Though it is the only cash prize now given, MRE hopes to fund the photography award this year and all other categories when it marks its inaugural Chicago conference in 2006.

Galloway is Knight Ridder’s senior military writer and a nationally syndicated columnist.

A native of Refugio, Texas, he spent 22 years as a foreign and war correspondent and bureau chief for United Press International. He also logged nearly 20 years as a senior editor and senior writer for U.S. News & World Report. Galloway’s overseas postings include tours in Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Singapore and three years as UPI bureau chief in Moscow in the former Soviet Union.

During 15 years overseas, Galloway served four tours as a war correspondent in Vietnam, covered the 1971 India-Pakistan War and a half-dozen other combat operations. He reported on Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm in 1990-91, riding with the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) in the assault into Iraq.

General H. Norman Schwarzkopf has called Galloway “the finest combat correspondent of our generation – a soldier’s reporter and a soldier’s friend.”

Galloway and retired Army Lt. Gen. Hal G. Moore wrote the bestseller, “We Were Soldiers Once … and Young.” The book later was the basis for the critically acclaimed movie, “We Were Soldiers,” starring Mel Gibson. Galloway also co-authored “Triumph Without Victory: The History of the Persian Gulf War” for Times Books.

He is a rare exception among war correspondents, having been given a Bronze Star Medal with V (for valor) for rescuing wounded soldiers under fire in the Ia Drang Valley in November 1965. Galloway also received the National Magazine Award in 1991 for a U.S. News & World Report cover story on the 25th anniversary of the Ia Drang battles.

“Joe has a long resume of reporting in foreign conflicts, and that in itself would be enough for us to name an award in his honor,” said MRE President Sig Christenson, a veteran Iraq combat correspondent for The San Antonio Express-News and Hearst Newspapers.

“But this award is as much about the man and his heart as it is his career. It symbolizes not only the many stories Joe has filed at home and on the battlefield, but his insistence on integrity and an unending sympathy for the combat soldier’s constant struggle to survive and return to loved ones back home.”

Journalists in small and large markets in the United States and abroad are eligible for the Galloway award, as well as other categories – one for photographers. Information on contest rules and fees can be found on www.militaryreporters.org

Knight Ridder will contribute $1,000 this year, while MRE and several private donors provide the rest. The Galloway award will highlight each year’s contest.

Other competitive categories are: Domestic reporting – small market/large market International reporting – small market/large market and Photography, domestic and international – small market/large market.

Entries are for the calendar year ending Dec. 31, 2004, and should be mailed to MRE, c/o Michelle Riley Pendleton, 1325 G. St. NW., Suite 730, Washington, D.C., 20005. The deadline for submission is July 15.

2005 MRE Journalism Contest Entry Form