2024 MRE Journalism Contest Details

The 2024 MRE Journalism Contest is open to print, digital, broadcast and visual journalists or teams who cover the military, military affairs, troops and veterans or their families, or national security, defense or war. Submissions to the contest must have published between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2023 and adhere to the requirements set forth for each category entry as outlined below and to the official rules for the competition.

MRE members, non-members and journalism students are invited to apply. The fee for the first contest entry is $50; additional entries are $25 each.

Those with MRE membership may submit their first entry at no cost by picking up a discount code from the member’s page before making payment for the first contest entry. MRE Media or Student Membership must be active before this benefit is applicable.

The contest opens May 17. The deadline for all entries is June 14. Winners will be announced at the conclusion of judging, allowing adequate time for planning and attendance at the awards presentation held in October at the annual MRE conference in Washington, D.C.

The contest is accessible at the following url: https://www.mrecontest.org.


Awards and entry categories are grouped into four types of media: print, broadcast, visual and mixed. Military Reporters & Editors offers 16 different categories available for entry.

The “Breaking News” award is designated for a single report or series of reports that best exemplify breaking coverage of a major news event on deadline. The entry should be limited to the initial coverage in the immediate aftermath of a news event.

Article(s) must focus on the military, military affairs, troops and veterans or their families, or national security, defense or war.

One entry may include up to four different single breaking news articles by the same author(s) or up to four articles in one breaking news series submission.

  • Division 1
    • Media includes large news organizations with a national or international reach and a reporting staff of over 20 publication-wide.
    • These organizations include publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or The Washington Post, for example.
  • Division 2
    • Media includes news outlets and publications that deliver news to a local or regional community.
    • An example would be a local newspaper/website that covers a military base within its geographical focus.
  • Division 3
    • Media includes smaller news organizations with a reporting staff under 20.
    • This extends to digital publications including trade journals and webzines that appear on a regular schedule.

The “Enterprise” award is designated for a single piece or series of pieces. The work should contain numerous voices and sources of information/data that provide a deeper dive into a subject than a typical news story.

Article(s) must focus on the military, military affairs, troops and veterans or their families, or national security, defense or war.

One entry may include up to four different single enterprise articles by the same author(s) or up to four articles in one enterprise series submission.

  • Division 1
    • Media includes large news organizations with a national or international reach and a reporting staff of over 20 publication-wide.
    • These organizations include publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or The Washington Post, for example.
  • Division 2
    • Media includes news outlets and publications that deliver news to a local or regional community.
    • An example would be a local newspaper/website that covers a military base within its geographical focus.
  • Division 3
    • Media includes smaller news organizations with a reporting staff under 20.
    • This extends to digital publications including trade journals and webzines that appear on a regular schedule.

The “Investigative” award is designated for a single piece or series of pieces demonstrating in-depth, analytical skills, with information gathered over time. Judges will consider originality, use of public records if they apply, and outcomes of the investigation.

Article(s) must focus on the military, military affairs, troops and veterans or their families, or national security, defense or war.

One entry may include up to four different single investigative articles by the same author(s) or up to four articles in one investigative series submission, in the same division.

  • Division 1
    • Media includes large news organizations with a national or international reach and a reporting staff of over 20 publication-wide.
    • These organizations include publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal or The Washington Post, for example.
  • Division 2
    • Media includes news outlets and publications that deliver news to a local or regional community.
    • An example would be a local newspaper/website that covers a military base within its geographical focus.
  • Division 3
    • Media includes smaller news organizations with a reporting staff under 20.
    • This extends to digital publications including trade journals and webzines that appear on a regular schedule.

The “Commentary” award is designated for a columnist writing on a regular basis who demonstrates flair, deep understanding of the topics presented and the fundamentals of fair and accurate reporting.

Columns must focus on the military, military affairs, troops and veterans or their families, or national security, defense or war.

One entry should consist of five different columns.

This category is open to print journalists – across all divisions.

The “Broadcast News” award is designated for a television package, packages or newscast exhibiting high quality journalism, impact on the target audience and technical excellence.

Entry must focus on the military, military affairs, troops and veterans or their families, or national security, defense or war.

The entry must be 15 minutes or less.

  • Division 1 – TV National/International Market
    • Coverage by a national or international outlet or network, including partnerships between local stations and networks, where the network has significant editorial input into the story or series.
  • Division 2 – TV Local/Regional Market
    • Coverage by a local station, designed primarily for local or regional audience.

The “TV Documentary” award or “TV Docuseries” award is designated for a single telecast or series of telecasts designed around a single topic exhibiting high quality journalism, impact on the target audience and technical excellence.

Entry must focus on the military, military affairs, troops and veterans or their families, or national security, defense or war.

The entry should be edited to 30 minutes.

This category is open to broadcast journalists across all divisions.

The “Radio” award is designated for a single piece or a series of pieces on a single topic exhibiting high quality journalism, impact on the target audience and technical excellence.

Entry must focus on the military, military affairs, troops and veterans or their families, or national security, defense or war.

The entry must be 15 minutes or less.

The “Podcast” award is designated for an episode, a series of episodes, or season showcasing in-depth analysis and insights, educational conversations, high quality journalism, impact on the target audience and technical excellence.

Entry must focus on the military, military affairs, troops and veterans or their families, or national security, defense or war.

The entry should be no more than 30 minutes – it can include clearly audible edits.

The “Photojournalism” award is designated for one photograph or series of photographs displaying powerful imagery, impact on the community and technical expertise.

Photographs must focus on the military, military affairs, troops and veterans or their families, or national security, defense or war.

One entry may include up to five individual photographs by the same photographer or up to five images in one photographic series submission.

The “Student Project” award recognizes a student package or project that expertly uses print or digital storytelling to inform its audience regarding a specific story or topic.

Judges will consider the quality of the journalism, design, creative and appropriate uses of media, and the ways in which print, digital and mobile platforms are maximized to engage and inform audiences.

Entry must focus on the military, military affairs, troops and veterans or their families, or national security, defense or war.



This award honors Jim Crawley who was the chief military reporter at the San Diego Union-Tribune and later covered national security and veterans affairs for Media General News Service.

This year the James Crawley Award increases from a $100 prize to a $400 prize in recognition of Military Reporters & Editors’ 20th journalism contest.

Named after UPI combat correspondent and McClatchy Newspapers columnist, Joe Galloway, this award is for the Best of Show.

In celebration of its 20th award-year, Military Reporters & Editors is doubling the prize given to the winner of the Joseph Galloway Award for Distinguished Journalism from $500 to a $1,000 this year.