Data-Driven Storytelling Award FAQ

The NIHCM Foundation Data-Driven Storytelling Award recognizes excellence in data-driven, online reporting that relies on elements such as strong graphics, charts, and/or interactive images to tell a story.

Please contact NIHCM if you have entry-specific questions or technical problems when using the online entry system. We can be reached from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM ET.

Why did you change the name of the award from Digital Media to Data-Driven Storytelling?

We changed the name of the award to better reflect shifts in journalism.

Who should apply in this category?

Entries will be accepted from print and online media outlets. Entries must rely on data elements or graphics.

If I do not meet these criteria, where should I submit?

Documentaries will be accepted in the Television and Audio category if they aired on the web in affiliation with a television or radio news organization, or through an online streaming platform

Investigative & General Reporting will accept stories that do not rely on data elements or graphics.

How does the awards entry system work?

Our awards entry system allows you to draft, edit, submit and monitor the status of your entries. You can log into the system and edit your entries as many times as necessary. Just be sure to click submit before the deadline. After the deadline the awards entry system will be closed to new submissions.

What will I need for the awards entry system?

  • contact information for the entrant and any co-contributors
  • basic citation information (i.e., when and where it was published)
  • names of any organizations providing financial support
  • brief summaries of the entry's relevance, influence and unique attributes of digital media
  • a static URL for each post (to remain active until after the awards ceremony)
  • contributor biographies – a short paragraph for each author is sufficient

Please contact Mikayla Thompson at if you are unable to submit any required documents.

Who is the entrant?

The entrant is the primary author and main contact for the entry. You must choose a single entrant, but you may credit co-authors as contributors. If the entry is chosen as a finalist, the entrant will be notified. The entrant must be authorized to enter the work on behalf of the publication and any co-authors.

How is the entrant information used?

The entrant may be asked to verify the citation of the entry for our finalist list. The entrant on a winning entry will determine how the prize is distributed.

Who is a co-contributor?

Any co-authors should be listed as co-contributors. It is common for there to be no co-contributors.

You can list up to four additional co-contributors in the entry form. If you need to include more than four co-contributors, please contact NIHCM.

How is co-contributor information used?

Contributors to an entry will be informed via email if the entry is chosen as a finalist. They will also be acknowledged in the finalist list and invited to our awards dinner.

What are the best practices for uploading biographies?

Contributor biographies may be included via link or .pdf:

  • Do not secure or password protect the .pdf in any way.
  • The .pdf extension must use lower case letters for our system to accept it.
  • Use only letters to define the name of the document (our system will not accept special characters such as & ' % #).
  • We recommend using Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat to create the .pdf. (Using a program such as Quark, Photoshop or InDesign to create the .pdf may cause compatibility issues.)
  • Use a unique file name for each .pdf uploaded.

What constitutes an entry?

An entry can be a single post. It can also be a series of posts as long as the posts are

  • linked by topic,
  • written by the same author or by a collaborative team of authors, and
  • published on the same website.

Each entry should include no more than four posts, which may be a sample of a more extensive published series. The judges may review additional posts at their discretion.

How many entries may an individual submit?

For the Digital Media Award, we will accept no more than two (2) entries per entrant.

What happens after an entry is submitted?

After you submit an entry, you will see the entry status on your Submission Dashboard change from "Draft" to "Submitted." You will also receive a confirmation email stating that the entry has been submitted. (The confirmation email will be sent to the entrant's email address.)

You will be able to edit your submitted application until the deadline.

The judges select finalists by mid March and all entrants will be notified of the finalist decision shortly thereafter. The winners will be selected by our judges in April and announced in a press release.

Is there an entry fee?

No, there is no fee to enter the awards competition.