By Lisa Diethelm
Paul B. Anderson, the principal & CEO of Workhouse Media of Seattle, Washington, has established The Shaufler Prize in Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
The annual prizes will recognize the best journalism writing in the country which advances the understanding of stories and issues related to marginalized people in society, such as communities of color, immigrants and LGBTQ+.
“I think that great storytelling, particularly storytelling around real human experiences, gives us a chance to learn about things that aren’t native to our own existence,” says Anderson. “Great journalism provides a window to people’s lives that I hope can make us end up a little bit more empathetic with each other.”
Anderson established the prize to honor his late friend, Ed Shaufler , who died in late 2020. Shaufler cared deeply about promoting understanding of underrepresented people. “Ed was a great observer of human behavior, both individually and in groups,” says Anderson. “He and I spent years just talking about journalism and stories and society. Ed loved that intellectual engagement around journalism, and I thought we should put his name to something that may have immediate and lasting impact for a journalist.”
Anderson’s gift will support a total of four awards for The Shaufler Prize. First-, second- and third-place awards will honor work by professional journalists, and another prize will honor the work of a student enrolled at an accredited journalism program in the U.S. The cash prizes are: professional first place, $10,000; professional second place, $3,000; professional third place, $2,000 and student prize, $5,000. The first awards will be given in spring 2022.
Anderson says he hopes the contest will encourage the kind of in-depth coverage that he and Ed loved to talk about, “and propel the world forward in ways that we can all grow as a society.”
“Competition of ideas is not limited to geography; competition of ideas is limited only by one’s imagination and brain space,” he said. “So we have opened the prize to accredited schools across the country, and to all professional journalists.”
Lindsay Walker, director of development at Cronkite, said the creation of The Shaufler Prize “will help shine a much-needed light on the critical role that in-depth reporting plays in telling the important and oftentimes unheard stories of people from diverse communities. All of us at Cronkite extend deep gratitude to Paul for his generosity and partnership in making this national journalism contest at Cronkite a reality.”
This is not the first time Anderson has contributed to ASU. In 2010, after the passing of Shaufler’s partner Mark Bowland, Anderson and Shaufler created the Mark Bowland Leadership Fund, the first LGBTQ-focused scholarship program at ASU.
The Cronkite School manages two other annual national journalism contests: the Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability and the Barlett & Steele Awards, which recognize the best investigative business reporting.