The Hearst Journalism Awards Program, was founded in 1960, to provide support, encouragement, and assistance to journalism education at the college and university level. The program awards scholarships to students for outstanding performance in college-level journalism, with matching grants to the students' schools. The 54th annual program offering up to $500,000 in awards, consists of five monthly writing competitions, two photojournalism competitions, three broadcast news competitions (one in radio and two in television), and four multimedia competitions - with championship finals in all divisions.
Participation in the program is open to undergraduate journalism majors currently enrolled in ACEJMC - accredited domestic universities. An exception to the journalism major rule is made for students entering the photojournalism competitions. Entrants must be actively involved in campus media and must have published articles, photographs or produced newscasts or multimedia pieces that can be submitted in our writing, photojournalism, broadcast news and/or multimedia competitions. There are 14 journalism awards competitions throughout each school year—five writing, two photojournalism, one radio broadcast, two television broadcast, and four multimedia competitions. Each participating university is eligible to enter two separate students' entries per competition. Double bylines and/or group entries are not allowed except in the Team Multimedia Storytelling competition. The submission must have been disseminated – published, aired or posted – while the student was an undergraduate journalism major. An exception is made for photo entrants who do not have to be journalism majors to enter the photo competitions.