Barbara Demick and Orville Schell in conversation.

Shorenstein Journalism Award

Promoting excellence in journalistic coverage of the Asia-Pacific region

Award Nominations

Nominations for the 2019 Shorenstein Journalism Award are now closed. Stay tuned for our announcement of the 2019 honoree.

About the Shorenstein Journalism Award

The Shorenstein Journalism Award, which carries a cash prize of US $10,000, recognizes outstanding journalists who have spent their careers helping audiences around the world understand the complexities of the Asia-Pacific region, defined broadly to include Northeast, Southeast, South, and Central Asia and Australasia. Award recipients are veteran journalists with a distinguished body of work. News organizations are also eligible for the award.
The award is sponsored and presented by the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC) at Stanford University. It honors the legacy of the Center’s benefactor, Mr. Walter H. Shorenstein, and his twin passions for promoting excellence in journalism and understanding of Asia. It also symbolizes the Center’s commitment to journalism that persistently and courageously seeks accuracy, deep reporting, and nuanced coverage in an age when attacks are regularly launched on the independent news media, on fact-based truth, and on those who tell it.
An annual tradition, the Shorenstein Journalism Award alternates between recipients whose work has mostly been conveyed through American news media and recipients whose work has mostly been conveyed through news media in one or more parts of the Asia-Pacific region. Included among the latter candidates are journalists who are from the region and work there, and who, in addition to their recognized excellence, may have helped defend and encourage free media in one or more countries in the region.
The award day is held at Stanford in the Fall quarter. In addition to an acceptance speech at the award ceremony, the winner is expected to deliver a keynote address featured as part of a Shorenstein APARC-hosted public panel discussion on a topic relevant to his/her work.


Anna Fifield at a podium delivering acceptance speech at the 2018 Shorenstein Journalism Award ceremony.

Anna Fifield, 2018 Shorenstein Journalism Award winner, discusses how North Korea is, and isn’t, changing under Kim Jong Un

The Washington Post’s Anna Fifield is the recipient of the Shorenstein Award for her outstanding work covering the Koreas, Japan, and other parts of the Asia-Pacific.

Award Nominations and Procedures

Nominations for the 2019 Shorenstein Journalism Award are now closed. Information about nominations for next year's award will be posted in fall 2019.  
The Award Selection Committee accepts nominations from: editors, publishers, scholars, teachers, journalism-related associations, and entities focused on researching and interpreting the Asia-Pacific region. Self-nominations are NOT accepted.
To nominate a candidate for the award, please review the following guidelines and click the Submit a Nomination button below to enter your nomination via our online web form.
  • Candidates for the Shorenstein Journalism Award must be veteran journalists with an outstanding track record in covering the complexities of the Asia-Pacific region and whose body of work comes from outlets that publish regularly and adhere to the highest journalistic principles.
  • In 2019, the award will recognize a recipient who is from the Asia-Pacific region and whose work has mostly been conveyed through news media in one or more parts of the region. In addition to their recognized excellence, candidates for the award may be those who have helped defend and encourage free media in one or more countries in the region.
  • Both individual journalists and journalism organizations are eligible for the award.
  • A nominee’s body of work may cover any Asia-Pacific region, and may be in traditional forms of print or broadcast journalism and/or in new forms of multimedia journalism.
  • Questions regarding award nominations? Please contact us at


Complete List of Winners

2018 Anna Fifield
Beijing Bureau Chief, The Washington Post
2017 Siddharth Varadarajan
Founder and Editor, The Wire
2016 Ian Johnson
Author and frequent contributor to the New York Times, New York Review of Books, the New Yorker and National Geographic
2015 Yoichi Funabashi
Former Editor-in-Chief, Asahi Shimbun
2014 Jacob Schlesinger
Senior Asia Economics Correspondent and Central Banks Editors - Asia, the Wall Street Journal
2013 Aung Zaw
Founder and Editor, The Irrawaddy
2012 Barbara Demick
Beijing Bureau Chief, the Los Angeles Times
2011 Caixin Media
Independent, Beijing-based media company
2010 Barbara Crossette
Former Foreign Correspondent, the New York Times
2009 Seth Mydans
Southeast Asia Correspondent, the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune
2008 Ian Buruma
Writer and the Henry R. Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism, Bard College
2007 John Pomfret
Former Beijing Bureau Chief, the Washington Post
2006 Melinda Liu
Beijing Bureau Chief, Newsweek
2005 Nayan Chanda
Former Editor and Correspondent, the Far Eastern Economic Review
2004 Donald Oberdorfer
Former Diplomatic Correspondent, The Washington Post
2003 Orville Schell
Journalist and former Dean, School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley
2002 Stanley Karnow
Former foreign correspondent and Pulitzer-prize winning historian
Yoichi Funabashi at a panel with Susan Chira, Michael Armacost, and Daniel Sneider.

Journalism Across Asia

To mark the fifteenth anniversary of the Shorenstein Journalism Award, our award winners shared reflections on what the future holds for journalism in and about Asia.

History of the Shorenstein Journalism Award

The Shorenstein Journalism Award was established in 2002 and named after Mr. Walter H. Shorenstein, a visionary businessman, philanthropist, and activist who endowed two institutions that are focused respectively on Asia and on the press: the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC) in the Freeman Spogli Institute for international Studies at Stanford University, and the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
In its first years, the award was a joint effort of the two centers. It was originally designed to honor distinguished journalists at leading American media for their work on the Asia-Pacific. In 2010, Walter Shorenstein passed away and Stanford’s Shorenstein APARC became the sole sponsor of the award. The decision to continue the award was made not only to honor Mr. Shorenstein’s legacy, but also to acknowledge the necessity of free and vibrant media for the future of U.S.-Asia relations.
Shorenstein APARC then re-envisioned the award in recognition of the fact that the Asia-Pacific region had served as a crucible for the role of the press in democratization in places such as South Korea, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, and Indonesia. In 2011, the scope of the award was broadened to include distinguished journalists who are from and work in the Asia-Pacific at the forefront of the battle for press freedom, and who have helped advance mutual understanding between their home countries and the United States. It was also decided that, in addition to individuals, organizations would be eligible for the award.