Marquette College of Communication and ASNE establish O'Brien Fellowship Award for Impact in Public Service Journalism

MILWAUKEE – The J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication announced today that it is establishing the O'Brien Fellowship Award for Impact in Public Service Journalism – and that it would be bestowed as part of the annual awards competition of the American Society of News Editors.
Inspired by the Perry and Alicia O'Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism, the award aims to reward an individual or team whose work helps to solve a community or societal issue, and leads to changes in laws, regulations or other demonstrated results. The winning entry will earn a $2,500 prize.

The winning individual or team would also visit Marquette for a symposium and related events, to share their expertise with students and faculty and show how they produced their award-winning journalism.

ASNE will govern the O'Brien Fellowship Award as part of its annual journalism awards competition. The ASNE Awards are open to all news websites, news services and newspapers in the U.S. 

Recognizing journalism published – and subsequent impact acknowledged – between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2016, the inaugural O'Brien award will be announced in the spring, and presented at ASNE's joint conference with the Associated Press Managing Editors (APME) in Washington, D.C. in October 2017.

“This partnership between the O'Brien Fellowship and ASNE is good for Marquette, for the industry and especially for a citizenry that needs a renewed emphasis on journalism that improves our democracy,” said Dr. Kimo Ah Yun, dean of the College of Communication. “To have each year the winning journalist or team of journalists visit our college and campus to meet with students and faculty will be a bonus.”

ASNE is pleased to help recognize journalism that changes communities and lives for the better, said its president, Mizell Stewart III, vice president for news operations at Gannett and the USA TODAY Network. 

“We are confident the O'Brien Fellowship Award for Impact in Public Service Journalism will inspire news organizations to explore creative ways to devote the time and resources necessary to do this important work,” Stewart said. “We want to recognize work that doesn't just highlight problems, but achieves solutions – journalism that has a demonstrated, tangible impact.”  

About the O'Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism

The O'Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism enables journalists to spend nine months at Marquette researching, reporting and writing the stories they care most deeply about — and to help mentor the next generation of journalists. The deadline for applications for the program's 2017-18 fellowships is Jan. 27. Learn more at

About the American Society of News Editors
The American Society of News Editors is dedicated to the leadership of American journalism. It is committed to fostering the public discourse essential to democracy; helping editors maintain the highest standards of quality, improve their craft and better serve their communities; and preserving and promoting core journalistic values while embracing and exploring change. Learn more at