Texas GCPD Seeks Nominations For BJMA

Governor’s Committee On People With Disabilities Seeks Nominations For The 2022 Barbara Jordan Media Awards

AustinTX (STL.News) Governor Greg Abbott‘s Committee on People with Disabilities (GCPD), in partnership with The University of Texas at Arlington’s Department of Communication and the Disability Studies Minor in the College of Liberal Arts, are now accepting nominations for the 2022 Barbara Jordan Media Awards (BJMA).  These awards seek to spotlight journalists who portray people with disabilities through a positive, person-centered lens.  GCPD is accepting nominations for outstanding media content created or published in 2021.  The deadline for submissions is February 23rd, 2022.

Each year, GCPD accepts nominations for media professionals and students who have produced media covering the lived experience of people with disabilities.  Award-winning works use accurate and positive reporting, respectfully depict people with disabilities, and use people-first language or identity-first language.  For a better idea of what this looks like, check out the previous winners listed on GCPD’s website.

Elements in past winning entries include:
• Portraying people with disabilities as independent and productive
• Focusing on stories about people first and disability second
• Using people with disabilities as sources, rather than as examples
• Placing coverage in appropriate subject area (e.g. sports covered in sports section)

Awards are presented in several different categories:
• Broadcast (audio or video)
• Print
• Photojournalism
• Book
• Student (college or high school)

Winners are selected by a panel of professional journalists, people with disabilities, and disability studies scholars.  Self-nominations are welcome and encouraged in all categories.  For more information, submission guidelines, and entry forms, please contact our office or visit the BJMA page on the GCPD’s website.

The Barbara Jordan Media Awards are named in honor of the Houston native and U.S. congresswoman who gained recognition and a place of honor in history.  She was known as a remarkable orator who broke barriers and built bridges. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and served for one day in 1972 as the Governor of Texas (both Governor Preston Smith and Lt. Governor Ben Barnes were out of state).  In 1973, Jordan was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and eventually began to use a cane and then a wheelchair.  Barbara Jordan passed away in 1996.

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