Nominations sought for 2021 Barbara Jordan Media Awards

January 05, 2021

AUSTIN – The Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities, in partnership with the Baylor University College of Arts and Sciences Journalism, Public Relations and New Media program, are now accepting nominations for the 2021 Barbara Jordan Media Awards, which seek to spotlight journalists who portray people with disabilities through a positive, person-centered lens.

Nominations will be accepted for outstanding media content created or published in 2020, with a Feb. 17 deadline set for submission, according to a release from the Office of the Texas Governor.

"Each year, the commission 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. The commission believes that journalists help shape our perceptions and thereby our culture; well-produced, creative stories illustrating people with disabilities as a person before all else benefits everyone," according to a release.
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, including Broadcast, Photojournalism, Print and College or High School Student. Winners are selected by a panel of professional journalists, people with disabilities, and disability services professionals. Self-nominations are welcome and encouraged in all categories.

The Barbara Jordan Media Awards are named in honor of the Houston native and U.S. congresswoman who changed the world, the release stated.

"Barbara Jordan was a trailblazer in her decades of devoted public service, and was known as a remarkable orator who broke barriers and built bridges. Among her many achievements, she was the first Black woman from the South elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, the first Black person elected to the Texas Senate since 1883 and the first Black person and first woman to deliver a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention," it stated. "Her legacy is that of a champion of human rights and dignity. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994, the nation's highest civilian honor. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1973, Jordan eventually began to use mobility aids. She passed away in 1996."

For more information, submission guidelines, and entry forms, please contact our office or visit the BJMA page at