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The Neal Conan Prize for Excellence in Journalism

Awarded to a journalist who who embodies the talent, drive and values that Neal brought to his work.

Prize Overview

In Honor of Neal Conan

The Neal Conan Prize for Excellence in Journalism is an annual prize awarded to a mid-career journalist doing extraordinary work in the spirit of the public good. The Prize was established in 2023 by friends to honor the legacy of Neal Conan, the American radio journalist who spent nearly four decades
at NPR .

An Annual Prize Award

In honor of Neal, an unrestricted $50,000 prize will be awarded to a journalist  who embodies the talent, drive and values that Neal brought to his work: a commitment to excellence in the craft, a nuanced understanding of global issues, a belief in the power of creative storytelling, a dedication to public service and courage in the pursuit of truth.  

How the Winner is Chosen

The winner is chosen by an Advisory Committee, which includes friends from Neal’s life who each have a deep connection to his legacy as well as individuals with experience and expertise in the field of journalism. The  Committee sources nominations based on the prize’s criteria and considers  journalists working in print, online, radio and broadcast from every region of the world.


In Honor of Neal Conan


Neal J. Conan

was a significant contributor to the creation of the United States’ public radio system, serving as a radio journalist, producer, correspondent, and program host at National Public Radio (NPR) for nearly four decades. During Neal’s long tenure at NPR, he was a senior host of “Talk of the Nation,” a producer of  “All Things Considered,” a bureau chief in New York and London, and he also worked at the NPR headquarters as an executive producer, foreign editor, correspondent, managing editor, and news director. 

2023 Prize Winner

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Jane Ferguson

is an Irish-British journalist covering war, politics and US foreign policy. She is currently a special correspondent for PBS NewsHour, contributor to The New Yorker, and a professor of journalism at Princeton University. Among other honors, Jane has received a George Polk Award for Foreign Television Reporting and an Emmy Award for News and Documentary. Additionally, she has been nominated for a Peabody Award, and shortlisted for a Livingston Award. 

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“Go and tell me the stories behind everything that happened in the world today. Explain why it happened, and how it affects our lives. Do it every day. Tell me what's important, and don't waste my time with stupid stuff..”

― Neal Conan 

(on his final NPR sign off)

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