In 1994, ASCE established the Excellence in Journalism Award to honor newspaper journalists for outstanding articles that enhance public understanding of the role and impact of civil engineering in designing solutions for clean water, transportation, the environment, and other public works projects. In 2006, the award was expanded to include journalists and producers from English-language, general-interest regional and national newspapers, radio and television stations, magazines, and electronic and Web-based news outlets.
The news media wield tremendous impact on public opinion about civil engineers and civil-engineering-related issues. For example, news coverage can influence vital infrastructure legislation, licensing laws and building codes. Coverage also can affect talented young people's decisions to pursue careers in civil engineering.
Through this annual national award, ASCE hopes to encourage continued coverage of civil engineering and related issues as a means of engaging the public in civil engineering initiatives impacting their community.