Citizen Journalism Awards


Our friends at the Center for Responsive Politics are partnering with Helium to hold a contest for citizen journalists who can best write about the influence of money in US politics and elections. Here’s the run-down from CRP:

The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) has partnered with Helium to bring you the Citizen Journalism Awards. Compete by writing unique, compelling articles about money’s influence on US elections and public policy. You could be named the next Citizen Journalist and win a cash prize.

The assignment: CRP will feature one new title each month. Follow CRP’s article guidelines, research the featured topic using and other resources and write a compelling article for your chance to win.

The awards: CRP will pick one winning article each month. The winning writer will receive an Citizen Journalism Award and a $100 cash prize from CRP.

CRP will also feature the winning articles on its website and in its email newsletters, which reach thousands of journalists, activists, academics and citizens.

Get started

Pick a title: See CRP’s current contest title below. You can also visit CRP’s partner page at Helium to write to more (noncontest) titles.

Research: is an unparalleled resource for researching the influence of industries and interests in U.S. politics, and on issues that affect all our lives. The more you draw on in your article, the better. Please attribute all data and statistics and provide URLs, whether you find the information on or elsewhere. Expressing your opinion is fine, but please back it up with facts.

Write: Write a unique, well-researched article in 750 words or less. You can submit articles to this contest until noon on Friday, August 8. CRP’s staff will begin reviewing essays on August 5 from the top articles rated by the Helium community. Selection will be based on the most compelling essay and the winner will be the essay that brings the freshest insight on the issue presented.

Submit: File your article at, where other Helium users will be able to read and rate it. CRP will pick the contest’s winner from among the top-rated articles.

Do not pass go. Proceed directly to to enter the contest and collect your $100. The current contest topic is:

How have campaign contributions and lobbying efforts influenced policy on an issue you care about?

Submissions are due by August 8th.