2016 Bastiat Prize for Journalism


Journalists, bloggers and writers are invited to enter their work in the 2016 Bastiat Prize for Journalism.

On November 16, Reason Foundation will award $16,000 in prizes to the entrants whose writing best explains and elucidates the importance of freedom with originality, wit, and eloquence. First Prize receives $10,000.

The prize is named after Frédéric Bastiat, whose brilliant, witty essays explained, "The solution to the problems of human relationships is to be found in liberty."

Established in 2002 by International Policy Network, the Bastiat Prize is now in its 15th year. Entries will be accepted from June 30 to July 31, 2016. Entries are judged on their originality, wit and elegance, and pertinence to current events. Click here for the entry form

Previous Bastiat Prize winners include Lane Filler, Ross Clark, Virginia Postrel, Anne Jolis, Tom Easton, Bret Stephens, John Hasnas, A. Barton Hinkle, Amit Varma, Jamie Whyte, Tim Harford, Mary O'Grady, Robert Guest, Brian Carney, Sauvik Chakraverti and Amity Shlaes

Entry Rules for 2016 Bastiat Prize

Entry Form

  • Entries will be accepted from June 30 to July 31, 2016. Entries must be received on or before July 31, 2016.
  • The Bastiat Prize for Journalism ("BPJ") is open to all writers, anywhere in the world; writers need not be full time journalists or associated with any specific publication.
  • The total prize fund is $16,000, divided between first ($10,000), second ($5,000) and third ($1,000) prize winners.
  • Entrants must submit their entries through the online entry form on Reason's website.
  • All articles entered for the BPJ must have been published in print or online (or both).
  • Articles may comprise or include the transcript of a radio or television broadcast if that transcript has been published in print or online.
  • In the case of a question about the legitimacy of an article, the author will be consulted and a final decision will be made by Reason Foundation.
  • Entries must comprise between one and three articles.
  • Entries must not exceed 5,000 words in total.
  • Articles must have been published in English.
  • Articles must have been published for the first time between June 30, 2015 and July 31, 2016.
  • Entries must state clearly the name of the publication where each article appeared and the date each article was published.
  • Consideration will be given to the articles on the following criteria: intellectual coherence; persuasiveness; wit and creativity; relevance; clarity and simplicity; wider impact.
  • Authors must nominate themselves, although submissions may be made by an assistant on the author's behalf with his/her consent.
  • If some or all articles are available to view online, entrants are encouraged to provide a URL for the articles.
  • In all cases, an electronic copy of each article (in either .txt, .rtf, or .pdf format) must be uploaded through the submission form. If you encounter problems with the form, then these should be emailed to bastiatprize@reason.org.
  • The finalists' articles will be sent to the judges, a list of which will be made available on Reason's website.
  • The decision of the judges and Reason Foundation will be final.
  • Finalists will be invited to a prize dinner in New York City on November 16, 2016. (While attendance is encouraged, it is not obligatory to receive the prize.)
  • The following individuals and their immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children), significant others, and household members are not eligible to enter the Bastiat Prize for Journalism: First Prize winners of the Bastiat Prize of Journalism from the past three years; Directors, staff, and regular columnists of Reason Foundation; current Judges of the Bastiat Prize.
  • Articles commissioned, edited and/or placed by Reason Foundation are not eligible for the BPJ.
  • Articles published exclusively by Reason Foundation are not eligible for the BPJ.

Reason Foundation reserves the right to clarify and/or modify these rules as needed. Entrants will be notified of any changes to the rules.

Previous Winners of the Bastiat Prize


  • First Place: Amit Varma, Author and Blogger, India Uncut
  • Second Place: Jim Bovard, Journalist/Author
  • Second Place: Robert Robb, Arizona Republic


  • First Place: Robert Graboyes, Mercatus Center
  • Second Place: Adam Creighton, The Australian
  • Second Place: Jeff Jacoby, The Boston Globe


  • First Place: Ross Clark of The Times and The Spectator
  • First Place: Lane Filler, Newsday
  • Third Place: Dhiraj Nayyar, India Today


  • First Place: Anne Jolis, The Wall Street Journal Europe
  • Second Place: John Robson, The Ottawa Sun
  • Third Place: Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist


  • First Place: Tom Easton, The Economist
  • First Place: Virginia Postrel, Bloomberg News
  • Second Place: Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe
  • Third Place: Salil Tripathi


  • First Place: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal
  • Second Place: Tim Harford, Financial Times
  • Second Place: Jamie Whyte, freelance
  • Bastiat Prize for Online Journalism: James Delingpole, Telegraph.co.uk


  • First Place: John Hasnas, "The 'Unseen' Deserve Empathy, Too", The Wall Street Journal
  • Second Place: Robert Guest, The Economist
  • Third place: Robert Robb, The Arizona Republic
  • Bastiat Prize for Online Journalism: Daniel Hannan, Daily Telegraph (UK), and Shikha Dalmia, Reason Foundation


  • First Place: Barton Hinkle, Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • Second Place: Swaminathan Aiyar
  • Third Place: Fraser Nelson


  • First Place: Amit Varma, Mint
  • Second Place: Clive Crook, The Atlantic Monthly
  • Third Place: Jonah Goldberg, National Review


  • First Place: Tim Harford, Financial Times (UK)
  • Second Place: Jamie Whyte, a freelance writer published in The Times (London)
  • Third Place: Rakesh Wadhwa, a freelance writer published in The Himalayan Times (Nepal)


  • First Place: Mary Anastasia O'Grady, The Wall Street Journal
  • Second Place: George Kerevan, The Scotsman (UK)
  • Honorable Mention: Allister Heath, The Business (UK)


  • First Place: Robert Guest, The Economist 
  • Second Place: John Stossel, ABC News 20/20
  • Honorable Mention: Munir Attaullah, Daily Times (Pakistan)


  • First Place: Brian Carney, The Wall Street Journal Europe
  • Second Place: Stephen Pollard, The Centre for the New Europe 
  • Honorable Mention: Rakesh Wadhwa, The Himalayan Times


  • First Place: Amity Shlaes, Financial Times
  • First Place: Sauvik Chakraverti, Economic Times
  • Honorable Mention: Robert L. Pollock (The Wall Street Journal)

Past Bastiat Prize Judges Include:

  • Scott Banister, Internet entrepreneur
  • Robert L. Bartley, Wall Street Journal editorial page 
  • James Buchanan Jr., Nobel Laureate in Economics 
  • Brian Carney, former editorial page editor, Wall Street Journal Europe
  • Edward H. Crane III, founder and president emeritus, Cato Institute
  • Clive Crook, journalist and former deputy editor, The Economist
  • Gucharan Das, author and commentator
  • Hernando de Soto, author, The Mystery of Capital; president, Institute for Liberty and Democracy, Peru
  • Esther Dyson, founder, 23andme
  • Richard Fisher, president and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
  • Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief, Forbes Media
  • Milton Friedman, Nobel Laureate in Economics 
  • Hon. Douglas Ginsburg, US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit
  • A. Barton Hinkle, columnist, Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • Charles Kadlec founder, Community of Liberty
  • Lord Kalms of Edgware, life president and former chairman, Dixons PLC
  • Terence Kealey, vice-chancellor, University of Buckingham
  • Dominic Lawson, journalist
  • Lord Lawson of Blaby, UK House of Lords
  • Megan McArdle, columnist, Daily Beast
  • Mike Moore, former director of the World Trade Organization
  • Judge Andrew Napolitano, senior judicial analyst, Fox News Channel
  • James Piereson, senior fellow, Manhattan Institute, and president, William E. Simon Foundation
  • Virginia Postrel, author and columnist, Bloomberg View
  • Hon. Ruth Richardson, former finance minister of New Zealand
  • Matt Ridley, author and journalist
  • Russ Roberts, professor, George Mason University
  • Louis Rossetto, co-founder, Wired
  • Mohit Satyanand, entrepreneur
  • Carl Schramm, former president and CEO of Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  • Amity Shlaes, columnist, Bloomberg View
  • Russ Smith, founder, Washington City Paper and New York Press
  • John Stossel, broadcast journalist, Fox Business/Fox News
  • Baroness Margaret Thatcher, prime minister of the United Kingdom
  • John Tierney, columnist, The New York Times
  • Amit Varma, India Uncut
  • Jimmy Wales, internet entrepreneur; Wikimedia Foundation
  • Jamie Whyte, author, Crimes Against Logic and IEA Fellow