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    The Defense Media Awards program honors excellence among military and civilian broadcasters, graphic artists, journalists, photographers, public affairs practitioners, mass communication specialists and videographers. It also fosters an environment of innovation and growth, leading to more effective communication programs.

    The annual awards program was developed by a multi-Service working group of public affairs and visual information representatives during the spring and summer of 2016. It replaced the Thomas Jefferson (TJ) Awards program, Visual Information Awards Program (VIAP), and VI Production Awards (VIPA) program. The working group identified and validated the most essential elements of the three programs and incorporated them into one unified Defense media awards program.

    No one enters the Defense Media Awards competition directly. Only those Service members who enter and win their respective Service competition are eligible. This is also the case for U.S. government civilian employees assigned to an Air Force, Army, Coast Guard or Marine Corps organization.

    U.S. government civilian employees assigned to defense agencies, DoD field activities and the combatant commands must first enter and win in the Defense Media Merit Awards (DMMA) competition to enter the Defense Media Awards competition.

    Competitors who are not sure which competition to enter, should first contact their respect Service contest coordinator for help. Eligibility information is also available in the media awards rules for each competition.