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Home > SPJ News > SPJ announces the winners of the 2010 High School Essay Contest

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SPJ announces the winners of the 2010 High School Essay Contest



For Immediate Release

Lauren Rochester, Awards Coordinator, 317-927-8000 ext. 210,

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce three scholarship winners in the 2010 High School Essay Contest. Hundreds of public, private and home-schooled students in grades 9-12 submitted essays on the topic, “Why Are Free and Independent News Media Important?”

Professional and student SPJ chapters served as judges for the local round of the contest. First place local recipients advanced to the national round of judging that took place in April. The national judges were from SPJ’s Western Washington Pro Chapter.

2010 High School Essay Contest Award Winners:

First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner:
Erin McDonough of Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va.

Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner:
Shaj Mathew of Huntingtown High School in Huntingtown, Md.

Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner:
Xiaonan “April” Hu of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va.

Complete details about the High School Essay Contest are here.

The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry, works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists, and works to protect the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For further information about SPJ, please visit


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