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SPJ and JEA name winners of 2020 essay contest


Patricia Gallagher Newberry, SPJ National President, 513-702-4065, pattinewberryspj@gmail.com
Zoë Berg, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-920-4785, zberg@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS - The Society of Professional Journalists and the Journalism Education Association announce three scholarship winners in the 2020 SPJ/JEA High School Essay Contest.

More than 160 students participated in the nationwide contest, which was judged by 30 journalism educators from around the country.

Established in 1998, the contest is a project of both JEA and SPJ. The topic for the 2020 contest — “During a presidential election cycle, how can local journalism help foster more civil discussion in communities around politics and democracy?” — was selected by members of the Curriculum committee of JEA.

“Journalism is essential to keeping communities informed and holding those in power accountable. It is inspiring to see these young writers share such compelling thoughts on one of the fundamental roles of journalism. They are the future of journalism and the future looks bright,” SPJ National President Patricia Gallagher Newberry said. “Local journalism is more important than ever, and SPJ is excited to see so many high school students taking an interest in how to better community reporting.”

“Each year the SPJ/JEA High School Essay Contest showcases the incredible ability of young writers around the country, and this year was no exception. We received hundreds of entries, making the competition for the top three spots quite competitive. Our winners should feel a sense of accomplishment as their essays rose above a talented field of writers,” JEA Executive Director Kelly Glasscock, CJE, said.

2020 SPJ/JEA High School Essay Contest award winners:

— First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner:
Janet Chang, Newport High School — Bellevue, Washington

— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner:
Kiara Royer, Horace Mann School – Bronx, New York

— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner:
Jennifer Su, Plano West Senior High School – Plano, Texas

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.

Founded in 1924, the Journalism Education Association supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, by promoting professionalism, by encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and by fostering an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity. It is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. For further information about JEA, please visit www.jea.org.


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