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SPJ/JEA announce High School Essay Contest winners


Rebecca Aguilar, SPJ National President, 317-361-4134, rebeccaaguilar50@gmail.com
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Director of Communications and Marketing, 317-361-4134, jroyer@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists and Journalism Education Association announce three scholarship winners in the 2022 SPJ/JEA High School Essay Contest.

More than 115 students participated in the nationwide contest, which was judged by 10 journalism educators from around the country.

“Congratulations to the three essay winners. And our gratitude also goes to the other essayists and the judges for their time and efforts,” said SPJ National President Rebecca Aguilar. “The voices of today’s generation of high school students are important because they are the truth seekers the public will count on in the future. While they have tools like social media to bring all voices to the table, the essays prove they know they have a responsibility to be ethical and responsible.”

Established in 1998, the contest is a project of JEA and SPJ. The topic for the 2022 contest — “How can student journalists use social media for free speech and amplifying voices, but still ensure ethical and responsible use of the platforms?” — was selected by members of JEA’s Scholastic Journalism Week committee.

“The quality of essays that students submit to this contest never cease to amaze me,” JEA Executive Director Kelly Glasscock, CJE, said. “They understood the importance of free speech as a fundamental freedom and how that interacts with the practice of media literacy for youth media creators. The judges had their hands full when choosing this year’s winning essays.”

The 2022 SPJ/JEA High School Essay Contest winners are:

— First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner: Mariam Baldwin, St. Vincent Pallotti High School, Laurel, Maryland
— Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner: Grace Holst, Durango (Colorado) High School
— Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner: Anjali Suva, Oxford Academy, Cypress, California

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, JEA supports free and responsible scholastic journalism by providing resources and educational opportunities, promoting professionalism, encouraging and rewarding student excellence and teacher achievement, and an atmosphere which encompasses diversity yet builds unity. It is headquartered at Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas.


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