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SPJ announces winners of the 2012 High School Essay Contest


For immediate release

Lauren Rochester, SPJ Awards Coordinator, 317-927-8000 ext. 210,
Abby Henkel, SPJ Communications Manager, 317-927-8000 ext. 215,

The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to announce three scholarship winners in the 2012 High School Essay Contest. Nearly 1,000 public, private and home-schooled students in grades 9-12 submitted essays on the topic “Why is it important that we have news media that are independent of the government?”

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, which took place in April. The national judges were from SPJ’s chapter at Ithaca College.

2012 High School Essay Contest Award Winners

First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner:
Hwasung (Daniel) Yoo of the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies in Richmond, Va.

Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner:
Niisackey Mills of South Plainfield High School in South Plainfield, N.J.

Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner:
Dustin Chandler of East Burke High School in Connelly Springs, N.C.

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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