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SPJ honors Michael Auslen with Robert D.G. Lewis First Amendment Award



Chad Hosier, SPJ Awards Coordinator, 317-927-8000 ext. 210, chosier@spj.org
Ellen Kobe, SPJ Communications Coordinator, 317-927-8000 ext. 205, ekobe@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists is pleased to award Indiana University student Michael Auslen with the Robert D.G. Lewis First Amendment Award. The award honors a student SPJ member who has demonstrated outstanding service to the First Amendment through the field of journalism.

During his time as editor-in-chief of the Indiana Daily Student, Auslen showed his commitment to educating fellow student journalists about the importance of First Amendment rights. When he took the reins in January, his goal was to include more watchdog reporting in the student newspaper. Auslen established an investigations team, which wrote six stories during the semester, including a four-part series about ethnic diversity at IU. Through his efforts, many staffers gained interest in writing investigative stories, the university administration was reminded of their right to free press, and the team has carried on through the following semesters.

In addition to holding multiple beat reporting and editor positions at the IDS, Michael has interned at Mile High Newspapers, the Loveland Reporter-Herald and Dow Jones Newswires. He has also served as an executive board member of IU’s SPJ chapter.

“The great value of SPJ for student journalists is that it provides a forum for us to learn what we aren’t being taught in the classroom,” Auslen wrote in his application essay. “I hope to seek out those skill sets that are missing from my toolbox, hopefully expanding at the same time my chops in investigative and political reporting.”

Auslen will be recognized at the Student Union held during the 2013 Excellence in Journalism Conference in Southern California.

For more information on all of SPJ’s awards, including the Robert D.G. Lewis Award, click here.

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 protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, please visit www.spj.org.


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