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Student Journalist Impact Award

About the Award

The purpose of the Student Journalist Impact Award is to recognize a secondary school student (or a team of students who worked on the same entry) who, through the study and practice of journalism, has made a significant difference in his/her own life, the lives of others, the school he/she attends and/or the community in which he/she resides. (NOTE: This is not a scholarship competition. Do not send transcripts.)

This award was jointly conceived as a collaborative endeavor by the Journalism Education Association and the Kalos Kagathos Foundation. The award recognizes secondary school students who, through the practice of journalism, have made a significant difference in the lives of others.

Entry Criteria

  • Teachers/advisers may nominate students or students may nominate themselves for this award. (More than one student per entry per school is permissible.)
  • The entry must be that of a secondary school student(s) whose teacher/adviser is a JEA member at the time it was published, broadcast or created.
  • The entry must be original student work and must have been published within two years preceding the deadline. Date of publication/production must be indicated.
  • All entries in the competition shall become the property of JEA and will not be returned. By entering this competition, entrants give JEA permission to reproduce their work with appropriate attribution to the author(s).

Entry Should Include

  • Application form.
  • The article, series of articles (as it/they appeared in print), mounted on 8-1/2-by-11-inch white paper, or a DVD for mass communication media (radio, broadcast, video, etc.) that made the impact. Print articles larger than 8-1/2 by 11 should be reduced to fit on paper that size. Use one side of the sheet and leave at least one-fourth-inch margins. Do not fold or staple.
  • A narrative of at least 250 words explaining why the piece or series was produced and how the entry impacted the individuals, others, the school and/or community. Include, if any, media coverage that the entry generated in the community.
  • Three letters attesting to the impact of the work from the adviser, a school administrator, professional journalist and/or member of the community (parent, student, resident). The impact of the work, not the author(s), should be the focus.
  • If you choose to email your entry, put PDFs of all parts of the entry (application form, letters, printed article(s), essay) into one folder and identify the folder with the name of the award, the year and the student (or staff) name: Impact 2013_Joe Journalist OR Impact 2013_Lincoln HS News Staff.

Deadline

The entry must be received by March 15.

Past Recipients

2014

Winner
Derek Smith, Adviser
“Skyway is Ghetto” — Cleverly packaged with a provocative title (“Skyway is Ghetto”) and graphic “Post-it” notes to draw readers in, the staff of the Renton High School Arrow newsmagazine broke down perceptions of the neighborhood and challenged readers to see what is really there.

2013

Not awarded

2012

Winner
MavLife newspaper, La Costa Canyon High School, Carlsbad, Calif. 

Brenna Lyles, reporter; Suzi Van Steenbergen, adviser
Topic: Where student activity moneys come from, how they are spent and the rules governing the use of the fund, with special focus on the yearbook. Impact of the reporting: District instituted new policies and oversight to ensure the integrity of the funds.
Honorable Mention
The HUB newspaper, Davis (Calif.) High School
The HUB staff, reporters; Kelly Wilkerson, adviser
Topic: Campus police used pepper spray on peaceful demonstrators protesting the tuition hikes at University of California-Davis. Impact: The daily coverage posted on The HUB website received thousands of hits. HUB video was used by “Good Morning America” and “The Today Show.”

2011

Redwood Bark, Redwood High School in Larkspur, Calif.
Topic: Profiling of local teens by local police

2010

Not awarded

2009

Not awarded

2008

Viking sports magazine, Palo Alto HS, CA; Peter Johnson and Noah Sneider, co-editors-in-chief
Topic: Hazing and other initiations in sports at their school

2007

Not awarded

2006

Columbus North HS, IN
Topic: A story on oral sex and the casual attitude of youth toward the act caused school board members to consider changing the open forum status of the school’s media. The students fought for their rights and the board agreed to retain the open forum policy.

2005

Saint Albans HS, Washington, DC
Topic: Series on negative student behavior forces private school to re-examine adherence to founding values of honor and discipline.

2004

Not awarded

2003

JoAnna Marx, Lodi HS, WI
Topic: Low pay lowers morale; raises for some (administrators), cuts for others (support staff)

2002

Francine Martinez and Joey Willhite, Amos Alonzo Stagg HS, CA
Topic: School diversity. Journeys section in newspaper featured immigrants’ challenges in this school that went from majority white to majority minority.

2001

Lenora Jones and Heidi Visser, Apple Leaf, Wenatachee HS, WA
Topic: A series on Perceptions — stereotypes, peer pressures and outside looking in.

2000

Marina Hennessy, Avon HS, IN
Topic: Hazing at football camp

1999

Staffs of WBNC and Silver Chips, Montgomery Blair HS, MD
Topic: A coalition of students worked several years to reverse a school district policy that was repressive of free speech.

1998

Eric Drudis, Lynbrook HS, CA
Topic: Unknown

1997

All Cultural Achievement Plan Team, Davenport Central HS, IA
Topic: Staff wrote and showed leadership in creating the All Cultural Achievement Plan to improve education and racial harmony.

1996

Staffs of Shawnee Mission North HS and Olathe North HS, KS,
for North special issue
Topic: Two staffs created special issue to dispel rumors after a shooting left two teens dead and four injured. The fight began at a football game between the two schools.

1995

Staff of Featherduster, Westlake HS, TX
Topic: Stories about homosexuality in a diversity issue stirred up the administrators and community.

1994

Karen Abravanel, OR
Topic: Newspaper staff decided not to run an ad that was anti-Semitic. When Abravenel noticed a story in the New York Times about Brandeis University running the ad, she wrote a letter to the editor explaining why her school newspaper didn’t run the ad. Much commentary from the public followed.