Yuxing Zheng named 2003 Student Journalist of the Year
RELEASED APRIL 2003
Born in China, Yuxing brings diversity awareness to the forefront as she has struggled to learn her second language, English, and maintain the number one position in her class of 218 students with a 4.0 average.
Yuxing has learned that even high school journalists can work in the professional world. Her journalism adviser says this about Yuxing. “Separated from her parents for most of her childhood when they immigrated to the United States, Yuxing remained in China and developed an independent spirit.” Once she came to the U. S., Yuxing met the challenge to learn English, but that was not her only barrier. “She has endured racial and religious prejudice in the Albany community yet, she never let any of these incidents prevent her from reaching her highest potential. She has an inner drive and resiliency that few people possess.”
Besides editing her high school newspaper, Sentry, and single-handedly resurrecting her school’s literary magazine, Silver Signature, she also works as a reporter for the Albany Democrat Herald and has written more than 20 commentary and feature stories for The Oregonian, in Portland Ore. David Austin, of The Oregonian, said he believes Yuxing Zheng “is by far the most talented, hard-working and dedicated high school student I have ever worked with. Frankly, some day I hope she will become my boss.’’
She has covered hard-hitting issues including alternative religious groups, teen depression, and invasion of privacy by the FBI with the controversial “Carnivore”, an e-mail snooping software. Her understanding of the implications of using such software challenged readers to protest its implementation based on violations of free speech and unconstitutional search and seizure of intellectual property. She also worked with four other staffers to challenge censorship at her school last year when administrators removed the book Kaffir Boy from the English curriculum.
To Yuxing, journalism is all about the stories behind the stories, the issues behind the issues and the people behind the photos. She is definitely going to give Barbara Walters a run for her money.
For these journalistic efforts, the Journalism Education Association is pleased to honor Yuxing Zheng as the 2003 National Student Journalist of the Year.