Malone’s poster design to represent Scholastic Journalism Week 2024

Malone’s poster design to represent Scholastic Journalism Week 2024

By Lindsay Porter, CJE, JEA assistant director

A graphic design from Meh’Quira Malone, senior at Sparkman High School, in Harvest Alabama, was selected to represent Scholastic Journalism Week 2024 happening Feb. 19-23, 2024.

“The theme is “Here To Stay,” which focuses on the history of scholastic journalism and the legacy of the Journalism Education Association during its 100th year,” Scholastic Journalism Week Coordinator PJ Cabrera, CJE, said. “Journalism is here to stay!”

The student poster design contest began last year after the Scholastic Journalism Week committee was inspired by the Fiesta (San Antonio) commemorative posters and wanted to start a similar tradition for Scholastic Journalism Week.

Twenty-seven students submitted poster designs this spring. The Scholastic Journalism Week committee completed several rounds of voting to present three options to the scholastic journalism community for public voting.

The three finalist poster designs were submitted by Malone; Alyssa Wu of Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, California, and Valerie Shu of Lynbrook High School in San Jose, California.

“My adviser brought the poster design contest to my attention,” Malone said. “Being more involved in design during my junior year — particularly with the magazine — I saw this as a fun opportunity to test my skills and see if I could make it through the rounds and, hopefully, win. It was an exciting experience for me.”

Community voting took place this fall with 815 responses. Malone’s design received 56.4% of the votes. Her design will be featured on the 2024 Scholastic Journalism Week poster, as well as other online branding for the event.

“When I began planning my poster design, my main objective was to convey a sense of unity among journalists, standing together united,” she said. “In my poster, I wanted to capture the idea that they are here to stay, ready to face any challenges thrown their way. As the rise of AI leads to the use of automated article writing, I aimed to emphasize the real people behind these stories, without relying heavily on showcasing technology.”

Scholastic Journalism Week posters were mailed to JEA members in early November — packaged with the winter issue of Communication: Journalism Education Today magazine. Additional copies may be purchased from the JEA Store. 

“I’m thrilled that my poster will be displayed in classrooms for Scholastic Journalism Week,” Malone said. “It’s a big moment for me, not only because of the recognition but also because it presents an opportunity to connect with people. Words can’t fully express the excitement and thoughts that raced through my mind when I found out I won.”

About Meh’Quira Malone

Malone said she accidentally enrolled in the journalism class during her sophomore year.  

“I decided to stick with it and give it a try since I’m always open to new experiences,” she said. “My first writing opportunity was about my teacher, who provided free health care to underprivileged communities. From there, I continued looking for heart-felt stories and had the chance to interview the mother of Aniah Blanchard about Aniah’s Law. The more I wrote, the more I fell in love with journalism. I also began taking photographs for journalism, which beautifully merged my passions for sports, photography and writing.”

Malone plans to attend the University of West Alabama pursing a degree in integrated marketing communication with a focus in sports communications.

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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