SPJ and JEA name winners of 2021 essay contest

SPJ and JEA name winners of 2021 essay contest

The Journalism Education Association and the Society of Professional Journalists announce three scholarship winners in the 2021 SPJ/JEA High School Essay Contest. 

More than 275 students participated in the nationwide contest, which was judged by 21 journalism educators from around the country. 

Established in 1998, the contest is a project of JEA and SPJ. The topic for the 2021 contest — “Why must journalists strive to improve diversity and representation in both their coverage and in their newsrooms, and how might this happen?” — was selected by members of JEA’s Scholastic Journalism Week committee.

“On behalf of SPJ, I’d like to congratulate the three winners and thank all of the judges and essayists involved in this,” SPJ National President Matthew T. Hall said. “Their collective efforts have shown the sheer importance of diversity and inclusion in newsrooms and news coverage. These essays are a great reminder why we need to keep advocating for better representation in stories and staffing year in and year out. These essays are how we make journalism better.”  

“This year’s essay prompt was not only timely and relevant, but a topic that these young writers showed a passion for,” JEA Executive Director Kelly Glasscock, CJE, said. “I was inspired by their thoughtful perspective on the value of diversity and representation in all aspects of media and beyond.  

2021 SPJ/JEA High School Essay Contest winners

First Place, $1,000 Scholarship Winner

Hyungsoon Henry Kim, St. Paul’s School — Concord, New Hampshire

Second Place, $500 Scholarship Winner

Qingyang Li, Friendswood High School – Friendswood, Texas

Third Place, $300 Scholarship Winner

Erin Stoeckig, Mayo High School – Rochester, Minnesota

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.

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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