Groups announce award to recognize courageous high school journalist, school administrator

Two national journalism education organizations and a museumdedicated to news have announced that beginning this year, theywill co-sponsor two $5,000 awards to recognize those who demonstrateoutstanding support for student press freedom

The Student Press Law Center, the Newseum, and National ScholasticPress Association will give the Courage in Student JournalismAwards to a middle or high school student and to a school administratorwho have stood in support of the First Amendment. Both awardswill recognize those who have faced adversity in their defenseof a free student press.

Each of the organizations has given a similar award to studentjournalists in the past. Since 1984, the SPLC and NSPA have givenan annual award to a student or student news medium that has demonstratedoutstanding support for the free press rights of students. Since1998, the Newseum has recognized a student journalist and a schooladministrator for their efforts on behalf of press freedom.

The three organizations will join this fall to present thenew awards at the fall National Scholastic Press Association/JournalismEducation Association convention (this year to be held in BostonNovember 8-11). Both the student and administrator award winnerswill receive $5,000 as well as airfare and hotel accommodationsfor the convention.

Nominations for the award will be accepted until June 1 ofeach year.

"This is one of the largest non-scholarship awards tobe given to a student journalist, and I think it is only appropriatethat it recognizes support of the First Amendment," saidSPLC Executive Director Mark Goodman. "The SPLC is veryexcited to be a part of this project at a time when a growingnumber of students are demonstrating how much courage it takesto stand up for press freedom. We also hope to make more schooladministrators realize how much we appreciate it when they supportan uncensored student press."

Tom Rolnicki, executive director of the NSPA, said the awardcreates awareness among students that if they fight attempts tocensor their work there is someone who can help them.

"Students need to know that they have advocates at a nationaljournalism organization who are ready to support their struggles,"Rolnicki said.

Newseum Education Director Leonard Hall said the Newseum isa sponsor of the Courage in Student Journalism Award in orderto recognize the role that an active student press plays in oursociety.

"By supporting scholastic journalism and rewardingthe young people who defend their First Amendment rights at studentpublications across the country we hope to inspire otheryoung people to pursue that route and display the same courage,"he said.


For further information contact:

Mark Goodman, Executive DirectorStudent Press Law Center(703) 807-1904

Leonard Hall, Education DirectorNewseum(703) 284-3716

Tom Rolnicki, Executive DirectorNational Scholastic Press Association(612) 625-8335


Courage in Student Journalism Awards

Sponsored byNewseum * Student Press Law Center * National ScholasticPress Association

The Newseum, the interactive museum of news in Arlington,Va., has joined forces with the Student Press Law Center and the National Scholastic Press Association to present the Courage in Student Journalism Awards for 2001.

Two awards will be presented. The awards go to a deservingmiddle- or high school journalist and a school administratorwho have stood in support of the First Amendment. (The studentjournalist and administrator need not be from the same school.)

  • The first $5,000 award is presented to a student journalistwho has shown determination, despite difficulty and resistance,in lawfully exercising his or her First Amendment press rights.
  • A second $5,000 award is presented to a school administratorwho has demonstrated support, under difficult circumstances,for the First Amendment press rights of his or her school’s studentmedia.

To enter: Entrants should submit a written description(not to exceed 600 words) of how their cases meet the entry criteria,along with any relevant supporting materials or press clips andtwo letters of support.

Deadline for entries: Entries must be postmarked byFriday, June 15, 2001.

Presentation of awards: Winners will be recognized duringa ceremony at the Journalism Education Association/ National ScholasticPress Association (JEA/NSPA) convention in Boston on Saturday,Nov. 10, 2001. The Newseum will provide travel and lodging forwinners.

Submit materials to:Leonard HallNewseum Education Director1101 Wilson Blvd.Arlington, VA 22209Phone: 703/284-3716; Fax: 703/522-4831E-mail: