Student Press Freedom Awards

Each year, the Student Press Law Center presents a competitive high school journalism and college journalism award to recognize exceptional efforts in fighting for student press freedom.

Examples include taking a stand against censorship or other threats to publishing, pushing back when initially denied public records and/or stories that expose misdeeds, malfeasance or corruption.

Submissions are closed for our 2022 awards. Stay tuned for information about applying in 2023.

High School Award

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Past Award Recipients

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Courage in Student Journalism Award (High School)

The Center for Scholastic Journalism at Kent State University is the presenting sponsor of the award, in partnership with SPLC and the National Scholastic Press Association.

The Courage Award recognize high school journalists and a school administrator (or adviser) who have stood in support of the First Amendment.

  • The first award is presented to a student news organization, journalist (or team of student journalists) who showed determination, despite difficulty or resistance, in lawfully exercising their First Amendment press rights. The $1,000 award to a student news organization is made possible by the Center for Scholastic Journalism.
  • A plaque is presented to a school administrator (or adviser) who has demonstrated support, under difficult circumstances, for the First Amendment press rights of his or her school’s student media.

Note: The student news organization and school administrator (or adviser) need not be from the same school.

Presentation of awards: Awards are presented during a ceremony at the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association fall convention.

To enter, please fill out this form:
Self-nominations are welcome!

The Reveille Seven Courage in Student Journalism Award (College)

The SPLC sponsors The Reveille Seven Courage in Student Journalism Award with the Louisiana State University Manship School of Communication and the Associated Collegiate Press.

The award recognizes a college student news organization or college journalists that have made an outstanding effort to ensure college press freedom. The Reveille Seven Courage in Student Journalism Award recipient receives a plaque recognizing their achievements and their news organization receives a check for $2,000.

The prize is underwritten by the Manship School in memory of “The Reveille Seven,” a group of LSU student journalists who, in 1934, were expelled for publishing criticism of Louisiana Gov. Huey Long, and later cleared of wrongdoing and vindicated.

To avoid any potential conflict of interest, the Manship School is not involved in the judging/selection process.

Presentation of awards: The recipient(s) will be recognized during a ceremony at the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Advisers fall convention.

To enter, please fill out this form:
Self-nominations are welcome!

Award recipients

Jump to college award winners.

Courage in Student Journalism Award (High School)

2020 (Press release, 12/03/2021)

  • The RedEye, duPont Manual High School in Louisville, Kentucky, Journalism and Communication Magnet Program

2019 (Press release, 11/19/2020)

  • BluePrints magazine, Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, Georgia. Stephany Gaona-Perez, Brittany Lopez, and Jacqueline Wright

2018 (Press Release, 11/23/2019)

  • The BHS Register, Burlington (Vermont) High School. Julia Shannon-Grillo and Jenna Peterson, co-editors-in-chief.

2017 (Press Release, 11/3/2018). Video.

2016 (Press Release, 11/16/2017). Video.

  • Sumaita Hasan and Mehrose Ahmad, The Classic, Townsend Harris High School,  Flushing, N.Y. Adviser Brian Sweeney
  • No administrator award given

2015 (Press Release, 11/6/2015)

  • Kelly Ho, Thomas Wang, Sydney Trieu, Rebecca Lei and Simon Yung, The Matador, San Gabriel High School, Pasadena, Calif.
  • No administrator award given

2014 (Press Release, 11/14/2014)

  • Tanvi Kumar, Cardinal Columns, Fond du Lac (Wis.) High School, and Gillian McGoldrick and Reed Hennessy, The Playwickian, Neshaminy High School, Langhorne, Pa.
  • No administrator award given

2013 (Press Release, 11/14/2013)

  • Staff of MavLife, La Costa Canyon High School, Carlsbad, Calif.
  • No administrator award given

2012 (Press Release, 9/18/2012)

  • Zoe Schaver, Patrick Hartel, Emily McConville, Kelsey McKim, Dakota Sherek and Virginia Johnson, The Red Pen, duPont Manual High School High School, Louisville, Ky.
  • James Yoakley, Lenoir City (Tenn.)  High School.
  • No administrator award given

2011 (Press Release, 10/13/2011)

  • Lori Shafer and Jaclyn Gutierrez, The Overland Scout, Overland High School, Aurora, Colo.
  • No administrator award given

2010 (Press Release, 10/06/2010)

  • Vaughn Hillyard and Sophia Curran, The Challenge, Thunderbird High School, Glendale, Ariz.
  • William C. (“Kit”) Moran, principal, Dexter (Mich.) High School.

2009 (Press Release, 11/05/2009) Video.

  • Seth Zweifler and Henry Rome, The Spoke, Conestoga (Pa.) High School.
  • Barb Thill, former adviser, Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, Ill.

2008 (Press Release, 11/12/2008)

  • Jaishri Shankar and Rachel Wagner, The Rockville High School Rampage, Rockville (Md.) High School.
  • Peter Daddone, adviser, Rockville (Md.) High School.
  • Debra Munk, principal, Rockville (Md.) High School.

2007 (Press Release, 11/5/2007)

  • Eric Sheforgen, The Crier, St. Francis (Minn.) High School.
  • Amy Sorrell, Woodlan (Ind.) High School.

2006 (Press Release, 11/13/2006)

  • Claire Lueneburg and Sara Eccleston, KODAK, Everett (Wash.) High School.
  • David Clark, principal, Columbus (Ind.) North High School.

2005 (Press Release, 11/4/2005)

  • Whitney Basil, Eric Gentry, Zach Kroh and Jeremy Willis, Eagle Eye, DeSoto (Texas) High School.
  • Carol Richtsmeier, adviser, DeSoto (Texas) High School.

2004 (Press Release, 11/22/2004)

  • Darcie Draudt, Tim Yaczo, Kendra Oyer and Vasanth Ananth, The Wooster Blade, Wooster (Ohio) High School.
  • No administrator award given

2003 (Press Release, 11/24/2003)

  • Katherine Dean, The Arrow, Utica (Mich.) High School.
  • No administrator award given

2002 (Press Release, 10/15/2002)

  • Holly Ballard, Prospective, Bryant High School, Alexander, Ark.
  • Dr. Julie Leeth, principal, Hillcrest High School, Springfield, Mo.

2001 (Press Release, 11/9/2001)

  • Beth Covington, Thomas Silvers, Erin Grantier and Rachel Johnson, The Chatterbox, George Washington High School, Danville, Va.
  • Thomas Wachnicki, principal, Avon (Ind.) High School.

Reveille Seven Courage in Student Journalism Award (Scholastic Press Freedom Award before 2001)

2020-2021 (News Release 10/18/21)

  • The Rocky Mountain Collegian, Colorado State University

2019 (News release 10/22/2020)

  • The Linfield Review, Linfield University, Oregon

2018 (News release, 11/2/2019)

  • The Lantern, The Ohio State University, Columbus.

2017 (Press release, 10/27/2018)

  • The Southwestern College Sun, Southwestern College, Chula Vista, Calif. Here’s a May 2019 story about adviser Max Branscomb.

2016 (Press Release, 10/26/2017)  Video.

  • 2016-17 Editor-in-Chief Marjorie Kirk, 2017-18 Editor-in-Chief Paidin Dermody and the staff of the Kentucky Kernel, University of Kentucky, Lexington. Chris Poore, adviser.

2015 (Press Release, 10/24/2016)

  • The editors and staff of Knight News at the University of Central Florida, Orlando. This marks the first time the award was presented to an online-only publication.

2014 (Press Release, 11/1/2015)

  • Jacob Buckland and the staff of The Columns, Fairmont State University, Fairmont, W. Va.

2013 (Press Release, 10/23/2013)

  • Mazie Bryant, Abbey Crain and Matt Ford, The Crimson White, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

2012 (Press Release, 9/12/2012) Video.

  • The Daily Helmsman staff and Editor-in-Chief Chelsea Boozer, University of Memphis.

2011 (Press Release, 9/29/2011)

  • The Sun, Southwestern College, Chula Vista, Calif.

2010 (Press Release, 10/06/2010)

  • Northwest Trail, Northwest College, Powell, Wyo.

2009 (Press Release, 9/28/2009)

  • Jonathan Anderson, UWM Post, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

2008 (Press Release, 10/17/2008)

  • The Montclarion, Montclair (N.J.) State University

2007 (Press Release, 10/30/2007)

  • Darryl D. Smith, The Gramblinite, Grambling (La.) State University.

2006 (Press Release, 10/31/2006)

  • Viking News, Ocean County College, Toms River, N.J.

2005 (Press Release)

  • Katie Lane and Sarah Rice, The Collegian, Kansas State University, Manhattan.

2004 (Press Release, 11/4/2004)

  • The Script, Hampton (Va.) University.

2003 (Press Release, 11/10/2003)

  • The Independent Florida Alligator, University of Florida, Gainesville.


  • No award presented


  • Capri Coffer, editor, The Thorobred, Kentucky State University, Frankfort.


  • Muleskinner, Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg.
  • Nick Edwards, Stinger, Adolfo Camarillo (Calif.) High School.


  • Lee Davidson, The Auburn Plainsman, Auburn (Ala.) University.


  • Ben Powers, The Central Voice (independent publication), Central High School, Phoenix.


  • The Miami Student, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio


  • Michele Ames, Minnesota Daily, Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
  • Jaguar Journal, Blue Springs (Mo.) South High School.


  • Stacey Burns, Hawkeye, Mountlake Terrace (Wash.) High School.


  • Daily Bruin, University of California at Los Angeles.


  • Lion’s Roar, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond.


  • The Red & Black, University of Georgia, Athens.
  • Jana Studelska, Northern Student, Bemidji (Minn.) State University.
  • Hi-Spots, Tigard High School, Tigard, Ore.


  • The Kirkwood Call, Kirkwood (Mo.) High School, Kirkwood, Mo.


  • Traci Bauer, Southwest Standard, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield.


  • Sean McNamara, Duquesne University, Duquesne Duke, Pittsburgh.


  • The Epitaph, Homestead High School, Cupertino, Calif.


  • David Arnett, Horizon, Tulsa (Okla.) Junior College.


  • Manny Sferios, Not for Profit (independent publication), St. Petersburg (Fla.) High School.


  • Adam Truitt, The Lumberjack, Humboldt State University, Arcata, Calif.


  • Cathy Kuhlmeier, Leslie Smart, Leanne Tippett, Hazelwood Spectrum, Hazelwood (Mo.) East High School.