High school and college press freedom awards

The Student Press Law Center annually 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.

The submission deadline for the following two awards (covering stories published during the 2017-18 academic year) is June 27, 2018.

Courage in Student Journalism Award (High School)

The SPLC, Center for Scholastic Journalism at Kent State University and the National Scholastic Press Association sponsor the Courage in Student Journalism Award.

The two awards recognize middle or 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 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 students and school administrator (or adviser) need not be from the same school.

To enter, please submit:

  • A written description (not to exceed 1,000 words) on about how the nominee’s coverage surmounted difficult circumstances and/or challenges over the right to publish. Include details of how the journalism produced made a difference or brought about change/reform.
  • Links to the news organization’s stories and other supporting material (copies of FOI requests, etc.). If the story or stories got the attention of commercial media, you can include those links on a seperate sheet.
  • Up to two letters of support.

Each entry should also include the address, phone number and e-mail address of the nominee(s) and person nominating. Also include summer contact information.

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

Submit entry materials via email to: Diana Mitsu Klos at dmk@splc.org.

The Reveille Seven College Press Freedom Award

The SPLC sponsors The Reveille Seven College Press Freedom Award with the Louisiana State University Manship School of Communications and the Associated Collegiate Press.

The award recognizes college journalists and/or a student news organization that demonstrate outstanding effort to ensure college press freedom. The Reveille Seven College Press Freedom 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.

To enter, please submit: 

  • A written description (not to exceed 1,000 words) on about how the nominee’s or news organization’s coverage surmounted difficult circumstances and/or challenges over the right to publish. Include details of how the journalism produced made a difference or brought about change/reform.
  • Links to the news organization’s stories and other supporting material (copies of FOI requests, etc.). If the story or stories got the attention of commercial media, you can include those links on a seperate sheet.
  • Up to two letters of support.

Each entry should also include the address, phone number and e-mail address of the nominee(s) and person nominating. Also include summer contact information.

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

Submit entry materials by email to: Diana Mitsu Klos at dmk@splc.org

Award recipients

Courage in Student Journalism Award

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 College Press Freedom Award (Scholastic Press Freedom Award before 2001)

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.

2002

  • No award presented

2001

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

2000

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

1999

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

1998

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

1997

  • The Miami Student, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

1996

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

1995

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

1994

  • Daily Bruin, University of California at Los Angeles.

1993

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

1992

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

1991

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

1990

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

1989

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

1988

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

1987

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

1986

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

1985

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

1984

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