Last month I had the pleasure to once again attend the amazing College Media Association conference in New York City, our nation’s media capital. As usual, those few days were jam-packed with great sessions, critiques, media tours—all of the things so many of us have come to look forward to about CMA.
But the one thing I love best about CMA is the fact that it celebrates great student journalism. The conference offers so many ways to highlight student work that stands out as gutsy, creative, or even just thought-provoking. Whether it’s at the Apple Awards, the convention’s photo shootout competition, or engaging in a lively conversation with students who simply tried something out of their comfort zone, there’s nothing like offering a high five when it’s deserved.
And the fact is that it’s often well-deserved. In a climate that has been hostile to student and professional journalists on so many fronts over these past months, the work that you all do matters even more than you might think. We need to shout it from the mountaintop when student journalists challenge their communities, and even each other, to grapple with tough issues. We need to hold up as examples those who dedicate countless hours to service. And we need to publicly recognize those teams that work seamlessly to advance the ideals of SCJ and educate others about the First Amendment.
The Society for Collegiate Journalists offers two opportunities to recognize excellence among its chapters and members. The first is the annual national contest, to which many of you have submitted individual and collective works. We’re excited to be announcing those winners very soon!
But the other opportunity for recognition comes in the form of the major awards, which include:
- Edward E. McDonald Chapter of the Year Award
- Arthur H. Barlow Student Journalist of the Year Award
- Sheridan Barker Adviser of the Year Award
- Louis Ingelhart SCJ Freedom of Expression Award
- Outstanding New Chapter
- Outstanding New Adviser
- Mary Beth Earnheardt Award for Service
You can locate the descriptions of each of these awards here: https://scjnational.org/contest-awards/ and I encourage you to consider nominating yourself, an outstanding asset to your student media team, your adviser, or your chapter. The deadline for nominations is June 1, 2016, and nominations are all done online. The Executive Council will meet to discuss nominations and we will announce the winners at our Biennium Meeting in Atlanta, GA on October 25.
We look forward to seeing many nominations for the outstanding effort so many of you are putting forth.
Andrea Frantz, Ph.D. is associate professor of digital media at Buena Vista University, Iowa. She was installed as SCJ President at the 2014 Biennial. She’s an advocate of student journalists and the First Amendment. She blogs periodically about SCJ and other news.