Journalists group holding essay contest

January 05, 2009

The Society of Professional Journalists invites high school students in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., to participate in an essay contest.

The topic is "Why Free News Media are Important."

Essays should be 300 to 500 words. They may be typed or handwritten, but must be double-spaced.

One local winner will be picked by the Washington, D.C., Pro chapter of SPJ.

The winner and an adult chaperone will receive tickets for the chapter's annual Hall of Fame dinner at the National Press Club on June 9.

The local winners from SPJ chapters across the country will be judged nationally for cash awards.

A $1,000 scholarship will go to the first-place winner. A $500 scholarship will be awarded for second place and a $300 scholarship for third place.


Students in grades nine through 12 in public, private or home schools are eligible.

A sponsoring teacher must sign the contest entry form.

There is no charge to enter.

Mail entries to: SPJ High School Essay Contest, P.O. Box 19555, Washington, DC 20036-0555.

Entries must be postmarked by March 4.

Go to for additional contest rules and to download the entry form that must accompany each essay. Send an e-mail to or call 317-927-8000 if you have any questions.

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