High school and college press freedom awards

The Student Press Law Center sponsors several awards for those fighting for press freedom. The deadline to submit entries is June 30, 2017.

High School Awards

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

The two awards recognize a middle or high school journalist and a media adviser or school administrator who have stood in support of the First Amendment. The student journalist and adviser or school administrator need not be from the same school.

  • The first award is presented to a student journalist who has shown determination, despite difficulty or resistance, in lawfully exercising his or her First Amendment press rights.
  • A second award is presented to a student media adviser or school administrator who has demonstrated support, under difficult circumstances, for the First Amendment press rights of his or her school's student media.

To enter: To nominate yourself or someone else, submit a written description (not to exceed 600 words) on how the nominee's circumstances meet the entry criteria, along with any relevant supporting materials or press clips. Each entry should also include the address, phone number and e-mail address of the nominee. It is sometimes necessary to contact a nominee during the summer, so include summer contact information if it is different.

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

Submit entry materials to: Diana Mitsu Klos

College Award

Along with the Associated Collegiate Press, the SPLC co-sponsors the College Press Freedom Award to recognize the college student or student news medium that has demonstrated outstanding support for college press freedom. The College Press Freedom Award is presented at the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Advisers national fall convention. The College Press Freedom Award winners receive a plaque recognizing their achievements and a cash prize.

The award is underwritten by a grant from the Louisiana State University Manship School of Communications and given 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. LSU sponsorship's enables us to offer a $2,000 cash prize, to be shared in the event of multiple winners.

To enter: To nominate yourself or someone else, submit a written description (not to exceed 600 words) of how their situation meets the entry criteria described above, along with any relevant supporting materials or press clips and letters of support.

Presentation of awards: Winners will be recognized during a ceremony at the Associated Collegiate Press/College Media Advisers fall convention.

Submit entry materials to: Diana Mitsu Klos

Award recipients

Winners of the Courage in Student Journalism Award

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 high School, Fond du Lac, Wis., 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 High School, Lenoir City, Tenn.
  • 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 High School, Dexter, Mich.

2009 (Press Release, 11/05/2009)

  • Seth Zweifler and Henry Rome, The Spoke, Conestoga High School, Conestoga, Pa.
  • 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 High School, Rockville, Md.
  • Peter Daddone, adviser, Rockville High School, Rockville, Md.
  • Debra Munk, principal, Rockville High School, Rockville, Md.

2007 (Press Release, 11/5/2007)

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

2006 (Press Release, 11/13/2006)

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

2005 (Press Release, 11/4/2005)

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

2004 (Press Release, 11/22/2004)

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

2003 (Press Release, 11/24/2003)

  • Katherine Dean, The Arrow, Utica High School, Utica, Mich.
  • 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 High School, Avon, Ind.

Winners of the College Press Freedom Award (Scholastic Press Freedom Award before 2001)

2015 (Press Release, 11/1/2015)

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


  • No award presented

2013 (Press Release, 10/23/2013)

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

2012 (Press Release, 9/12/2012)

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

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, Milwaukee, Wisc.

2008 (Press Release, 10/17/2008)

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

2007 (Press Release, 10/30/2007)

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

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, Kan.

2004 (Press Release, 11/4/2004)

  • The Script, Hampton University, Hampton, Va.

2003 (Press Release, 11/10/2003)

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


  • No award presented


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


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


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


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


  • The Miami Student, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio


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


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


  • Daily Bruin, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif.


  • Lion's Roar, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, La.


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


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


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


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


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


  • David Arnett, Horizon, Tulsa Junior College, Tulsa, Ok.


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


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


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