simple graphic design with the title of the writing contest

When The Message is the Medium Essay Contest Hosted By Distinguished National Advisory Committee has Three Age Categories

REGION: The Citizen Chroniclejoins news publications across the U.S., including The Boston Globe, in supporting a National Student Essay Competition designed to deepen a recognition of the First Amendment that strengthens freedom of the press and rebuilds trust. There is no more important time than now to focus conversation and critical reflection on understanding the crucial relationships among the First Amendment, a free press, and the foundations of democracy.

Students in grades six through eight, grades nine through twelve, and those at universities and colleges are invited to submit essays to The Citizen Chronicle.  Essays should examine the state of freedom of the press in the United States today in light of the First Amendment to our Constitution.

National Student Essay Competition Director Mary Kay Lazarus noted, “The competition is designed to engage the important voices of our students, voices that are vital to the future of a robust democracy, and to expand national dialogue about press freedom by encouraging discussion at home and in school.”

Students in any town or jurisdiction in Southern Worcester County, Northeast Connecticut, or nearby regions may submit essays to The Citizen Chronicle beginning Monday, March 9, 2020, through Friday, April 17, 2020. Winners in each category selected by The Citizen Chronicle will then be submitted to a national jury who will select the semi-finalists and then the finalists by early September 2020. The Citizen Chronicle will announce its winners in the first week of June 2020. The Citizen Chronicle selects one winning essay in each of the three age categories from all submissions in all regions that participate.

The national winner in each category (grades six-eight; grades nine-twelve; and grades university/college) will each receive a $5,000 check from the Boston Globe Foundation. The winning essayist with the highest ranking among the three categories will also receive a full four-year scholarship, currently valued at $38,000 a year, to Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Prizes will be awarded late fall (TBA) at the 15th Annual McCarthey Family Foundation Lecture Series: In Praise of Independent Journalism.

Instructions and Guidelines for Essay Submissions:

CATEGORIES AND RELATED REQUIREMENTS:

  • Grades 6-8
  • Grades 9-12
  • Students enrolled in post-secondary institutions (undergraduate and graduate).
  • On a title page, include your full name, the grade or academic year that you are enrolled in for Spring 2020, your school or institution, and contact information including email, best phone number, and a mailing address.
  • In your email submission, use the subject line “Free Press Essay Submission.” Entries that disregard this instruction may be missed for consideration.

DEADLINE AND TIMETABLE FOR SUBMISSIONS

Deadline: Friday, April 17, 2020, at midnight

Winners from submissions to The Citizen chronicle announced Monday, June 1, 2020.

National winners announced early September 2020

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Topic: “Why a free press matters in a democracy”

Email a Word document of 500 words maximum typed and double-spaced, to Editor@TheCitizenChronicle.com.

All entries must be original and must include the student’s name, phone number, email address, mailing address, name and department of the school and grade or university/college in which the student is currently enrolled. Essays may be submitted any time prior to the April 17, 2020 deadline.

JUDGING CRITERIA

Entries will be judged on originality and thoughtfulness in addressing the topic of “Why a free press matters in a democracy.” One winning submission will be selected from each of the three age categories among all entries submitted to The Citizen Chronicle. These three entries will then be submitted to the national judges. The prizes listed are awarded at the national level. The Citizen Chronicle provides no monetary prize. However, the three winning essays from our region will be published on The Citizen Chronicle and made available digitally for the student’s portfolio or other record of achievement.

NATIONAL PRIZES

The national-level winner in each category (grades six-eight; grades nine-twelve; and university/college) will each receive a $5,000 check from the Boston Globe Foundation. The winning essayist with the highest ranking among the three categories will also receive a full four-year scholarship, currently valued at $38,000 a year, to Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

Prizes will be awarded late fall (TBA) at a public event in Salt Lake City hosted by the McCarthey Family Foundation, which is funding this national project. The Citizen Chronicle cannot provide transportation or other considerations if a student in our service area advances to this level. Attendance is not mandatory. All financial prizes are awarded only at the national level. The Citizen Chronicle provides no monetary prize. All monetary prizes are awarded at the National level of competition. However, the three winning essays will be published on The Citizen Chronicle and made available digitally for the student’s portfolio or other record of achievement.

The “When The Message is The Medium” national essay contest is supported by the following nationally distinguished advisory committee:

Rolena Adorno, Sterling Professor of Spanish. Yale University

Nick Akerman, Partner, Dorsey Whitney law firm. Former Watergate Prosecutor

Hala Al-Dosari, Inaugural Jamal Khashoggi Fellow, Washington Post. Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow at MIT Center for International Studies

Karen Attiah, Editor and Writer, Global Opinions, Washington Post

Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., Chair of the Center for African-American Studies & William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African-American Studies, Princeton University

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian & author

Lee Huebner, Airlie Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University. Former CEO & Publisher of the Paris-based International Herald-Tribune

Nancy Gibbs, Director, Kennedy School Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. Edward R. Murrow Chair of Press, Politics, and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School. Former editor in chief of TIME

Neal Katyal, Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law at Georgetown University Law Center. Former Acting Solicitor General of the United States

Barbara McQuade, Professor, University of Michigan Law School. Former U.S. Attorney

Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential biographer, editor and columnist

Norman J. Ornstein, American political scientist and resident scholar, American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

Courtney Radsch, Director of Advocacy, Committee to Protect Journalists

Jason Rezaian, Global Opinions writer for the Washington Post. Formerly the Washington Post correspondent in Tehran

Laurence Tribe, Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School

Joyce White Vance, Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Law, University of Alabama. Former U.S. Attorney

Jill Wine-Banks, Attorney. Former Watergate Prosecutor.

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