Journalist of the Year portfolios due Feb. 15

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Enter your top seniors in the Journalist of the Year competition by Feb. 15, 2010. Creating a portfolio is a time-consuming task but provides a powerful reflection opportunity for your best student journalists and can lead to state and national recognition.

The state competition is aligned with JEA’s national Journalist of the Year competition, so please refer to the official guidelines and submission information.

A panel of qualified journalism educators evaluates each year’s portfolios to determine local winners. The Northern California winner receives JEANC’s Arnetta Garcin Memorial Scholarship and then competes with the Southern California entry for the official state spot in the national competition. Results will be announced via Twitter in mid-March and student winners will receive official recognition by mail.

Last year’s winner, Ina Herlihy (Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, San Francisco), went on to win the national Journalist of the Year title from JEA and a $5,000 scholarship. Herlihy has made her portfolio available in the interest of helping future applicants plan and prepare the best entries possible. Click here to see part of Herlihy’s 2010 portfolio.

Members of the local and national scholarship committees note the importance of following instructions and having a wide variety of journalistic experiences evidenced in portfolio entries. Students who do well in this competition demonstrate courage and leadership in addition to outstanding skills in writing, design, photography or other forms of journalism.

As you help your students prepare their portfolios, consider these helpful hints:

1. Mail portfolios to the state director, Sarah Nichols, at the new JEANC headquarters.
JOY Competition

℅ CNPA Services

2000 O St., Suite 120

Sacramento CA 95811-5299
Please note that the Feb. 15, 2011 deadline is a “received by” date and plan accordingly.

2. Organize portfolios according to the guidelines under the Preparing Your Portfolio section from JEA. Clips and work samples will represent four key areas:

(1) Skilled and creative use of media content – writing, production, photography, etc.
(2) Inquiring mind and investigative persistence resulting in in-depth study or studies of issues important to the local high school audience, high school students in general,         or society.
(3) Courageous and responsible handling of sensitive issues — local or societal — despite threat of or actual censorship.
(4) Variety of journalistic experiences, each handled in a quality manner — newspaper, yearbook, broadcast, photography, Web design, other design work, community and other outside-of-school journalistic work, etc.

3. Check your membership status. You must be a current JEANC and JEA member in order for your students to be eligible. Scholarship opportunities and awards are just another benefit of your membership. (If you receive this message and are not a JEA member, I’d love to share with you the benefits JEA has to offer and extend you a free membership if you are new to the organization, so please get in touch with me.)

This info and other great news, resources and information is available at our website,, and you can contact me directly with any questions. We’d love to see all of your outstanding seniors recognized for their efforts in scholastic journalism.


Sarah Nichols, MJE
Northern California state director, JEA
past president/scholarship committee, JEANC

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The Student News Site of Journalism Education Association of Northern California
Journalist of the Year portfolios due Feb. 15