Awards Contest Notices Top

YJI teams up with First Amendment Museum, adds new contest award

Maine, U.S.A. Youth Journalism International and the First Amendment Museum are joining forces to create a First Amendment Award for teen journalists and their teachers.

The new First Amendment Award honors an individual student journalist, journalism educator, or group with a demonstrated commitment to using their First Amendment freedoms to affect positive change in their communities.

The First Amendment Award is the latest addition to Youth Journalism International’s annual Excellence in Journalism contest. Now in its 14th year, the competition recognizes stellar work by young writers, photographers, and artists worldwide in dozens of categories. It is open to any teen, anywhere, for work published or broadcast in English in the previous calendar year.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the wonderful First Amendment Museum on this new award,” said Steve Collins, board president at Youth Journalism International.

“With this new award, the First Amendment Museum hopes to engage with a new generation of journalists who are informed, active, and engaged in their communities,” said Christian Cotz, chief executive officer of the First Amendment Museum.

Entries in the First Amendment category can be a single article, broadcast, or a series published or released in the 2022 calendar year. It can also be an action taken to defend or exercise youth press freedom during that year. Entries should include a brief statement explaining the circumstances and/or context of the cited action.

“While the First Amendment is part of the Constitution of the United States, this is a global category that we hope will encourage those who push for freedom of speech and of the press throughout the world,” said Jackie Majerus, executive director at Youth Journalism International.

The winner of the new award will receive a beautiful crystal trophy. Finalists will receive custom award certificates.

The deadline to enter the contest is midnight, Friday, Feb. 17.

Additional contest categories that merit crystal trophies for winners are: Student Journalist of the Year, Journalism Educator of the Year, Courage in Journalism, the Frank Keegan Award for News, and the Jacinta Marie Bunnell Award for Commentary.

Winners of other categories, including writing or broadcast work in news, sports, feature stories, reviews, photography, cartoons, and illustrations, receive custom award certificates.

All entries are evaluated by a global panel of more than two dozen dedicated judges, including journalists, teachers and media experts.

Contest rules, lists of previous winners and entry forms are all available online at

Youth Journalism International is an educational non-profit based in Auburn, Maine with students all over the world. Its mission is to connect student writers, artists and photographers with their peers around the globe, teach journalism, foster cross-cultural understanding and promote and defend a free youth press.

The First Amendment Museum is a non-partisan museum whose mission is to inspire Americans to understand and live their First Amendment freedoms. Located in Augusta, Maine, the museum is open year-round for tours, Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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