Young Journalists and the News

SEJ posts information about the work of young journalists who are making an impact on their world; opportunities; useful websites; and items of interest about news, activities and events centered on young people implementing change.

 

Events & Opportunities

 

Current:

Travel Photographer of the Year
The 2022 TPOTY competition is open to photographers worldwide. Categories include environmentally themed Deserts to Rainforests, Water, Green Planet/Blue Planet. There's also a free-to-enter Young Travel Photographer of the Year category (14 and Under and 15-18 age groups) and the overall winner – the Young Travel Photographer of the Year 2022. The Young TPOTY winner receives £500 and more. The winners of the individual age groups each receive £250 and more. Deadline: Oct 25, 2022.

Norm Strung Youth Writing Contest and the OWAA Student Photo Contest
To encourage students to sharpen their abilities to communicate the outdoor experience, annual awards are being offered with cash prizes and a yearlong OWAA Student Membership, granted in both categories, split over two age groups — high school (grades 11-12) and college. Deadline: Jan 31, 2023.

Y. Eva Tan Conservation Reporting Fellowship Program
Mongabay's new six-month, twice-yearly, remote program will support up to 12 young and aspiring journalists from the world's biodiversity hotspots — six at their global English bureau and six at their Spanish-language bureau. Open to anyone from a low- to upper-middle income tropical country. No educational prerequisites. Monthly stipend of $500 USD. Next deadline: Mar 10, 2023 (opens Jan 1).

$500 Innovation in Education Scholarship
LA Tutors awards students who showcase their creativity and make positive impacts. On an ongoing monthly basis, this scholarship is open to all currently enrolled high school and college students who showcase their creativity while helping those around them (whether that be in a creative fundraiser, inventive new app, series of blog posts on a particular theme, or another idea). The application deadline is 11:59 pm PST on the 20th of each month.

The Daily Yonder's Rural Reporting Fellowship
This paid fellowship is geared toward any emerging professional or college student eager to sharpen their journalistic craft or build a portfolio of published work, especially those who embody the growing diversity of rural America. Fellowships take place each fall, spring and summer, lasting for an initial term of 12 weeks, with the opportunity for extension depending upon the fellow’s availability and newsroom needs. Fellows are able to work from anywhere in the United States. For an in-person experience, there are offices and core staff in Whitesburg, Kentucky, Knoxville, Tennessee, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota and Roseburg, Oregon.
Deadline: rolling

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting Grants and Fellowships
The Pulitzer Center partners with individual journalists and news organizations to support in-depth, high-impact reporting on topics of global importance. Open to freelance and staff journalists. Scroll down to see a list of opportunities. Deadlines vary.

Youth Journalism Initiative
The American Society of News Editors helps students learn why news matters and acquire the skills needed to succeed as 21st-century citizens. The Initiative invests in the future of journalism and democracy by providing resources and training in youth journalism; news, information and media literacy; and the First Amendment and civic education. Includes an annual First Amendment Matters PSA Contest.

 

Past/Recurring:

Caribbean Climate Justice Journalism Fellowship
This virtual Climate Tracker/Open Society Foundations fellowship is for Caribbean journalists or students between 18-35 years of age. Includes a monthly stipend; global exposure of your profile and your stories; networking opportunities; and 1-1 training with technical experts and climate journalists. Deadline: Sep 23, 2022.

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards
The Comedy Wildlife Photographer of the Year wins a one-week safari for two in Kenya with Alex Walker's Serian, a unique handmade trophy, plus Think Tank gear. Portfolio category winner gets a new website designed by Amazing Internet for one year. All the other category winners receive a ThinkTank bag. The free competition, which supports conservation efforts via a selected charity, has six categories, including one for video and one for those 16-18 years old. Deadline: Sep 1, 2022.

Alfred Friendly Press Partners Fellowship Opportunities
The six-month General Fellowship is for early-career professional journalists from developing countries with proficiency in English. Fellows receive basic and advanced hands-on instruction at the Missouri School of Journalism and are placed in leading U.S. newsrooms. Open to those 25-35 years old with at least three years of experience as a journalist at a print, online or broadcast media outlet. The ​all-inclusive ​fellowship starts in mid-March and ends in early September. Deadline: Aug 31, 2022.

Young Environmental Photographer of the Year
This award from the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), in partnership with Nikon, showcases the best in environmental photography through the lens of young photographers aged 21 and under. Winner receives a Z Series Mirrorless camera and two NIKKOR Z lenses of their choosing, as well as an interview in CIWEM’s Environment Magazine and a feature on the Waterbear and Nikon platforms. Deadline: Aug 31, 2022.

COP27 Climate Justice Journalism Fellowship
Ten journalists, 18-35 years old, will receive fully-funded Climate Tracker fellowships to report on the UN Climate Negotiations (COP27) in Egypt, Nov 7-18, 2022, either in person or virtually. You must be from or living in a developing country. Deadline: Aug 19.

ProPublica's Emerging Reporters Program
ProPublica annually offers stipends to five minority students who work or want to work at college journalism outlets — newspapers, websites, radio stations or TV stations. Receive $9,000, plus mentoring and trips to investigative journalism conferences. Deadline: Aug 8, 2022.

Amnesty International Canada Media Awards
Amnesty International Canada's annual competition honors a text, audio, video or mixed media story about a human rights issue created by a student attending a post-secondary school in Canada. The piece must be published or broadcast with a school publication. Deadline: Jul 31, 2022.

Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award
Recognizes outstanding reporting and writing in non-technical, print journalism only, in any field of science, by science writers aged 30 years and younger. The winner receives $1,000, presented at the annual ScienceWriters meeting. Deadline: Jun 30, 2022.

SAJA Scholarship Program
The South Asian Journalists Association helps US and Canadian journalism students meet a portion of tuition fees and costs at North American universities. $20,000 is available in 2022 for to up to 10 students ($2,000 for each student). Undergraduates and graduate students continuing their studies in the fall of 2022 are eligible. Deadline: Jun 24, 2022.

Digital Storytelling for the Next Generation of Latinx Journalists
This four-week online Knight Center asynchronous course is open to Latinx college and university students in the U.S. (and recent grads). Those who are interested in learning, as well as strengthening their reporting and storytelling skills for diverse audiences, are encouraged to apply. Instructor is USC Annenberg journalism professor Dr. Amara Aguilar. June 20-July 17, 2022.

Planet Forward Correspondents
Planet Forward seeks talented students from across the country looking to apply themselves to tell the ongoing story of climate change, with an eye toward solutions and hope. While producing pieces to be shared on PlanetForward.org over the academic year, correspondents will benefit from a roster of events, expert workshops, editorial guidance, and access to a community of scientists, communicators, and changemakers. Deadline: June 13, 2022.

Missouri School of Journalism Summer Workshops
These annual summer workshops are for high school students interested in expanding their journalism skills and learning from top journalism educators and professionals on the Missouri School of Journalism campus. Improve your writing, interviewing and storytelling skills; discover techniques for audio, podcasting and video; and learn tools for being a good investigative reporter. The 2023 workshops (three tracks) take place June 25-30. Cost: $675 (need-based scholarships are available; students/parents provide a statement of need and a letter of reference from a teacher or counselor referencing the financial need). Deadline: May 29, 2022.

Grist Fellowship Program
Grist offers a paid opportunity to hone your skills at a national news outlet and deepen your understanding of environmental issues. The experience is designed to give early-career journalists with a demonstrated interest in environmental issues the experience to succeed in climate and environmental media. The six-month fellowship, which runs twice yearly, pays $3,334 per month. Deadline: May 13 for August 1, 2022 start.

NAJA Native American Journalism Fellowship and Facebook Journalism Project Scholarship
These two Native American Journalists Association's annual opportunities are open to current Indigenous, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, First Nations and Métis college students, undergraduate and graduate, pursuing degrees in broadcast, print or digital journalism (fellowship) or digital media/journalism/communications (scholarship). Fellows receive professional mentoring; scholarships are one-time awards of $10,000. Deadline: Apr 30, 2022 extended to May 14.

Canada's National Eco-Journalism Competition for Youth
This annual competition is part of Young Reporters for the Environment's international awards program. The Canadian program is coordinated by EcoSchools Canada, and recognizes inspired stories, photos and videos about local environmental issues from 11-18 year olds. Winners have the chance to be published by Alternatives Journal Magazine and ENVMedia. Deadline: Apr 15, 2022.

SEJ's Student Op-Ed Contest: Unmuting the Student Press on Climate and Environmental Justice Issues
In honor of Student Press Freedom Day, SEJ invites high school and college students to enter our contest by writing an opinion editorial on the topic of self-censorship/freedom of the press in student media related to climate and environmental issues. Great prizes! Deadline: Apr 8, 2022.

2022 Planet Forward Virtual Summit
George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs hosts this annual event focusing on the urgency of the climate crisis, environmental equity, inclusion — and the narratives that propel them. It's for students who are studying journalism, communications or interested in science and sustainability. April 7, 2022, 1-3pm ET.

SEJ's Awards for Reporting on the Environment
SEJ's annual awards program includes an Outstanding Student Reporting category. First-place winner receives $500, trophy and a certificate (and is automatically entered into the Pulliam Award judging for $10,000). 2nd place: $250 and a certificate. 3rd place and honorable mentions will receive a certificate. Regular deadline: Mar 1, 2022. Late deadline, with fee: Apr 5.

National Wildlife Federation's Photo Contest
Youth aged 13-17 are invited to enter for a chance to win cash prizes. Deadline: Mar 27, 2022 extended to Apr 3.

Asian American Journalists Association's JCamp
Through this annual six-day program, AAJA offers young people the opportunity to develop their written, speaking, communication and leadership skills, while learning about diversity. The program is not limited to Asian American students; it's open to all high school students. The 2022 program will take place July 23-29 at the University of Southern California. Deadline: Mar 31, 2022.

Lorenzo Natali Media Prize
The 2022 prize will be awarded in three categories, one of which is the Best Emerging Journalist Prize: open to journalists under 30 whose reporting was published by a media based in the European Union (not including the United Kingdom) or in one of its partner countries. Prize is €10,000 and a work experience with a media partner. Deadline: Mar 31, 2022.

Bodie McDowell Scholarships
Given annually to three or more students of outdoor communications fields including print, photography, film, art or broadcasting. The awards, offered by the Outdoor Writers Association of America, can range from $1,000 to $5,000. Open to all college students, undergraduates in their Junior or Senior year of study and graduate level, from all communications and journalism disciplines and all schools. Applications open Jan 1. Deadline: Mar 30, 2022.

National Press Club Scholarship Opportunities
The Scholarship for Journalism Diversity Honoring Julie Schoo, aiming to bring diversity to U.S. journalism, is offering a $5,000 one-year scholarship (renewable for up to three years) to high school seniors with a grade point average of 3.0 or better who are preparing to enter college and intend to become a journalist; The Richard G. Zimmerman Scholarship, a one-time award of $5,000 for high school seniors who wish to pursue a career in journalism; The Wes Vernon Broadcast Scholarship supports diversity within the field of broadcast journalism — $5,000 annually to a student who demonstrates a commitment to a career in broadcast journalism, renewable up to three years, for a total of $20,000 (U.S. citizenship not required); and The Dennis and Shirley Feldman Fellowship, for a student pursuing graduate studies in journalism, a one-time stipend of $5,000 for tuition. Deadline for all: Mar 18, 2022 extended to Mar 27.

AAAS Diverse Voices in Science Journalism Internship
This paid summer internship, June 1-August 16, 2022, is for undergraduate students who are deeply committed to diversity and interested in pursuing journalism as a career. It takes place at the Washington, DC headquarters of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Science magazine, the largest interdisciplinary journal in the world, under the guidance of award-winning reporters and editors. Includes travel to D.C. Living accommodations and expenses are the responsibility of the intern. Deadline: Mar 7, 2022.

Planet Forward Storyfest Awards
Recognizes and rewards the best and most compelling student-told stories illuminating environmental issues and solutions. Winners travel to Alaska with Lindblad Expeditions to report on the impact of climate change. Deadline: Mar 7, 2022.

Arthur F. Burns Fellowship
Media professionals, age 40 and under from the U.S., Canada and Germany are invited to apply for this opportunity to report from and travel in each other's countries. Share professional expertise with your colleagues across the Atlantic while working as a "foreign correspondent" for your hometown news organization. Deadline: Mar 1, 2022 for U.S. and Canadian applicants.

Alexia Grants
These annual awards go to professional and student photographers to give them the financial ability to produce substantial stories that drive change in the effort to make the world a better place. Students also get scholarship opportunities. Deadline: Feb 15, 2022 extended to Feb 28.

Golden Turtle Photography Contest
MY EQUATOR Charity Social Support Fund's annual photo contest is open to photographers worldwide. US$1,000 first-place prizes in each category (includes a youth category, 13-17 years). US$2,000 for photographer of the year. Deadline: Feb 28, 2022.

NAJA/NBC News Summer Fellowship
The Native American Journalists Association is partnering with Comcast NBCUniversal to give NAJA member-students real world experience and exposure to one of the world's leading news divisions as a paid summer 2022 intern. Deadline: Feb 4, 2022 extended to Feb 18.

RTDNF Scholarships and Fellowships
The Radio Television Digital News Foundation offers scholarships for outstanding students and fellowships for young professionals (<10 years experience in the field) pursuing careers in radio, television or online news. Both the Michelle Clark Fellowship and N.S. Bienstock Fellowship are given to promising minority applicants. Deadline: Feb 3, 2022.

Livingston Awards for Young Journalists
For excellence by professionals under the age of 35. Print, broadcast and online entries are judged against one another, a practice of increasing interest as technology blurs traditional distinctions between rival branches of the profession. Three $10,000 prizes. Deadline: Feb 1, 2022.

CJF Bursary for BIPOC Student Journalists
The Canadian Journalism Foundation offers a new $5,000 bursary to a BIPOC student in their final year of a Canadian undergraduate journalism program. Deadline: Jan 14, 2022.

High Country News Fellowships
HCN in Paonia, CO annually offers two full-time, paid, 12-month remote fellowships for early-career journalists to further their skills and build their clips: The Virginia Spencer Davis Fellowship, for those interested in covering rural communities, agriculture and land conservation in the West, and the Climate Justice Fellowship (climate change and environmental justice), to explore the disparate impacts of climate change and communities’ response to them. The latter is sponsored by SEJ's Fund for Environmental Journalism. Deadline: Jan 3, 2022.

Cinema Verde International Environmental Film and Arts Festival
This annual event in Gainesville, Florida features documentaries, shorts and student films with art, music and an ecofair. The event seeks to broaden the reach of sustainability education and to help make the world a place where we want to live. Multiple categories, including three for students. 2021 deadlines (for 2022 festival): May 27 (early), Aug 27 (regular) and Oct 17 (late).

A Digital Path to Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Latin America
This was a twice-yearly International Center for Journalists program on entrepreneurship and innovation for journalists aged 25 to 40 years in Latin America. During the 15-week virtual program, fellows received one-week ICFJ-led virtual orientation, six weeks professional virtual newsroom attachments, eight weeks professional mentoring and a $1,700 grant for their digital project. Deadline: Jun 25 for Fall 2021.

Online Journalism Awards
The Online News Association's annual awards program honors excellence in digital journalism around the world. The 2021 competition includes a student journalism category and a climate change reporting category. Deadline: Jun 10, 2021. Submissions for the 2022 Online Journalism Awards will open May 5.

BigPicture Emerging Photographer Grant
Are you a photographer 18-25 years old? What ideas do you want to convey around the themes of conservation, biodiversity and sustainability of the natural world? The goal of this annual competition is to encourage young photographers with fresh approaches to this topic to present their perspectives in photographs and media. Two $2,500 grants plus mentorship. Deadline: May 31, 2021.

Society for Neuroscience Science Journalism Student Award
This award enables students pursuing a science or medical journalism degree to attend the SfN annual meeting in fall. Recipients get complimentary meeting registration, four nights’ lodging, a mentor, access to SfN staff and $750 to help defray the expenses of attending the meeting. Neuroscience 2022 will take place Nov 12-16 in San Diego. Deadline: TBA.

Kids These Days... Looking Out for Their Own Future
This panel took place during SEJ's 21st Annual Conference in Miami, October 2011. It featured young environmental activists who discussed the initiatives they started at their schools and in their communities.


 

 

News

"10 Internship Alternatives for the COVID-19 Era," International Journalists' Network, Jun 11, 2020, by Damian Radcliffe.

April, 2020 – "State of Emergency" wins IRE's Student Award (large division) — a 2019 investigation into natural disasters by the Carnegie-Knight News21 program, a national multimedia reporting project produced by the nation’s top journalism students and graduates. Each year, students selected into the program report in-depth on a single topic of national importance.

 

Click to enlarge.

ASU’s Cronkite News Service Cleans Up in SEJ Student Awards
Jan 15, 2020 – One journalism school seems to have hit on a formula for success in generating award-winning student reporting on the environment. EJ Academy editor Bob Wyss on why Arizona State’s Cronkite News Service cleaned up in this year’s Society of Environmental Journalists’ student awards category. See the accompanying article by Chris McCrory, a young journalist looking for a quick report who found himself instead on a five-month odyssey to cover the hidden dangers of abandoned mining sites in the Southwest. His persistence paid off with a great story, and the first-place win in SEJ's 2019 Ray Reece “Excellence in Environmental Journalism” Student Award. Pictured at right: McCrory receiving the award from SEJ board member Gloria Dickie in October 2019 at SEJ's 29th annual conference in Fort Collins, Colo.

 

Rebecca Burton

Scientific American features SEJ member Rebecca Burton on its SA Incubator blog, June 11, 2013. Visit Rebecca's personal blog on health, science and hula-hooping: Layman’s Terms Media.

 

 

SEJ member Richard Zajac, an 18-year-old high school senior from Missouri, was already considering filmmaking as a career before the Fukushima disaster in early 2011. Determined to document, help out and inspire, he travelled to Japan, connected with the non-profit Safecast, which was measuring radiation levels. The following month, he interviewed ocean expert Jean-Michel Cousteau in California on the effects on marine life of radiation in the waters. Later in October, he attended the Society of Environmental Journalists' annual conference in Miami. There he previewed his documentary film "New Hibakusha." Read more.

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