2018 Iowa Journalist of the Year Competition – Deadline Feb. 15

Deadline for Submission: February 15, 2018


Originally Published Dec. 5, 2017


The time has come for the annual Iowa Journalist of the Year Contest, recognizing the state’s top high school journalism students.

Journalists interested in submitting for the contest must do so electronically by February 15, 2018.

Journalism Education Association, from JEA.org

The 2018 Iowa Journalist of the Year will receive a $500 scholarship sponsored by Iowa High School Press Association and Iowa Newspaper Foundation. The winning student will also have the opportunity to compete for the national Journalist of the Year award, the winner of which receives an additional $3,000 scholarship. Six $850 runner-up scholarships are also given for the national competition.



The components of the Iowa JOY process align with those of the national JEA – JOY process.

There are 11 judging categories included in the contest:

  • Design
  • Editing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Law and Ethics
  • Leadership and Team Building
  • Multimedia Broadcast
  • News Gathering
  • News Literacy
  • Photojournalism
  • Web
  • Writing

The JEA website provides a plethora of information in the following areas:

  • Contest requirements and guidelines
  • A candidate toolbox that explains options for hosting the online portfolio
  • Organizing work samples
  • A judging rubric
  • Past winners
  • Examples of winning JOY entries



ELIGIBILITY Requirements: 

Eligible students:

  • Must be seniors.
  • Must have served on a media staff for two years.
  • Can be planning to study any major in college.
  • Have an adviser who is a current Journalism Education Association member.



All entries must be digital. Entries are submitting as a URL. Places to consider when deciding where to host work examples include the following:
For Print:  Issuu.com – Livebinders.com- Adobe Acrobrat PDF portfolio – WordPress – Blog.com – Blogger
For Broadcast: Google Sites – Weebly.com – Wix.com

All entries should be submitted here: 

The JEA website has a tutorial “Options for Online Presentation” that explains these options.


Students may not have examples that fit all 11 categories. That is fine. The categories are an attempt to include the vast types of experiences students may encounter working on a media staff.

The portfolio could be used in other ways:  for scholarships, for job interviews, when applying for leadership positions in organizations. Compiling a portfolio of work and reflecting on it is something most teenagers have not done. It sets you apart.


February 15, 2018

Applications and portfolios must be submitted.  In early March the state winner will be announced.

March 15, 2018

Winning entry must be submitted to the JEA national office.

Early April 2018

National winners will be announced.

April 2018

National winners will be introduced at the National Journalism convention.

Sister Rita Jeanne Scholarships, named for JEA’s longtime treasurer, recognize some of the top high school journalists in the country.  Scholarship funds — $3,000 for the top winner, and $850 each for runners-up (up to six runners-up awards are usually given) — are released to the student after the winners are announced.



  • 2017 Isabelle Robles, Iowa City West High School, Iowa City
  • 2016 Molly Hunter, Washington High School, Cedar Rapids
  • 2015 Anne Rogers, Johnston High School, Johnston
  • 2014 Laura Scieszinski, Johnston High School, Johnston
  • 2013 no entries
  • 2012, Lisa Friesth, Johnston High School, Johnston
  • 2011, Kelly McGowan, Johnston High School, Johnston
  • 2010, Kallen Kramer, Johnston High School, Johnston
  • 2009 James Kuberski, Davis County High School, Bloomfield
  • 2008 Ariana McLaughlin, Kennedy High School, Cedar Rapids
  • 2007 Briana Byrd, Central High School, Davenport


Leslie Shipp
Johnston High School
Johnston, Iowa
[email protected]