Encourage Students to Enter Emerging Journalist and Journalist of the Year Competitions

by Kyle Phillips


Corn, pigs, and awesome student journalism. Those are three of the things that I’ve learned to associate with Iowa during my 32 years as a citizen of this state.

In an attempt to maintain our reputation as one of the best states for students to practice journalism in the nation advisers need to constantly push their students to do great work. Another thing that we should be urging our students to do is to collect all of that great work into a single portfolio, which can then be submitted for honors such as the Emerging Journalist or the Iowa Journalist of the Year.

In my own effort to get more students to submit to those contests I revamped my final project requirement for my Introduction to Media class this semester. In the past I just required students to submit a portfolio of their work, but to nudge students towards the path of submitting to both of the above-mentioned contests their senior year I added one stipulation to this year’s project: Make the url [your name]JOY.wordpress.com.

This simple addition required no additional work on my part, but creates an expectation that students will continue to build on this portfolio once they leave the introduction class and join a publication.

With this addition when students leave the Intro to Journalism class they will have a website already created and will just need to add updated artifacts and reflections so that the portfolio fits the expectations of the Emerging Journalist or JOY applications.

I hope that other advisers will consider joining me in doing something with their beginning journalists to set a foundation so that they might be more inclined to apply to be IHSPA Emerging Journalists and eventually Iowa’s Journalist of the Year in the future.