Iowa Journalist of the Year Contest, recognizing the state’s top high school journalism students

Iowa JOY deadline February 15, 2022


Journalists interested in submitting for the contest must do so electronically by February 15, 2022. The contest will open February 1, 2022.

The 2022 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.


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:

*Please note there has been changes and the links reflect the updated information 



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: – Adobe Acrobrat PDF portfolio – WordPress – – Blogger
For Broadcast: Google Sites – –

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, 2022

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

March 15, 2022

Winning entry must be submitted to the JEA national office.

Early April 2022

National winners will be announced.

April 2022

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.



  • 2021 Alyce Brown of Pleasant Valley High School
  • 2020 Natalie Dunlap, Iowa City West High School, Iowa City
  • 2019 Andrew Maresca, Johnston High School, Johnston
  • 2018 Mina Takahashi, City High, Iowa City
  • 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

[email protected]