Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Idaho Student Reporters Take Home International Awards

A Boise high school student was named Student Journalist of the Year at the Youth Journalism International’s first worldwide journalism contest.

Megan Mizuta of Boise, who writes for The Borah Senator at Borah High School, showed off her courage, her nose for news and her range of talent.

Katie Jordan, a YJI editor, said Mizuta “impressed us with the scope of her writing. She's just as capable of writing hard news stories about budget cuts and student-teacher affairs as she is of writing opinion or sports stories.”

“Megan is the epitome of student journalism: she is honest, communicates clearly, constantly experiments with journalistic forms, assists the staff with copy editing, vehemently practices journalism ethics and provides leadership,” wrote Michelle Harmon, her adviser at Borah High School.

And Megan isn’t just a talented writer. She also took home first place in the Sports Photo category.

Several other students from Boise won awards at the Youth Journalism International conference:
  • Parker Simmons won first place in Sports Opinion for “Team free falls into a 0-9 ring of fire.”
  • Lisa Garrard was awarded first place in the Cartoons category for “Prince, I’m Leaving You for Snow White.”
  • Justin Kirkham won first place in Individual Reporting for his article, “Students experience foreign culture.”
  • Megan Harrignfeld was a finalist for the Jacinta Marie Bunnell Award for Commentary for her piece, “Con: Ada County website violates privacy.”
  • Ayla Washam won second place in Sports News for “No spots in weight class for regulars.”
  • Samantha Whittaker received an honorable mention in the Profile category for her piece, “Ellen Hopkins: Famous author visits school.”
“We had a wealth of really good entries from many different students and schools. Picking the best proved much harder than we ever dreamed,” said Steve Collins, president of the board for YJI.

Youth Journalism International has been educating the next generation of news professionals and talented teens since 1994. Formally created in 2007, it is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit public charity.

The contest covered work published in English between Jan. 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010 in any format.

The complete list of winners is available on Youth Journalism International’s website.

~ Melissa M.

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