Young Journalists in 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


  • Canada's Next Green Journalist is an annual competition, part of Young Reporters for the Environment's international awards program. The Canadian program is coordinated by Environmental Defence, and recognizes inspired stories, photos and videos about local environmental issues from 11-18 year olds. Win great prizes for your school. Deadline: Mar 31, 2015.
  • The Radio Television Digital News Association offers 8 scholarships and 4 RTDNF fellowships for outstanding students or young professionals (<10 years experience in the field) pursuing careers in radio, television, or online news. Deadline: Apr 30, 2015.
  • The 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 and expenses to attend the combined annual meeting of the National Association of Science Writers (NASW)/Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW). Deadline: June 30, 2015.
  • Financial Aid for Minority Students lists scholarship opportunities for African-Americans, Hispanics, women, and other specific minority groups, as well as more generalized awards that are made available to applicants belonging to any underrepresented demographic.
  • A project of the American Society of News Editors, the High School Journalism Initiative offers great resources for students and teachers and a weekly contest for students to be recognized for great journalistic writing, photos and videos.


  • To encourage students to sharpen their abilities to communicate the outdoor experience, the Outdoor Writers Association of America offers the annual Norm Strung Youth Writing Contest. The contest features separate categories for poetry and prose, with cash awards in each, for two different divisions, senior (grades 9-12) and junior (grades 6-8). The work must have been published in a newsletter, newspaper, magazine, literary collection, etc. during the previous calendar year. The publication can be school or club related, or commercial. Deadline: Mar 16, 2015.
  • Young people develop their written, speaking, communication and leadership skills, while learning about diversity, through the annual Asian American Journalists Association's JCamp. The program is not limited to Asian American students; it's open to all high school students. Deadline: Mar 15 for the Aug 3-8, 2015 program at the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Minneapolis.
  • In the U.S., youth between the ages of 13 and 21 may enter the Young Reporters for the Environment USA competition in one of three age categories, as individuals or as part of a class or group. Participants investigate an environmental issue and report on it in writing, photography, or video. Entries must be relevant to participants’ local community, connect to a global perspective, include possible solutions, and be disseminated to an appropriate target audience. Winners will be selected in each age bracket for each media type. First-place winners in each category will continue to the international competition. Deadline: Mar 13, 2015.
  • The Alexia Grants are awarded to students and professional 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. Deadlines: Professional grants — Jan 29, 2015; student grants — Feb 2, 2015.
  • The Korva Coleman Excellence Awards recognize outstanding digital media pieces produced by youth. Ages 14-23 are eligible to compete in the categories of audio, video and online print. Winner of each category receives a $1,000 scholarship and a trip to accept his or her Crystal Korva Award in person at the May 7, 2015, awards dinner in Phoenix. Deadline: Feb 1, 2015.
  • The Livingston Awards for Young Journalists, for excellence by professionals under the age of 35, judge print, broadcast and online entries 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, 2015.
  • 2013 Annual High Country News Student Essay Contest: Strides in Sustainability
    In 750 words, describe how you or someone in your community is making meaningful strides to lessen modern Western society's impact on the environment. The contest is open to students between the ages of 17 and 24 (as of January 1, 2013) who are currently enrolled in a college or other institute of higher education. Deadline: Nov 27, 2013.
  • Kids These Days... Looking Out for Their Own Future, a panel during SEJ's 21st Annual Conference in Miami, October 2011, featured young environmental activists who discussed the initiatives they started at their schools and in their communities.




  • 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.

  • "Lakewood Ranch Student Wins $50,000 Google Prize"
    "Out-of-Door Academy rising senior Brittany Wenger was chosen from among 5,000 students from more than 100 countries who entered the annual competition. At an event to honor the 14 finalists held Monday in Palo Alto, Calif., judges chose Brittany's artificial intelligence computer program that could provide a cheaper and less invasive method to detect malignant breast tumors as the winner." By Christopher O'Donnell, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, July 24, 2012.
  • 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 >>>