Young Journalists and 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



  • High school, undergraduate and graduate students (PhD & Masters included) are invited to compete for the David Carr Prize for Emerging Writers for SXSW 2020, March 13-16 in Austin, TX. Enter an essay or short story of 1,500 words or less addressing the question "What do we do with our time and lives if society no longer depends on us to work?" Deadline: Dec 6, 2019.
  • Amnesty International Canada's Youth Media Awards honour students who have created content covering international or national human rights issues with a particular emphasis on how they impact young people. Deadline: Jan 15, 2020.
  • The Radio Television Digital News Foundation offers scholarships for outstanding students and fellowships for young professionals (<10 years experience in the field) pursuing careers in radio, television or online news. Both the Michelle Clark Fellowship and N.S. Bienstock Fellowship are given to promising minority applicants. Deadline: Jan 17, 2020.
  • Earth Day Network's Foodprints for the Future Journalism Contest for secondary and post-secondary students comprises three categories: essay, video or podcast. Winners receive a trip to Washington, DC to participate in Earth Day 2020 activities on the National Mall on April 25. Deadline: Jan 31, 2020.
  • 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, 2020.
  • In the U.S., students aged 11-25 may enter enter the Young Reporters for the Environment USA competition in one of three age categories. Participants investigate an environmental issue relevant to their community and report on it in writing, photography or videography, as individuals or as part of a class or group. Deadline: Feb 28, 2020.
  • Canada's National Eco-Journalism Competition for Youth is an annual competition, part of Young Reporters for the Environment's international awards program. The Canadian program is coordinated by EcoSchools Canada, and recognizes inspired stories, photos and videos about local environmental issues from 11-18 year olds. Winners have the chance to be published by Alternatives Journal Magazine and ENVMedia. Deadline: Mar 1, 2020.
  • Financial Aid for Minority Students and Others lists resource guides for ethnic groups, women, LGBT and any underrepresented demographic.
  • Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting Grants cover hard costs associated with upcoming travel for an international reporting project. The ideal project offers print, photography, radio, and video. Opportunities include travel grants to students at participating Campus Consortium schools. Rolling deadline.
  • The American Society of News Editors' Youth Journalism Initiative helps students learn why news matters and acquire the skills needed to succeed as 21st-century citizens. The Initiative invests in the future of journalism and democracy by providing resources and training in youth journalism; news, information and media literacy; and the First Amendment and civic education..


  • The Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program, which begins in September annually, is for US professionals 40 years or younger (with 5+ years relevant work experience in their proposed field of work in Germany). Fellows complete a 9- to 12-month professional development program consisting of one or two high-level work phases in major German institutions and a traveling, European-wide seminar series. Typically, at least five of the competitively chosen fellows are from the field of Journalism/Mass Communications. The Bosch Foundation places fellows at major German news publications and broadcast media outlets. Includes stipend. No German language skills are required at time of application; intensive pre-fellowship language training is provided. Deadline: Nov 1, 2019.
  • The annual Cinema Verde International Environmental Film and Arts Festival in Gainesville, FL, features documentaries, shorts and student films with art, music and an ecofair. The event seeks to broaden the reach of sustainability education and to help make the world a place where we want to live. Multiple categories, including three for students. 2019 deadlines (for 2020 festival): Jul 27 (early); Sep 27 (regular); and Oct 17 (final).
  • The Alexia Grants are awarded to professional and student 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; read the announcement for details. Deadline: Sep 30, 2019 extended to Oct 2.
  • The Grist Fellowship Program in Seattle is an opportunity for early-career writers, editors, and others with diverse backgrounds to hone their journalistic skills at a national news outlet and deepen their knowledge of environmental issues. News and Politics Fellows will make daily contributions to Grist’s editorial operations. The six-month fellowship, which runs twice yearly, pays $2,750 per month. Next deadline: Jul 22, 2019.
  • Young Environmental Photographer of the Year 2019 (under 21) is awarded by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) for work showcasing the very best in environmental photography highlighting impacts on the Earth by humans. Winner receives brand new camera equipment , personalised certificate and an interview in CIWEM’s The Environment Magazine. Deadline: June 30, 2019 extended to Jul 17.
  • 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: Jun 30, 2019.
  • Based at Boston University, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting’s Summer Journalism Institute is a perfect opportunity for U.S. and international high school students to learn more about journalism, including new and valuable skills. Choose from three two-week sessions. Application: Rolling basis beginning Oct 2018; final deadline is June 12, 2019. Financial assistance: scholarships available (deadline Jan 31, 2019); financial aid (deadline Apr 1, 2019).
  • The Society for Neuroscience Science Journalism Student Award enables students pursuing a science or medical journalism degree to attend the SfN annual meeting. Two students get complimentary meeting registration, four nights’ lodging, a mentor, access to SfN staff and $750 to help defray the expenses of attending the meeting. Deadline: May 13, 2019 extended to May 31.
  • The Institute for Environmental Journalism Summer 2019, run by the Pulitzer Prize-winning news organization InsideClimate News, comprises two summer journalism programs (coastal Maine or NYC) for high school students and recent graduates as an introduction to the process of environmental journalism. Financial aid available: Apr 15 deadline. Deadline: May 15, 2019.
  • The 2019 Lorenzo Natali Media Prize will be awarded in three categories, one of which is the Best Emerging Journalist Prize: open to journalists under 30 whose media is headquartered in any country where DG DEVCO and DG NEAR provide development assistance, as well as in the EU Member States. Prize is €10,000 and a work experience with a media partner. Deadline: Apr 14, 2019.
  • 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 Awards. 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: Apr 12, 2019.
  • SEJ's annual Awards for Reporting on the Environment has a new student category, the Ray Reece "Future of Environmental Journalism" Student Award. First-place winner receives $500, trophy and a certificate (and is automatically entered into the Pulliam award judging for $10,000). 2nd place: $250 and a certificate. 3rd place and honorable mentions will receive a certificate. In addition, the first-, second- and third-place winner(s) (or selected representative, if a group project) will receive travel and registration expenses to receive the award at a luncheon during SEJ's 29th Annual Conference in Fort Collins, October 9-13, 2019, and to attend the five-day conference. Deadline: April 1, 2019, 11:59 your local time.
  • 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 31 for the Jul 27-Aug 1, 2019 program at Georgia Public Broadcasting in Atlanta, GA.
  • Bodie McDowell Scholarships are usually given annually to three or more students of outdoor communications fields including print, photography, film, art or broadcasting. The awards, offered by the Outdoor Writers Association of America, can range from $1,000 to $5,000. Open to all college students, undergraduates in their Junior or Senior year of study and graduate level, from all communications and journalism disciplines and all schools. Deadline: Mar 1, 2019.
  • Media professionals, age 40 and under, from the U.S., Canada and Germany are invited to apply for the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship, an opportunity to report from and travel in each other's countries. Share professional expertise with your colleagues across the Atlantic while working as a "foreign correspondent" for your hometown news organization. Deadline: Mar 1, 2019 for U.S. and Canadian applicants.
  • The Native American Journalists Association's annual Native American Journalism Fellowship is open to current American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian and First Nations college students, undergraduate and graduate, pursuing media degrees. Improve your reporting and multimedia skills, while learning from tribal journalists and news industry professionals from across the country during an on-site immersion newsroom experience in Prior Lake, Minnesota, Sept. 12-19, 2019 in coordination with the 2019 National Native Media Conference. Deadline: Feb 28, 2019.
  • The NAJA/NBC News Summer Fellowship, a partnership between the Native American Journalists Association and Comcast NBCUniversal, gives NAJA member-students real world experience and exposure to one of the world's leading news divisions as a paid summer 2019 intern. Deadline: Feb 22, 2019.
  • 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 Spring 2018 awards dinner in Phoenix. Deadline: Jan 31, 2018.
  • The Climate Cost Project's Witnessing Change Video Competition asks high school and college students to make videos that tell stories about the climate impacts experienced by their own communities. Cash prizes of $500 and $250 for first and second place for each competition, and the project will promote winning video as a critical educational tool on the personal and financial costs of climate change that are happening in America now. Deadline: May 1, 2017.
  • 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 >>>