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



  • 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 18, 2019.
  • 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, 2019.
  • In the U.S., youth between the ages of 11 and 19 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: Feb 22, 2019.
  • 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 Environmental Defence, and recognizes inspired stories, photos and videos about local environmental issues from 11-18 year olds. Winners have the chance to be published on Alternatives Journal's website and/or featured on the YRE website and newsletters. Deadline: Mar 29, 2019.
  • 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 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. Deadlines (for Feb 14-17, 2019 festival): Jul 27 (early); Sep 27 (regular); and Oct 17 (final).
  • 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, acces to SfN staff and $750 to help defray the expenses of attending the meeting. Deadline: Aug 31, 2018.
  • Based at Boston University, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting’s Pre-College 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 sessions. Deadlines: June 11, 25 and July 9, 2018 (but apply asap to ensure a spot).
  • 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, 2018.
  • The SEJ Emerging Environmental Journalist Award, launched in Oct 2015, recognizes students with outstanding potential in environmental journalism. And the program offers members the chance to directly advance SEJ’s mission with university and college officials. Deadline: May 1 annually.
  • 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 25 for the Jul 30-Aug 4, 2018 program at the Wayne State University Department of Communication, part of the School of Fine, Performing & Communication Arts, in Detroit, MI.
  • 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: Mar 15, 2018.
  • 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: Mar 1, 2018.
  • 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. Deadlines: Jan 31, 2018 for German applicants; Mar 1, 2018 for U.S. and Cdn.
  • 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 — Feb 1, 2018; student grants — Mar 1, 2018.
  • 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 >>>