Top journalists celebrated at symposium

IHSPA President April Moss presents the 2019 Indiana High School Journalist of the Year award to Southport High School student Madelyn Knight during the IHSPA First Amendment Symposium at the Indiana Statehouse March 14. Knight will receive a $1,000 scholarship from IHSPA and be the Indiana representative in the national journalist of the year competition. Photo by Leslie Velez, Pike High School

Southport student Madelyn Knight was named the 2019 Indiana High School Journalist of the Year during the 12th annual IHSPA First Amendment Symposium March 14 at the Indiana Statehouse. One of four finalists from across the state, contest judges selected Knight’s comprehensive portfolio because it not only showcased her talents within the field, but also highlighted the progression of a lifelong learner dedicated to the craft and her peers.

“This student journalist does it all,” competition judge Teresa White of Indiana University said in her evaluation of Knight’s portfolio. “She gets journalism and its purpose. She uses all the tools at her disposal. So impressive.”

Knight will receive a $1,000 scholarship from IHSPA and serve as the Indiana representative for the national journalist of the year award where she will be eligible for a scholarship of up to $3,000. Journalist of the year winners will be recognized, and the national winner will be named, during the 2019 JEA/NSPA spring national convention in Anaheim, April 25-27.


Indiana Journalist of the Year Finalists
Evan Gerike, Portage HS
Madelyn Knight, Southport HS
Haley Pritchett, Greenwood Community HS
Morgan Taylor, Crown Point HS

First Amendment Design Contest
Winner – Nasiba Naku, Pike HS
Second Place – Anna Lowe, Greenwood Community HS

Sports Journalism Contest
Winner – Russell Peterson-Womack, Southport HS
Second Place – Logan Zrebiec, Southport HS

SPJ/JEA Essay Contest Indiana Winners
Anna Eggers, Ben Davis HS
Kyra Gegner, Paoli Jr.-Sr. HS
Hannah Heilman, Greenwood Community HS

The symposium also featured IHSPA student board member speeches about the importance of journalism and a keynote by Jon Webb from the Evansville Courier & Press who discussed five things student journalists can do to better serve their readers and improve the quality of their content. Full scripts for each presentation are available here.

For more information about the event and contest results, please contact IHSPA Executive Director Ryan Gunterman at

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