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Constitution Day is right time
to apply for FAPFA recognition


by Lori Keekley, MJE
As advisers, we work to support student journalists on a daily basis.

Taking a moment today to apply for the First Amendment Press Freedom Award is a great way to symbolically show this support.

This Constitution Day is no different. As we teach about the First Amendment and celebrate its needed existence today, we should also look at preserving and highlighting the importance a free student press.

So today, in between checking on the Constitution Day lunchroom activity and our student media celebration of the day, I will forward the First Amendment Press Freedom Award (FAFPA) application link to my editor-in-chief.

Applying not only reminds my students of the importance of their voice, it also reminds me of the importance of students making the decisions.

So today, consider taking a moment to fill out the application and ask an editor-in-chief independently to do the same. Answering the 12 questions included on the application is all you need to do to submit to Round 1.

After this, the committee will meet and discuss each application. The committee — made up of delegates from the National Scholastic Press Association, Quill & Scroll and JEA — then discuss and vote on whether the school will advance to Round 2.

Because the committee doesn’t have a set number of schools that can be recognized, the journalism programs that fit the criteria will be honored as FAPFA schools. Please know after Round One all advisers at the school, an administrator and one editor from each media outlet will be required to fill out the application. For fully converged media, only one editor will need to fill out the application.

While Round One applications are due by Dec. 15, consider applying today. Doing this on Constitution Day is a great way to continue to support student journalists.

Please contact Lori Keekley with questions.



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