4th annual Baptist Press contest for student journalists opens

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--The fourth annual Baptist Press Excellence in Journalism Contest is underway.

Official entry rules and forms have been forwarded to about 50 colleges and universities and are available to other prospective entrants via e-mail at bpress@sbc.net.

"We're excited to offer this opportunity for some of the best in student journalism to earn honors for their work," said Will Hall, executive editor of Baptist Press and vice president for news services with the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. "The conference is shaping up to be our best ever."

Nearly 100 awards to schools and to individual student journalists will be presented during the annual Baptist Press Student Journalism Conference, also in its fourth year.

The Oct. 7-9 conference, with a theme of "Pursue the Passion," will return to the SBC Building in Nashville, Tenn.

The keynote speaker and workshop leaders will be announced in May.

May 28 is the deadline for this year's Baptist Press Excellence in Journalism Contest for entries published or broadcast between Aug. 1, 2003, and May 28, 2004.

Last year, more than 500 entries were received from 22 colleges and universities, with awards given for first, second and third place.

There are four divisions in the overall competition in which schools earn honors: newspaper, yearbook, online and broadcast. Students may win awards and recognition in three divisions of the individual competition: newspaper, yearbook and photojournalism.

Additionally, students may compete for the top individual honor, the President's Award for Student Journalism, presented by SBC Executive Committee President Morris H. Chapman. Candidates must meet academic eligibility requirements and submit a portfolio of work for judging by a panel.

A one-time fee of $50 per school is charged to enter any part of the Baptist Press Excellence in Journalism Contest. E-mail requests for official rules and entry forms can be sent to bpress@sbc.net.

Last year's judges included Adelle Banks of Religion News Service, Gayle White of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Richard Vara of the Houston Chronicle, Patricia Rice of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, David Waters of the Memphis Commercial Appeal and Jim Jones of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Joni B. Hannigan, managing editor of the Florida Baptist Witness newsjournal, is the competition's coordinator.


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