Freedom of Expression Award call for nominations; Feb. 15 deadline

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The WJEA Fern Valentine Freedom of Expression Award is presented every year to a WJEA member who has advocated for student free press rights in Washington State.

The award includes a check for $500 to be spent at the adviser’s discretion, and is presented in the interest of promoting fair, accurate, responsible and uncensored journalism in Washington State.

The recipient of this award will be a WJEA member who has worked beyond the call of duty for student free press rights, and may have risked reputation, professional standing and/or career to advocate such rights.

An adviser may self-nominate, or may be nominated by a student or colleague. A nomination consists of a letter, email or telephone call to the committee chair (see contact information below). When the nomination deadline has passed, the committee chair will contact the nominees for more information. This additional information may include a statement written by the nominee describing the nominee’s work and risks taken in the interest of student free press rights, letters of recommendation, examples of student work, professional media coverage of controversies, etc.

Submit Nominations:

WJEA Headquarters
P.O. Box 24389
Seattle, WA 98124
Kathy Schrier, wjeaexecutivedirector@gmail.com
(206) 979-3234, FAX (206) 583-0508

Nominations are due on or before Feb. 15.

Sandra Coyer


Fern Valentine Award 2018 PDF

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1 Comment

One Response to “Freedom of Expression Award call for nominations; Feb. 15 deadline”

  1. Fern Valentine on March 2nd, 2018 10:29 pm

    Is it too late to nominate Tom Kaup for the Freedom of Expression award. If he had not invited Joe Fain to ,his classroom and then followed up with continuous messages back and forth with him we would never have passed HB5064. Senator Fain became a believer in student press rights and his leadership in the Senate got it passed their almost unanimously. Then, when it stalled in the House last year, he did not give up, but, through Tom, advised us on how to change committees and how to gain supporter on the Judiciary Committee. When the amendment lost some supporters in the Democratic Party,, Senator Fain advised us to make phone calls and send urgent emails. Tom was in constant communication with Joe and made sure his Representatives knew Auburn High Journalism students were watching the hearing online. His students had testified at the hearings and graduates of his programs spoke at hearings, sent emails, enlisted support at their colleges, etc. You know that many of us have worked on getting this bill passed and, sadly, watched it fail over many years and with many sponsors. However, Senator Joe Fain was the sponsor who really pushed this bill through and we would not have had him had he not seen first hand that Open Forum policies lead to great learning opportunities not available in schools that restrict student journalists. Tom Kaup’s invitation to him set Senator Fain on the path to final success and Tom kept him constantly aware of the support available from WJE A members. Tom has been honored in the past for the superior program he has built at a school where most come from low income families. He has recruited students from all ethnic groups. His example as an openly gay leader gives young gay students a place where they can get advice and support with no fear. He is a wonderful teacher, a WJEA leader and deserves recognition for the essential role he paid in getting this bill passed. He deserves this award.

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The official site of the Washington Journalism Education Association
Freedom of Expression Award call for nominations; Feb. 15 deadline