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Attention college journalists: The Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists (MNSPJ) is now accepting applications for its 2018 student scholarship. This year, MNSPJ will award one $2,500 scholarship to a student pursuing a career in broadcast, print, online or visual journalism. A second winner will receive a $700 stipend to attend SPJ’s Excellence in Journalism, an annual national conference for professional and college journalists that will be held Sept. 27-29 in Baltimore.

Applicants must either be enrolled in a post-secondary institution in Minnesota or have graduated from a high school in Minnesota and be enrolled in college elsewhere. Preference will be given to Society of Professional Journalists members.

Click here to submit an application form –- the first step. Email the additional application materials to Here’s what’s required:

Application form, which can be found here
College transcript
Letter of recommendation
Essay (limited to 500 words): Why have you chosen journalism as a career?
Up to six samples of work via a link to your portfolio, a PDF of clips or story URLs

Applications must be received by March 31, 2018. No late submissions will be accepted. The scholarship winners will be announced prior to MNSPJ’s annual Page One Awards banquet, where recipients will receive their awards.

Questions? Email



  • The fee is $22 per entry.
  • Entries must be submitted no later than Friday, February 23, 2018.
  • All work published or broadcast during the 2017 calendar year is eligible.
  • Journalists (including freelancers and contract employees) working for all print, broadcast and online news outlets in Minnesota (or news outlets in neighboring states that cover Minnesota) are eligible to enter.
  • An individual may submit only one entry per category. Exceptions: 1) if a second entry is a multiple-byline entry; or 2) if it is submitted by his/her employer because they could not agree on a single entry.
  • Entries will be judged by journalism professionals outside Minnesota.
  • Judges may move an entry from one category to another.
  • Up to three winners may be chosen for each category. Judges may choose not to name a winner in any category.
  • Entries will not be returned.
  • Awards Presentation: Winners will be announced in the spring of 2018 and honored during MN SPJ’s annual Page One Awards Banquet. Date and location, TBD.


  • NEWSPAPER, ONLINE & PHOTOGRAPHY ENTRIES must be submitted online.
  • FOR PRINT ENTRIES (Newspaper and Magazine): Entrants should submit a link to the online article or a PDF of the news/magazine page on which the story appeared. The date of publication should be visible.
  • FOR NEWSPAPER AND MAGAZINE “BEST ISSUE” CATEGORIES: entries may be submitted by mail. TWO COPIES of each issue must be submitted in an 8 1/2-by-11-inch folder or envelope. Please write category name on outside of folder.
  • FOR GRAPHICS/PHOTOGRAPHY CATEGORIES: Entrants should submit a PDF of the news/magazine page on which the art appeared, or a link to the art published on an online news site. The date of publication should be visible.
  • FOR TV ENTRIES: Entrants should submit a URL where video can be viewed (preferred) or entries may be submitted on a DVD (please include TWO COPIES).
  • FOR RADIO ENTRIES: Entrants should submit a link to the work online (preferred) or entries may be submitted by mail on a CD (please include TWO COPIES).

CLICK HERE to access the contest submission form

Hate in the Headlines: A seminar for journalists

Join us for a free seminar on covering the rise in hate crimes and clashes. On Friday, Jan. 19, MNSPJ and the Minnesota Journalism Center will host “Hate in the Headlines,” an afternoon workshop at the University of Minnesota.

Dig into the latest research on this timely topic from the Southern Poverty Law Center and ProPublica. Hear from law enforcement, legal experts and victims of hate crimes. You won’t want to miss this valuable training!

This workshop is free. But space is limited, so registration is required. Register online at

Minnesota Sampler: A bobcat in greater Mankato


A contact shared a video on social media that made reporter Kristine Goodrich pretty sure she had a story.

It featured a young man in the Mankato area using a clever contraption to free a bobcat from a trap.

Goodrich marveled at how the young man protected himself. And then she wondered: How rare are bobcats around here?

The result is a story that ran in early January in the Mankato Free Press that’s the latest subject of Minnesota Sampler, a periodic feature from MNSPJ that showcases journalism from across the state.

“I was disappointed and considered scrapping the idea when the trapper in the viral video didn’t want to be named because he said he feared he would be harassed by people who are opposed to trapping,” Goodrich said via e-mail. “I decided to still run with it and use a [Department of Natural Resources] expert as the principal source concentrating on my second reaction.”

Some vetting was required, Goodrich said, since there have been some prank claims over the years about cat sightings. A colleague at the Free Press investigated a photo of a cougar a few years ago and determined it was a hoax.

Others are real. Last year, Goodrich wrote a story about a cougar sighting in Blue Earth.

Goodrich has worked at the Free Press for two year. She spent her first decade in journalism as a reporter and then co-editor at Press Publications, which publishes weekly papers in eastern portion of the Twin Cities.

Goodrich studied journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Why journalism?

“I suppose above all else it is the opportunity to talk with amazing people ranging from experts who are their wisdom to everyday citizens who do something inspiring,” Goodrich said in an e-mail. “And then there’s the challenge and reward of crafting stories.”

Where Race and Sports Intersect: What is the media’s role?


Race and sports have long crossed paths — from Muhammad Ali being stripped of the heavyweight boxing title after taking a stand against the Vietnam War to players’ “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” protests following the death of Michael Brown. Today, numerous athletes have protested by kneeling during the national anthem, attracting support and opposition from all corners of America.

As Minnesota prepares to host the Super Bowl, the country’s biggest sporting event, the Twin Cities Black Journalists chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists, along with the University of Minnesota’s Minnesota Journalism Center, will host a panel of local sports journalists and athletes to discuss how race, culture and sports have intersected and should be covered by the news media. 

The Jan. 23 panel will be moderated by Rana L. Cash, NFL editor at the Star Tribune. It features:

Carl Eller, retired Vikings defensive end, Pro Football Hall of Famer and one of the illustrious Purple People Eaters
Rebekkah Brunson, Lynx forward, first and only player in WNBA history with five championship titles to her name
LaTroy Hawkins, member of the Twins broadcast team for Fox Sports North and former Twins player
Larry Fitzgerald Sr, sports editor and columnist with the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

They’ll discuss questions such as: Should athletes use their platform for social activism or does doing so create a larger distraction for their employers and fans? What is the newsworthiness of covering sports-related protests as opposed to just the games themselves? Is it possible or prudent for journalists to remain unbiased when it comes to race relations?

What: Where Race and Sports Intersect
When: 6 p.m. Jan. 23
Where: Murphy Hall 130, University of Minnesota

This event is free. Register here. And let us know you’re coming on Facebook.


A conversation about uncovering sexual harassment: Dec. 7

Join MNSPJ and two of Minnesota’s top reporters for a conversation about sexual harassment in the headlines. MinnPost legislative reporter Briana Bierschbach broke the story about allegations against Minnesota state Sen. Dan Schoen, prompting a flood of coverage about similar claims — and the inconsistent handling of them — at the Capitol. She teams up with Jana Shortal, co-anchor of KARE 11’s Breaking the News, for a timely discussion about covering the #metoo movement.

They’ll lead a discussion at 6:30 on Thursday, Dec. 7 at Grumpy’s Bar, 1111 S Washington Ave, in downtown Minneapolis. Free entry and appetizers. Doors at 6 p.m.

(Shortal photo courtesy Ackerman + Gruber Photography)