Press Releases

Jun 10, 2015

51 High School Students from Across the U.S. to Attend Washington Journalism Conference at the Newseum June 20–25

2015 Al Neuharth Free Spirit Journalism Scholars Announced

WASHINGTON — Fifty-one high school journalists, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, will explore the First Amendment and the watchdog role of a free press at the 2015 Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference. The conference will take place at the Newseum from June 20 to 25.

The Free Spirit program, an initiative of the Newseum Institute, is an annual academic and scholarship program designed to inspire and equip some of the nation’s best and brightest students to pursue journalism and media careers. The program began in 1999 to honor Al Neuharth, the founder of USA Today, the Newseum and the Freedom Forum.

The rising high school seniors, chosen from hundreds of applicants, will attend the conference for free, and each will receive a $1,000 college scholarship. A complete list of this year’s scholars can be found at

The Newseum Institute works with a number of high school journalism organizations, press associations and high school journalism teachers and advisers throughout the country to identify and recruit qualified applicants.

Through presentations, meetings and experiences at the Newseum and elsewhere in Washington, the students will learn about the First Amendment as a cornerstone of democracy and the vital role of a free and responsible press. Students will study the three branches of government and how journalists cover them.

In addition to touring the Newseum, students will visit the U.S. Capitol and the headquarters of USA Today, and they will attend a taping of NBC’s “Meet the Press” with moderator Chuck Todd at the NBC News studio in Washington. They also will participate in a program on social media and the First Amendment with U.S. District Court Senior Judge Royce C. Lamberth.

About the Freedom Forum Institute

The Freedom Forum Institute is the education and outreach partner of the Freedom Forum and the Newseum. The Institute includes the First Amendment Center, the Religious Freedom Center, the Newseum’s education department and diversity and inclusion programs. The Freedom Forum Institute’s affiliate organizations include the Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota; the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi; and the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University. The Freedom Forum Institute is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including its principal funder, the Freedom Forum.

Press Contacts

Jonathan Thompson
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