July 9, 2013
Free Spirit

Free Spirit

Newseum Hosts 2013 Al Neuharth Free Spirit Scholars

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 when they attend the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference.

The conference will take place at the Newseum from July 13 to 18.

The Free Spirit program, an initiative of the newly established 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 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 the 2013 Al Neuharth Free Spirit Journalism Scholars can be found on freespirit.org.

In partnership with the Journalism Education Association, the Newseum Institute works with high school journalism teachers and news organizations throughout the country to recruit applicants for the Free Spirit conference and promote the program. Students are required to submit work samples, letters of reference, a transcript and essays about their interest in journalism and their free spirit qualities.

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 David Gregory at the NBC News studio in Washington. On July 16, the students will meet with NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn, who will visit the Newseum to lead an engaging discussion during a scheduled NASA spacewalk, which will be broadcast live on the Newseum's atrium screen. They also will participate in a courtroom simulation with U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth.

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