Maassen Convention Scholarship

Fifteen scholarships will be awarded to students to enable them to attend the FSPA 2023 State Convention. Only one student per publication may apply, and this must be the student’s first time attending the convention. Students selected for the scholarship will have their $110 convention registration waived. Scholarship recipients must agree to devote two hours of volunteer time in the FSPA convention office.

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Emerging and Aspiring Young Journalist awards

FSPA and the Tampa Bay Times Fund are proud to announce the Emerging Young Journalist Award for freshmen and sophomores who show promise in journalism. 

And new for 2022, the Aspiring Young Journalist Award will honor outstanding eighth-grade student journalists. 

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Todd C. Smith Student Journalist of the Year

Outstanding senior staff members may submit a digital portfolio for consideration for this award. In 2002, the award was named in honor of Todd Carper Smith. Smith participated in FSPA in high school and after college wrote for the Tallahassee Democrat, St. Petersburg Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Tampa Tribune. He was killed by Shining Path guerrillas while working for the Tribune on a story in Peru. While his tragic death ended his own journalistic pursuit of truth, it continues to inspire others.

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Journalist of the Year awards

FSPA awards Journalist of the Year awards to students in various disciplines.

  • Artist of the Year
  • Broadcast Journalist of the Year
  • Designer of the Year
  • Sports Journalist of the Year
  • Tom Pierce Photojournalist of the Year
  • Web/Multimedia Journalist of the Year
  • Writer of the Year

Now open to juniors and seniors, who may enter one category, with each publication limited to one entry per category.

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Julie E. Dodd Scholarship

This award was started in 2001 to honor Dr. Julie Dodd, FSPA’s longest serving Executive Director of FSPA. Dr. Dodd was the FSPA Executive Director from 1989 – 2000. She continues to be very supportive and involved in scholastic journalism at the national and state levels. This $500 scholarship is to be awarded to an adviser to attend a summer workshop or journalism training of some kind.

Silver, Gold and Platinum Keys

Advisers who have been FSPA members for five, ten and twenty years are awarded keys. Advisers should check the appropriate information on their convention registration form to receive a key at convention.

Five years – Silver Key
Ten years – Gold Key
Twenty years – Platinum Key

Webb-Stapler Scholarship

Named after former FSPA Executive Directors John Webb and Harry Stapler, this scholarship is awarded to advisers to support their training and improve scholastic journalism in Florida.

Gold Medallion

Individuals who have made outstanding contributions to high school journalism in Florida for a minimum of five years may be nominated for FSPA’s highest award. The first Gold Medallion was presented at the 1979 convention to Allen Neuharth, who was the president of Gannett Florida at the time. The award was designed to honor journalism professionals who started their careers in high school journalism. Later the award criteria was changed to recognize individuals who made significant contributions to scholastic journalism and, in particular, FSPA.

Previous Winners

Morty Schaap Journalism Teacher of the Year

The Morty Schaap Journalism Teacher of the Year was established to recognize outstanding FSPA advisers. At the fall workshops, the seven districts select an adviser to be the district’s nominee. Each district nominee then submits a portfolio and letters of recommendation. The overall winner is selected by the adult members of the executive board and by representatives of Florida college and university mass communications programs. The award is named for Morty Schaap, a former newspaper adviser and FSPA president. The state winner becomes FSPA’s nominee for the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund’s National Journalism Teacher of the Year Award.

Previous Winners

Lifetime Achievement

Advisers and others who have made significant contributions to scholastic journalism may, upon retirement, be selected for this award.

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