Montana Journalism Education Association

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Montana Journalism Education Association

Montana Journalism Education Association

Montana Journalist of the Year (JOY) deadline is Feb. 12


Each year, students from across the state compete for the title of Montana High School Journalist of the Year. The competition standards and rubrics align with the Journalism Education Association’s nationwide Student Journalist of the Year competition. The annual competition is open to senior student journalists and requires the completion of an online portfolio aligned with JEA’s curriculum standards.

Applications are first judged at the state level, and the state winner submits his/her portfolio to the national contest under the guidance of the state JEA Director.

  • The JEA site —  — offers a lot of information regarding assembling a portfolio, including a guidelines video, Q&A videos, examples of past winning portfolios, the judging rubric and explanation of the various categories.
  • The Online Portfolio (a web site created by the applicant) includes:
    • Reporting and Writing
    • Editing, Leadership and Team Building
    • Design
    • Broadcast Journalism
    • Photojournalism
    • Web and Social Media
    • Law, Ethics and News Literacy
    • Marketing and Audience Engagement
    • Commitment to Diversity

Visit for guidance in setting up the online portfolio. The site features several videos to help students and advisers set up portfolios.


Montana applicants should have the following materials ready to submit at the time of application:

  • Student, adviser, school, and parent/guardian contact information, including phone, e-mail and address.
  • Portfolio WEB SITE address – created in WordPress
  • Action photograph of the student involved in student journalismand caption for this photograph. (Photo should be on the portfolio web site)
  • Self-reflective essay: Students should write with passion and make an impact on the judges because this essay functions as the applicant’s one-on-one interview with the judges. Essay should not exceed two pages in length. (Included on the web site)
  • Resume (PDF format)
  • High school transcript (PDF format) — Student should be a high school senior and should have an overall GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Three letters of recommendation from those who know the applicant well and understand the impact of the journalistic experience on the student’s life.No letter should exceed two pages in length. (PDF format.)


All PDFs, links and information will be e-mailed no later than midnight on Feb. 12 to: [email protected]

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