Puyallup High School student Haley Keizur was selected as a runner-up for National High School Journalist of the Year by the Journalism Education Association.
The announcement was made at the 2018 Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association Spring National High School Journalism Convention in San Francisco on April 14.
“It was really exciting,” said Keizur, a senior at PHS. “I remember being really nervous because you don’t really know who else you’re competing against.”
Keizur attended the convention after she was named Washington Journalism Education Association Journalist of the Year in March, receiving a $2,000 Robin Morris scholarship. There were six total runners-up for the national award, including Keizur, out of a total of 36 state winners. As a runner-up, Keizer was awarded an $850 Sister Rita Jeanne Scholarship.
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Keizur first heard about the award when she was a sophomore at PHS. Her advisor encouraged her to apply, so Keizur began putting together a portfolio.
“She was really strong with her writing and has a strong component with social media,” Washington Journalism Education Association spokesperson Joy Lessard said.
Now, Keizur is the editor in chief of The Viking Vanguard at PHS. This year, she also played a role in helping pass state Senate Bill 5064, which grants student editors control of their high school newspapers, allowing freedom of expression and protection from censorship.
Last year, Keizur, along with other student journalists across the state, testified in support of the bill, but it didn’t pass the House. This year, they tried again. The bill passed.
“After a long journey of trying to get this bill passed in Washington, it is finally getting signed by Gov. Jay Inslee!” Keizur wrote in her blog.
The bill changes the game for students working at The Viking Vanguard after her, Keizur said.
“It’s good to know that future generations won't have to deal with self-censorship the way I have or the way staff has,” she said.
“(Keizur) is an advocate for the First Amendment and leads the staff in developing their responsibility to the audience to report what they need to know, want to know and should know,” said Sandra Coyer, Keizur’s adviser.
Next year, Keizur plans to attend the University of San Francisco to study journalism.
For more information, visit jea.org.