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September 29, 2021

National Press Club awards Shradha Dinesh the 2021 Richard G. Zimmerman Award for Studies in Journalism

National Press Club

WASHINGTON, September 28, 2021 /— The National Press Club, the world’s leading professional organization for journalists, has chosen  Shradha Dinesh of Ashburn, Va., as the winner of its 2021 Richard G. Zimmerman Award. The award for graduating high school seniors is a one-time scholarship.

Shradha won over the judges with her role in bringing Rock Ridge High School’s moribund newspaper back to life, as well as with her writing skills.

Her English teacher Katy Greiner wrote that during Shradha’s freshman year, “I mentioned my attempts to ‘re-launch the paper” to the class, “hoping she would join in.” The result was “The Blaze,” now in its third year and with 45 staff members under Shradha’s leadership.

“I can say without hesitation that she is the driving force,” wrote Shradha’s teacher, who also says Shradha is a mentor, earns her peers’ respect with her guidance and “raw talent,” and her “dedication to thanking her staff with handwritten notes.”

In her application essay, Shradha wrote that “as an Indian American, it is glaringly evident that newsrooms lack coverage of South Asian communities except for the occasional election-season op-ed or racist caricatures in entertainment.” She said that students desire diversity in literature.

Shradha is attending the College of William & Mary in Virginia and hopes to become a journalist.

Shradha learned copyediting and photography, and as editor in chief of The Blaze, undertook more ambitious projects like podcasts. She also filed her first Freedom of Information Act request. But, as her English teacher notes, if the staff needed a photo of a football game or a last-minute change to the design, “Shradha was there.”

“Not only did Shradha help revive her high school newspaper, but she has also ensured that it will thrive,” said Lisa Matthews, National Press Club president. “Her work to grow a dedicated team and guide others as a mentor shows us the young leadership journalists can demonstrate as they work toward a common goal. This scholarship isn’t just an award — it’s an investment in a journalist who will have a great impact on others through her work.”

The runner-up for this scholarship was Naomi Jordan of Pinetop, Ariz.

The Richard G. Zimmerman Scholarship gets its name from a long-time National Press Club member who endowed a scholarship to support high school seniors who wish to pursue a career in journalism.

Shradha Dinesh is one of the dozens of award winners who will be honored at the National Press Club’s Annual Journalism Awards Dinner, to be held virtually from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on December 8, 2021. The National Press Club’s Journalism Awards celebrate the best in American broadcast and print journalism.

Source: The National Press Club, Washington, DC

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 3:27 AM | Link to this Post

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