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Mark of Excellence Awards

High school journalists play an important role in their communities.  From developing important skills to tackling controversial issues, the annual Mark of Excellence Competition recognizes budding journalists for their talent and hard work. The annual Kentucky Mark of Excellence Competition, sponsored by the Western Kentucky University Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, rewards the outstanding efforts of high school journalists throughout the state.

2019 Winners


2019 Keynote Presentation: The Great Unknowns

Tim Broekema, an award-winning photojournalist, photo editor, videographer and educator – who was, at one time, none of these – will talk about the power of embracing the unknown and turning unforeseen opportunities into career-altering decisions.

As professor of Photojournalism at Western Kentucky University and 2016 recipient of the Robin F. Garland Educator Award by the National Press Photographer’s Association, Tim has helped shove hundreds of students out into the real world of photojournalism and they still love him dearly. His students have won truckloads of individual top Hearst honors, NPPA, CPOY and POYi awards and accolades for their work. Since 2000, he and his colleagues have led their students to 12 Intercollegiate National Photojournalism Championships in the Hearst Competition and they have won the Multimedia Intercollegiate National Championships every year since 2012, the first year of the contest. His students have landed jobs at various alphabet-laden organizations like CNN, MSNBC, TIME, the LA Times and the other Times on the right coast as well as places in the middle.


Past Winners (Excel Spreadsheet Format)



Sam Oldenburg, KHSMI Coordinator | samual.oldenburg@wku.edu | 270-745-3055

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 Last Modified 11/18/19