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ADL Honors Student Journalists with New Bess Myerson Awards

Is college dorm life at Yale immoral? How far should our right to freedom of speech be taken? How does an epidemic spread in a religious community?

These were just a few of the topics of articles written by college students that the Anti-Defamation League honored last week with its Bess Myerson Campus Journalism Awards.

This was the competition’s first year.

“These national awards are an important tool in reaching students far and wide in the fight against hatred,” said Bess Myerson, a former Miss America and New York City government official who donated the funds for the awards.

“By encouraging student journalists to think critically about interracial, interethnic, intercultural and interreligious relations and communication, we can breed sensitivity on campus and hopefully promote dialogue between diverse student populations.”

The student journalists honored were recognized for excellence in published works that encourage intergroup dialogue, tolerance and understanding on campus. newspapers. They addressed such controversial issues as Holocaust denial on campus, right-wing extremism, anti-Semitism, hate on the Internet and AIDS in the Orthodox community.

“The articles were extraordinary, insightful, perceptive and brilliant. Some even brought tears to my eyes,” said Myerson.

Brian Schwartzman of the University of Massachusetts won first place in editorial/opinion. His article, which appeared in the Daily Collegian, addressed the question of what to do about a publication, The Spotlight, circulating in his community that contains slanderous articles. He tried to motivate his fellow students to exercise their right to free speech to combat The Spotlight.

Jay Dixit of Yale University was awarded first place in news reporting/ features. His article, “WWW.Nazi.Com,” published in The New Journal, explored hate on the Internet.

Other students who won awards included:

Sam Begner won second place in editorial/opinion for “Scarlet Receives Holocaust Denial Ad,” which appeared in The Scarlet, the student newspaper of Clark University in Worcester, Mass.

Ken Vogel of the University of Wisconsin won third place for editorial/opinion for “America: Still a Christian Nation?” which appeared in The Badger Herald, the University of Wisconsin student newspaper.

Rebecca Blustein won second place in news reporting/features for “United by Hate,” which was published in Ha’am, a Jewish student magazine at the University of California at Los Angles.

Jonathan Weinbach also won second place in news reporting/features for his article, “The New Puritanism: Is Dorm Life at Yale Immoral?” which appeared in New Voices, which is published by the Jewish Student Press Service

Susan Jacobs, a former JTA intern, won third place in news reporting/features for her article “We Are Not Immune: AIDS in the Orthodox Jewish Community,” printed in The Observer, the campus newspaper of Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women.

Alex Little also won third place for “Coloring the Carolina Dream,” published in The Daily Tar Heel at the University of North Carolina.

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