when the medium is the message
mccarthey family foundation lecture series: in praise of independent journalism
essay competition (2009-)
students at colleges and universities in utah were invited to submit an original essay of 500 words in conjunction with the lecture. the essay competition is designed to encourage students to reflect upon independ-ent journalism and the vital role it plays in our democracy. the winning essayist received a cash prize of $2500.00 the evening of the lecture.
in 2018, the essay competition expanded to encourage even younger students to begin thinking about the vital role a free press plays in a democracy. high school and junior high school students statewide were invited to consider this issue in order to stimulate greater awareness and interest among our future citizen-leaders.
the winning utah college/university essay of 1,000 words received a cash prize of $4,000.00.
the winning Utah high school student essay (grades 9-12) of 750 words received a cash prize of $2,500.00.
the winning utah junior high school student essay (grades 8-10) of 500 words received a cash prize of $1,500.00.
honoring a commitment initiated by their great-grandfather United States Senator Thomas Kearns, who purchased The Salt Lake Tribune in 1901, and the request of their father, Thomas K. McCarthey, to cultivate a “lasting legacy for an independent press,” today’s trustees have established this public forum. in recognition of the vital role an inde-pendent press plays in a democracy, the series sponsors public lectures by and concerning journalists who have demonstrated the highest level of courageous, thoughtful and unbiased reporting.