First Amendment Contest

SPJ Madison has partnered with the Wisconsin Newspaper Association host the John Patrick Hunter First Amendment Contest to raise awareness about the First Amendment among Wisconsin college students.

Together, SPJ Madison and WNA will offer a $250 award to be split between the two winners of the contest – one for news writing and one for editorial writing.

Participants may enter news articles and editorials published by college newspapers or broadcast by college television and radio stations between Sept. 1, 2016 and Aug. 31, 2017. Entries will be accepted through the Wisconsin College Media Association Better Newspaper Contest portal. The deadline for the contest is 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 18.

Questions about the contest may be sent to spjmadisononline@

The contest honors former Capital Times reporter John Patrick Hunter. On Independence Day in 1951, during the anti-communist campaign by Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy, Hunter took to the streets of Madison to ask people if they would sign a copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Only one person signed Hunter’s petition, 111 refused.