First Amendment Contest

To raise awareness in Wisconsin among high school and college students about the First Amendment, SPJ Madison is delighted to host the John Patrick Hunter First Amendment Award for Student Journalists.

Materials that qualify for entry include opinions, editorial columns and stories that emphasize issues surrounding the First Amendment. The 2016-17 contest is open to items published between Sept. 1, 2016, and April 30, 2017.

Entries must be submitted by April 30 at spjmadisononline@ Questions about the contest may also be sent to that email.

The contest honors former Capital Times reporter John Patrick Hunter, a former Capital Times reporter. Hunter found 111 Madison residents who refused to sign a copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights at a park on July 4, 1951.

Only one person signed Hunter’s petition. Others feared repercussions if they signed it. This happened during the anti-communist campaign by then-Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin.