Indiana University

National Collegiate Reporting Competition

peace park

Elizabeth Koh, 2014, reads a wall inscription at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. (Lexy Gross)

The Scripps Howard Foundation, with Indiana University Journalism, established the Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition in 1984 to honor the memory of the journalist who led Scripps Howard Newspapers from 1922-1953 and United Press from 1912-1920. The annual competition ran from 1984-2017.

From 1984-2005, the winners received scholarships and their college newspapers were awarded grants. But in 2006, the foundation and IU revamped the awards to include a 10-day guided tour to Japan for nine national scholars.

The winners traveled to Asia to study journalism in other cultures, visiting media organizations as well as cultural and historical landmarks. Roy W. Howard also had made such journeys as a journalist, persevering to land interviews with elusive leaders.


The competition sent 108 students from 66 universities to east Asia over 12 years, expenses paid. For many, this was their first trip out of country. Some went on to become foreign correspondents and media managers, and nearly all became professional journalists.

“Traveling to Japan with the Roy W. Howard group opened my eyes to a part of the world I had never explored before, and allowed me to meet with foreign correspondents who taught us valuable lessons about covering news far from home. The trip allowed me to make connections and create a network on the other side of the world that I still use today in my own foreign reporting.”

Alex Pena, 2011
Digital journalist, CBS News

“The Roy W. Howard competition not only gave me an added resume booster with its well-respected name and prestige, but it also gave me a confidence booster. I had never been selected from a national pool before, and the competition encouraged me to apply for jobs I previously thought were ‘out of my league.’ The person who interviewed me for my first job was formerly the CBS News Asia Bureau chief! We talked about the country, the people and the media there — and then she offered me the job.”

Bianca Hillier, 2016
Associate digital producer, Dateline at NBC News

“This trip fundamentally changed the direction of my career. Before, I had never left the United States, much less considered foreign correspondence; since, I’ve lived in Asia twice and have also reported and traveled elsewhere in the world.”

Jillian Kay Melchior, 2006
Editorial page writer, The Wall Street Journal

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