Concord students invited to apply for $5,000 Brodsky Prize for journalism

  • Jeffrey Brodsky interviews former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 4/11/2019 4:52:33 PM

High school students interested in journalism who demonstrate “a contrarian nature and out-of-the-box thinking,” are invited to apply for a $5,000 scholarship called the Brodsky Prize.

Students from Concord can apply for the award for the first time this year, along with public school students from Manchester, Nashua, Bedford, Londonderry and Merrimack. High school students attending Trinity, Pinkerton Academy and Bishop Guertin are also eligible.

The prize is named after Jeffrey Brodsky, 45, a former editor of the Central High School newspaper The Little Green.

“Working on the school newspaper was the most formative and meaningful high school experience for me – more than any classroom,” Jeffrey Brodsky said. “It’s more important than ever for young journalists to push boundaries and to challenge authority, and they can start by using the power of their school paper just like the press in the real world.”

After graduating from Central in 1992, Brodsky studied oral history and communications at Columbia University, becoming a historian and documentary producer, before illness forced his retirement and return to his hometown, according to Brodsky Prize organizers.

At Columbia, his signature project was interviewing prominent politicians about their first political campaigns. Brodsky interviewed more than 84 U.S. governors, senators, and heads of state from South America, Europe, Africa and New Zealand.

The inaugural scholarship winner, Central High School student Monericka Semeran, said the award was instrumental in financing her studies at Vassar College.

“Without the generosity of the Brodsky family, I don’t know if I would be at Vassar today,” she said. “Also, it was great to have my passion for journalism recognized. The award has encouraged me to write more and be willing to share my writing.”

In high school, Brodsky and classmate Misbah Tahir became co-editors of the Little Green as juniors and led the publication of the first issue of the school year when the newspaper had no staff advisor.

An editorial questioning school administration over the lack of transparency surrounding freshman class elections got the two editors in trouble and the newspaper briefly closed down by the principal, who felt criticizing a faculty member was out of line.

The school appointed a new faculty adviser and the paper was reopened and went on to win local and national honors, according to the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications, which helps oversee the award.

Interested students are encouraged to submit examples of their work, along with a 600-word essay by April 22. Entries should be emailed to: loebschool@loebschool.org. More detailed contest criteria can be found at brodskyprize.com.




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