Arkansas Tech University student Mark Freeman has been selected by The Courier’s editorial staff as the first recipient of The Courier Rising Journalist Award.
Freeman (right) is presented the award by publisher David Meadows. Freeman's reporting work will be featured in both the Wednesday and Sunday edition of the paper.
The contest, open to college-level journalism students in their junior or senior years of study, is designed to foster up-and-coming student writers through collaboration with established professionals and to instill in the community a sense of investment in the students’ future endeavors.
Entrants were asked to submit proposals, including a specific plan for a two-part story related to any significant issue facing the Arkansas River Valley and its people.
Freeman’s winning entry suggested further exploring the factors that led to the delay in bringing a convention center to Russellville.
Mary Kincy, managing editor, said the editorial board selected Freeman after he showed a keen insight into the world around him.
“Mark’s level of engagement with the community was apparent from his entry,” Kincy said. “He demonstrated an interest in and understanding of the Russellville area that was pleasantly surprising. This curiosity will serve him well in his future career, and we were excited to be a part of fostering that.”
Freeman said he became interested in journalism after a career orientation class in the eighth grade, and he'll begin his senior year at Arkansas Tech this fall.