WASHINGTON, Nov. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The National Press Club, the world’s leading professional organization for journalists, has chosen Christina Walker, of Stockbridge, Georgia, as the winner of its 2020 Richard G. Zimmerman Journalism Scholarship. The award is for graduating high school seniors and is a one-time scholarship for $5,000.
Walker won over the judges as a “phenomenal” student athlete, as one of her teachers described her. Judges noted that as a high school student at the Paideia School in Stockbridge, she “built her own brand” as a TV broadcaster producing mature, thoughtful and unusual stories on sports.
Longtime journalist and scholarship judge Erin Looney said that Walker had an “instinct” that sports coverage can be used to tell many different kinds of stories and illustrate social problems and trends. “She is a great storyteller,” Looney said.
Walker created a YouTube channel called ChristinaGirlsHoops TV “to uplift, inspire, and empower girls nationwide.” And during her last year of high school, when COVID-19 prevented her from playing in the state basketball finals and formally graduating, she produced “No Last Dance.”
Walker also impressed judges with her ability to get invitations to events at the White House, the McDonald’s All-American Games, and the NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four.
“I’ve been traveling to national events since I was 10 years old,” Walker said. “I’ve always been the youngest and often the only person of color at a given event … It’s not every day that a 13-year-old gets to interview Geno Auriemma,” the winningest coach in women’s NCAA basketball, “near the front lawn of the White House.” That was one of several trips to the White House under the Obama Administration.
Walker now attends Washington University in St. Louis, where she plans to expand her writing abilities to accompany her broadcast and photography skills.
“This year has served as a stunning reminder of the vital role of journalism in our democracy and one in which ‘running toward danger’ has been the norm rather than the exception,” said National Press Club President Michael Freedman. “In the end, it will also be about ensuring that journalism survives and thrives going forward. One tangible way we help is by investing in the next generation of reporters and industry leaders and this year’s scholarship recipients certainly represent our best and brightest. They have already shown perseverance and tenacity in their personal journeys and each has demonstrated having the courage of their convictions.”
“Our winners, the runners-up, and all of the applicants give us great hope for the future and we congratulate them,” Freedman said. “We also offer heartfelt thanks to this year’s judges who completed the process with great care and attention under extraordinary conditions. We salute them for their inspirational leadership.”
The runner-up for this scholarship was Matthew Johnson of Opelika, Alabama.
The Richard G. Zimmerman Scholarship is named for a long-time National Press Club member who died in 2008 and endowed a scholarship to support high school seniors who wish to pursue a career in journalism.
Walker is one of dozens of award winners to be honored at the National Press Club’s 47th Annual Journalism Awards Dinner on Wednesday, December 2. The National Press Club’s Journalism Awards celebrate the best in American broadcast and print journalism, recognizing outstanding reporting at both the national and regional levels across every imaginable beat.
Scholarship winners and runners-up are also awarded one-year complimentary membership to the National Press Club.
CONTACT: Lindsay Underwood for the National Press Club; firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-662-7561
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SOURCE National Press Club