Walter S. and Syrena M. Howell Essay Contest

$3,000 SCHOLARSHIP Plus a $1,000 PRIZE

Students wishing to apply for this scholarship and prize must write an essay. The student who writes the best essay in 1,500-2,500 words will be awarded the scholarship and prize.

The goal of the Howell Essay Fund is to encourage student analysis of propaganda, as defined as, “the use of proved and/or unverifiable assumptions in a report or statement of allegations reflecting the view and interests of its advocates.”

Deadline is Monday, Feb. 15, 2016

Essay Question

Examine news about U.S. immigration, specifically of people from the Middle East, and how propaganda has been used on social media to influence the debate. Define propaganda surrounding that issue and describe how it affects Muslim Americans. Finally, state what role you think a responsible press should have, if any, in this debate. Multimedia submissions are encouraged.

Your Essay

Your essay should be 1,500–2,500 words. Consideration will be given to analyses with critical thinking and research, including — but not limited to — Web searches, interviews with experts on the subject and links to examples. Sources must be properly cited. Essay may be presented in a written or multimedia form. Multimedia essays should include scripts for any video content. Students may also produce multimedia elements as a supplement to a written essay.

Submit Your Entry

Submit your entry at Written content should be in a Word or PDF document. Do NOT include your name or any other identifying information in your essay file.

Only students with majors in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences are eligible. The winner will be notified shortly after the deadline.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Only MSU students with majors in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences are eligible.
  • The scholarship will be disbursed to use in either Summer or Fall semester, 2016.
  • Those graduating May 2016 are not eligible.


Questions can be directed to Joe Grimm at

Deadline: 5 p.m., Monday, Feb 15, 2016

About This Contest

This contest and scholarship were established by Grant Howell, former editor of The Daily (Royal Oak) Tribune, in memory of his parents, Walter and Syrena Howell.

Established by Grant Howell, this scholarship and award is given annually to an undergraduate journalism student who writes the best essay examining media bias, a subject of deep concern to Howell. He was a feisty newsman, in the best sense of the word, always wanting his staff and his newspaper to cover the news fairly, objectively and honestly.

Share via these networks: