Students in grades 6 through 12 and at Utah colleges can win a share of $8,000 in cash awards by entering the McCarthey Family Foundation’s annual journalism essay contest.

Entries are due Friday, Sept. 27. The winning essayist in each age category will be recognized at the foundation’s 14th annual lecture In Praise of Independent Journalism, featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian Jon Meacham, on Saturday, Nov. 9. The 7 p.m. lecture is open to the public at no charge at Rowland Hall, Philip G. McCarthey Campus, 720 Guardsman Way in Salt Lake City. Meacham spoke in Utah in May at the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad.

College students, undergraduate and graduate • For a cash prize of $4,000, submit an original essay of no more than 1,000 words on this quote: “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” — Thomas Jefferson, Paris, January 28, 1786. Discuss this quote as it relates to the challenges facing our democracy and provide examples to support your position.

Grades 9 through 12 • For a cash prize of $2,500, submit an original essay of no more than 750 words on this quote: “Power can be very addictive. And it can be corrosive. And it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power.” — George W. Bush, NBC Today, February 2017. Discuss this quote as it relates to the press in a democracy and provide examples to support your position.

Grades 6 through 8 • For a cash prize of $1,500, submit an original essay of no more than 500 words on this quote: “Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy." — Walter Cronkite. Explain the meaning of this quote and provide examples to support your explanation.

Email a Word document, typed and double-spaced, to mkl@mklpr.com. All entries must include the entering student’s name, phone number, email address and name and department of the university or college, or name of the school and grade, in which the student is enrolled.