Essay “In Praise of Independent Journalism” Top Prize: Photo Opp With Arianna Huffington, Front Row Seats & Autographed Program

The McCarthey Family is sponsoring an essay contest designed to encourage dialogue about the vital role true “independent journalism” plays in our country. The contest is being held in conjunction with the October 20, 2007 McCarthey Family Lecture Series :: In Praise of Independent Journalism featuring reporter Arianna Huffington.

“We believe this to be a worthwhile project for students of all ages, as well as individuals who are interested in the future of journalism in this county,” noted Jury Chair, Thomas K. McCarthey. “And it’s also a chance to meet one of the most respected figures in journalism today – Arianna Huffington.” The grand prize includes four reserved seats at the October 20, 2007 McCarthey Family Lecture Series featuring Arianna Huffington, a program autographed by Ms. Huffington, and a photo opp with her.

The contest is now accepting essays and runs through October 5, 2007, and is open to all Utah residents. Individuals are invited to write an original paper on the topic “In Praise of Independent Journalism,” focusing on what “independent journalism” means to them. Essays should be no more than 400 words, typed and double-spaced. Essays and entry forms are due no later than 5 p.m. (MST) on October 5, 2007. One entry per person. Essays will be judged by a jury composed of McCarthey Family members and professional journalists, including Vern Anderson, Editorial and Opinion Editor, Salt Lake Tribune; Lois Collins, Columnist and Reporter, Deseret Morning News; Lex Hemphill, President, Sugarhouse Park Authority Board of Trustees and former sports reporter/columnist, The Salt Lake Tribune; and Nancy Melich, Literary Seminar Director, Utah Shakespearean Festival and former reporter and arts writer, The Salt Lake Tribune. Information and entry forms are available at or by emailing

How to enter:

  1. Go online to and follow the directions there.
  2. Pick up an application from participating high school counselors and teachers.
  3. Mail the essay and a letter with your name, age, grade and school (if applicable), e-mail address, mailing address and the words McCarthey Family Essay Contest to: McCarthey Family Lecture Series Essay Contest, c/o MKL Public Relations, 8 East Broadway, Suite 611, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84111.
  4. E-mail the essay and a message with your name, age, grade and school (if applicable) and mailing address to Please put McCARTHEY FAMILY LECTURE SERIES ESSAY CONTEST in the subject line.


The McCarthey family is dedicated to providing support of those causes that reflect the values of their family legacy. Over the past four years, the family has contributed more than $35 MM in support of private and public education, medical research, and historic preservation. Among the many organizations and institutions that have received funding are the American Diabetes Association, Cathedral of the Madeleine Choir School, Gonzaga University, Gonzaga University-in-Florence, Huntsman Cancer Institute, Judge Memorial Catholic High School, Kearns-St. Ann School, Multiple Sclerosis Society/Utah Chapter, Rowland Hall St. Mark’s School Campus, St. Ambrose Parish, St. Joseph’s Villa, the University of Utah, Westminster College, and the YWCA. As family Trustees, Tom, Maureen, Phil, Sarah and Shaun McCarthey share the conviction expressed by Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”


Honoring a commitment initiated by their great-grandfather, Thomas Kearns, who purchased The Salt Lake Tribune in 1901, and the request of our father, Thomas K. McCarthey, to cultivate a “lasting legacy” for an independent press, they have established The McCarthey Family Lecture Series: In Praise of an Independent Press. In recognition of the vital role an independent press plays in a true democracy, the Series will host public lectures by those journalists who have demonstrated the highest level of courageous, thoughtful and unbiased reporting. It is this role and its future that we hope your students would explore in their essays.