It Can Wait Editorial Contest
It Can Wait Editorial Contest
Deadline to enter March 26, 2021
The PNA Foundation and Pennsylvania’s newspapers, together with AT&T, are joining again to host an “It Can Wait” editorial contest to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. The 2021 contest, beginning Dec. 1, is open to all Pennsylvania high school students and offers a $500 prize for the column or editorial – written or via video – that best answers the question, “Why is it important to take the It Can Wait pledge to drive distraction free?” At the judges’ discretion, additional second and third place awards of $200 and $100, respectively, may be presented.
We are asking PNA members to hold local contests, with a monetary or other prize of their choosing, to encourage high school students to write a column or produce a video editorial about the dangers of distracted driving. Thanks to the generous support of AT&T, the PNA Foundation will donate $200 to local winners’ cash prizes for the first 20 PNA member newspapers who contact us about their local “It Can Wait” contests. Entries may also be submitted by individuals from unsponsored areas. The PNA Foundation will announce the winning statewide entries the week of April 19 and awards will be presented in conjunction with the Student Keystone Media Awards celebration.
Hundreds of thousands of vehicle crashes a year are caused by distracted driving, often involving injuries and death. While 95 percent of people know that distracted driving is dangerous, a majority still admit to using their smartphones while driving. However, more than 50 percent of people are more likely to stop driving distracted if someone pressures them.
“It Can Wait” is a national movement urging drivers to visit www.itcanwait.com, where they can pledge to care for others and put their phones down while driving, and share their pledges via Twitter (#ItCanWait) and Facebook. Since its launch in 2010, the campaign has helped increase awareness of the dangers of texting while driving to about 90 percent for all audiences surveyed and inspired more than 40 million pledges not to drive distracted.
Since 2015, the PNA Foundation has joined with AT&T to host statewide “It Can Wait” editorial contests. PNA member newspapers are invited to host local contests to encourage high school students in their communities to help make roadways safer. A winner is recognized in each participating community and entered into the statewide contest. Since 2015, more than 840 students have participated in the contest across Pennsylvania.
Past statewide winners
Treston Johnson, a senior at Carlisle High School, received second place honors, while Julie Bauer, a Bellwood-Antis High School senior, placed third (view Bauer’s entry).
Additional awards were added in 2017. Abby Riggio, Blackhawk High School, Beaver Falls, received second place honors (view Riggio’s entry), while Leah Jameson, West York Area High School, placed third (view Jameson’s entry).
Hold an “It Can Wait” contest
We are asking PNA members to hold local contests, with a monetary or other prize of your choosing, to encourage high school students to write a column or editorial about the dangers of distracted driving.
For Students! Enter the contest for a chance to win $500!
If your local news media company is not holding a contest in your area, we encourage you to enter with the PNA Foundation directly.