Elaine Godfrey was selected as the winner of the 2013 Hugh Sidey Scholarship in Print Journalism for her essay titled, "Cutting Through the Clutter." Her essay focused on the role of journalists to cut through the clutter of bad journalism, bad publicity, people’s misconception, she said. After reading some of Sidey’s work, she came to the realization that one of its key characteristics was his ability to humanize his subjects and provide an in-depth perspective that is rare of U.S. presidents.
"My main point was that Hugh Sidey really did that well, he humanized the presidents; not that he made them look better or made them look worse, he just made them look relatable and people got to see the presidents that way and I thought that was cool," Godfrey said. "I think that that’s really important in today’s age of blogging and social media. You have to get the facts somewhere because you can’t just go get to know the presidents … so it’s nice to have someone relaying that message for you."
As an avid supporter of print journalism, Godfrey was honored to receive the award. In her eyes the award symbolizes the fact that journalism is alive and well, even in print, which is a message that she finds empowering as a soon-to-be senior in journalism and mass communication.
"I really like the idea of relatable journalism and the idea that you can read something and not feel intimidated when you read it. I really like that sort of journalism and I think that is spread out through all mediums, which made this essay fairly easy to write," she said.
Godfrey’s award is a $5000 scholarship and an expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., courtesy of the White House Historical Association. Read Godfrey’s essay, "Cutting through the Clutter: the significance of the presidential reporter."