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Video: Press on! Film critic Dann Gire honored as 2013 Friend of Scholastic Journalism

Be sure to watch this inspiring video all the way through. You won't be disappointed when you reach the end. We have a feeling you'll be cheering too as IJEA honoree Dann Gire exhorts his audience to resist all obstacles and "press on!"

September 15, 2013

URBANA — Dann Gire, film critic for the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, was named the 2013 Friend of Scholastic Journalism by the IJEA Sept. 13 at the Colonial Room of the Illini Union on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Sarah Doerner, IJEA president, had this to say when she introduced Gire in front of advisers and educators at the annual Fall Conference Adviser Lunch:

“It is an honor to present Dann Gire with this year’s IJEA’s Friend of Scholastic Journalism Award.

“Dann walks the walk. He is a regular speaker at scholastic journalism workshops and conferences throughout the state, and is a judge for the state tournament series. He is quick to communicate with students about their stories and interests in journalism, especially review writing. He talks about his role as a film critic in Chicago, as well as the importance of practicing free and responsible journalism. And Dann always packs the house!

“But today we honor Dann for something much deeper. Dann, to us, is like a knight in shining armor. He comes to our rescue. He is indignant when he hears of outstanding advisers who seem to be at the mercy of uninformed educators who do not understand scholastic journalism. HE contacts the advisers. HE defends them. HE is their champion, defending them publicly and rallying local media when they are unceremoniously removed from their positions or chastised for doing their jobs.

“At a time when too many advisers are being removed from their jobs, Dann’s outrage and action have inspired us all to do what we can to work toward a free student press and to help our fellow advisers. As the IJEA considers attempting legislation again for the high school press, we will call on Dann for his drive and expertise. We could not ask for a better friend. He has earned our hearts and respect. Thank you, Dann, and congratulations on being our 2013 Friend of Scholastic Journalism.”

Above is Dann’s presentation and acceptance speech, recorded by Brad Bennewitz of Galesburg High School, and edited by Bryan Murley of Eastern Illinois University.

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