Molly Turner Broadcast Scholarship
Women dominate college journalism classes. But they’re only 44% of staff in radio and TV stations. They’re also more likely to work in the smallest markets.
So in honor of the late and amazing Molly Turner, SPJ annually awards $1,000 to an aspiring female broadcast journalist.
Applicants must be:
- A woman pursuing a career in broadcast journalism
- A student attending (or planning to attend) a Florida university or college
- A full- or part-time student with at least a cumulative 3.0 GPA
Applications must include:
- A completed scholarship form at the link below
- Copy of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Copies of all transcripts from institutions in which you have taken courses
- An essay of up to 500 words based on the prompt in the application
- At least one letter of recommendation
- Any other supporting documentation, such as a resume, relevant coursework, work samples, etc.
- Applications due Monday, July 15, 2024.
- Winners will be announced by Thursday, Aug. 1, 2024.
All applications are reviewed and selected by the SPJ Florida Scholarship Committee.
Questions? Email Scholarship Committee chair Christiana Lilly.
- 2021: Meleah Lyden
- 2020: Katie Loudermilk
- 2019: Isabel Paillere
- 2018: Alexandra Avelino
- 2017: Simone Nelzi
About Molly Turner
She was called the “first lady of South Florida news,” and not just because she was the region’s first female reporter and anchor. It was a moniker also describing her multiple talents and long career.
Turner was best known as the WPLG-Channel 10 Miami news personality, but she had a four-decade career in the industry. She got her start in television in 1951, when her mother suggested she audition for a singing job on the “Uncle Martin Show,” a country-western show on WTVJ-Channel 4 Miami. She played Cousin Effie, the hillbilly country singer with fiery red hair, painted-on freckles, and blacked-out teeth.
She later went into producing, working on commercials and a morning show. She joined WPLG in 1960 as the public service director and midday anchor. In 1969, Post Newsweek bought Channel 10 and asked Turner to become a reporter, making her South Florida’s first female reporter.
Turner began winning awards and earning national attention, giving young women in broadcasting someone to look up to. Longtime WPLG anchor and friend Dwight Lauderdale described Turner as “the moral compass of the newsroom” because she was “thorough in her research, open minded – always making sure both sides of the story were told.”
Turner spent nearly 40 years on television, paving the way for generations of female broadcasters and journalists. Even after retiring, she continued to make her mark by becoming one of the founders of The Women’s Park – in 1992, the first park dedicated to women in the United States.
Her daughter, Lyle Landon, described a time when Turner’s granddaughter asked her for some work advice. Turner said: “Find something you are good at, do it well, and try to help somebody.”
Heeding that advice, SPJ Florida takes great honor in remembering Molly Turner and is pleased to offer a scholarship in her name.