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Reporter named journalism finalist

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Staff Report

FERRIS - The Ellis County Press reporter Joey Dauben has been named a top 35 finalist in the Felix Morley Journalism Competition, a contest showcasing reporters' abilities to cover stories relating to Constitutional rights, individual liberty and personal responsibility.

'I won't know until May who wins first place or second place,' said Dauben, who has been with the newspaper more than a year. 'But just being named a finalist is definitely something to be proud of.'

The Morley competition is established through George Mason University's Institute for Humane Studies, a free-market, individual liberty-oriented education organization.

'The judges thought I covered stories dealing with the attempted Red Oak annexation of the Interstate

Highway 45 corridor and the confiscation of Red Oak High School ID cards fairly well,' Dauben said. 'Of course, I couldn't be where I am without God giving me the talents and the resources necessary to cover this stuff.'

The competition is open to college undergraduates who write for a school paper or other credited publications, according to the IHS website, theIHS.org.

Dauben entered five stories and had high-profile judges critique his work.

'Judges from the Wall Street Journal read my work and so did Washington Post columnist David Broder,' he said. 'These are two of the most powerful papers in the country. How many college-aged reporters can say a Pulitzer Prize-winner judged their work? Not very many.'

Aside from the competition, Dauben is scheduled to be included in a 2004 'Sons of Liberty' calendar, a campaign project from the national Libertarian Party.

At 22 and with no prior college journalism experience, Dauben, a 2001 Midlothian graduate, has written for the ECP, as well as Focus Daily News, a paper in DeSoto.

'I've been in the newspaper business for almost four years now, first covering high school football and then doing the stuff I do now,' Dauben said. 'I love local politics and government. But I honestly couldn't do any of this without God. That cannot be stressed enough.'

Currently, Dauben is a candidate for Midlothian school board.

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Nelson Propane

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