A Loyola University student and freelance reporter for The Lens today was presented with a national award for furthering the principles of the First Amendment, honoring her work with The Lens’ Charter School Reporting Corps.

The Society of Professional Journalists, at their annual Excellence in Journalism conference in Nashville, gave Lucy Dieckhaus the Robert D.G. Lewis First Amendment Award for her work with The Lens.  The award is given each year to a student journalist who has shown outstanding service to the First Amendment through the field of journalism.

Dieckhaus, a senior in the School of Mass Communication, is among about a dozen reporters who cover charter schools for The Lens. She fought for the First Amendment by writing articles addressing open-meeting laws during charter board meetings.

This award is the second time The Lens has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2012 founder Karen Gadbois received The Ethics in Journalism Award.