First place winner in Freedom of Speech PSA Contest


MSUM student Naoya Uchida won a $3,000 scholarship in the annual Freedom of Speech PSA Contest, a national competition for college communication students sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) and the Broadcast Education Association (BEA).

Nearly 200 students around the country competed in the contest, which called for 30-second radio and television spots answering the question, “What does freedom of speech mean to you?” Uchida’s television Public Service Announcement was judged the best. He produced the PSA as a project for a class led by Martin Grindeland —  “Video Production of Ads, News & PR,”  — in the School of Communication & Journalism.

“Naoya is a very, very talented communicator and he understands audio and video very well,” Grindeland said. “He’s done great work for us in other capacities as well, for Campus News. Many of his stories are really outstanding. He’s a really hard worker and he’s committed to his art.”

“I like to create something where I can share my message through my work,” Uchida said. “Film is fascinating to me.”

Uchida’s PSA takes a comedic approach, asking viewers to consider what it would be like if they weren’t allowed to express their Freedom of Speech.

“I watched a lot of award-winning clips and, actually, they’re all pretty similar,” Uchida said. “So I saw that I had to create something different. I always have to think about audience and what makes them interested.”

This marks the third year in a row that a student in the class has won a national award in this contest. Last year, Scott Eickschen won third place and a $1,000 scholarship. Two years ago, Hailee Palony also won third place and a $1,000 scholarship.

Uchida is an international student from Kanagawa, Japan. During his travels in North America, Central America, South America, Europe, Korea and China, he developed a passion for photography and documenting cultures.  At MSUM, he is majoring in film production and minoring in photojournalism. He said the Freedom of Speech project appealed to him because freedom of speech allows us to express what we really feel.

See Uchida’s work on the NABEF website. Go to:

Uchida’s video on YouTube:

Naoya Uchida-1