Columnists, indeed journalists and all of America, lost a strong voice with the death on Feb. 10 of Jeffrey Zaslow, best-selling author and “Moving On” columnist of The Wall Street Journal. The National Society of Newspaper Columnists Education Foundation now honors Zaslow by naming its scholarship program after him.
The Jeff Zaslow College Columnist Award will continue to be presented annually. In fact, the 14th annual student column writing contest, in which its three grants are chosen, has a March 1 deadline. (Applications are available at http://www.columnists.com/?p=12632 .)
Zaslow, who died at 53 in an auto accident in Michigan, was a former board member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and addressed its annual conference nearly every year. He was an unflagging NSNC supporter and more than that, made time to encourage columnists, in person, by surprisingly speedy e-mail replies and, endearingly, personalized book inscriptions.
As NSNC President Ben Pollock noted, “Jeff Zaslow was my friend, through the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, itself a builder of friendships among columnists. More importantly, Jeff was a friend to the NSNC, an enthusiastic supporter of the society and its individual members.”
“Jeff’s magical writing appealed to readers of all ages but he had a special soft spot for young people,” said Jim Casto, president of the NSNC Education Foundation. “Thus, attaching his name to our scholarship program seems indeed appropriate.”
The NSNC board, in a 14-0 vote on Feb. 13, endorsed the naming of the scholarship by the NSNC Education Foundation, with its board voting 5-0 Feb. 15. The governing bodies see the action as the best way to honor Zaslow, noting he was the father of three daughters, ages 16 to 22.
Information on donating to the Jeff Zaslow College Columnist Award can be found at http://www.columnists.com/?page_id=36 .