Jim Ridley Memorial Scholarship (2018A/MAIL5) - 94957
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Welcome to the MTSU Jim Ridley Memorial Scholarship

The Jim Ridley Memorial Scholarship honors James Allison Ridley V, who was inducted into the MTSU College of Media and Entertainment’s Wall of Fame in 2015 (Ridley, pictured center, with former MTSU Seigenthaler chair Pat Embry and former MTSU Journalism professor David Badger). Murfreesboro native Ridley began his career as a journalist as a teenager, writing reviews in The Tennessean, the Columbia Herald, the now-defunct Murfreesboro Press, and – during his time at MTSU – Sidelines, the student-run newspaper. He graduated from MTSU in 1989 with double major in Journalism and English. That same year, he started writing for fledgling alternative weekly the Nashville Scene and was appointed to a staff writer position five years later. In addition to being a gifted writer, Ridley was also a renowned film critic, contributing to film sections of The Village Voice, L.A. Weekly and the Minneapolis City Pages, among others, and his work has been featured in Variety, Cinema Scope and the Toronto Globe and Mail. He was named editor of the Scene in 2009, a position he held until his death after suffering a cardiac event in 2016. Jim Ridley was known not only for his superb writing skills – he was awarded multiple first-place awards by the Association for Alternative Newsmedia – but also the strong leadership of his editorial staff at the Scene. He possessed the rare ability to improve any writer’s work without diminishing the individual’s voice, and his enthusiasm inspired everyone who worked with him. His endless curiosity and selfless nature are among the qualities he is most remembered for, and these are the qualities we hope to find in the recipients of this scholarship.

The Jim Ridley Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a student who has declared a major in the School of Journalism in MTSU’s College of Media and Entertainment. The candidate should demonstrate not only an understanding and passion for freedom of the press and integrity in journalism, but also a sincere interest in pursuing a meaningful career path as a journalist.


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