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UCF student wins $5,000 with 115-character tweet

By Walter Pacheco, Orlando Sentinel

12:47 PM EST, February 15, 2013

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A University of Central Florida student's 115-character tweet about freedom of the press won her a $5,000 scholarship -- that's about $43.48 a character.

Journalism student Samantha Lena Rosenthal's (@SupaaFly_Sam) winning tweet: "Pen & paper may not be free, but the words we choose to write are. #FreedomOfPress #JournalismFreedoms #FreeToTweet"

Rosenthal, 21, a junior at UCF, is one of five winners of the 1 For All national Free to Tweet scholarship competition. She is a writer at Central Florida Future; UCF's magazine, Centric; and an intern at Orlando Magazine and Orlando Wedding.

Her work in journalism inspired the tweet, UCF officials said.

"I never knew how much journalism is the backbone to protecting and informing the masses until I took mass communication law," Rosenthal said. "Through that class and writing for the Central Florida Future, it taught me how to always write with the audience in mind and with accuracy."

Students across the nation participated in the 15-day competition that took place in December 2012. They posted more than 3,600 tweets about exercising their First Amendment rights.

Newseum’s First Amendment Center, 1 For All, and the American Society of News Editors sponsored the event with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.