JEA Georgia Updates - Winter 2023

Champion Journalist, SIPA, NHSJC and more!

Winter Welcome!


Happy New Year! I hope 2023 is off to a smashing start for you and your staff! I wanted to touch base with updates, opportunities and a request for you to share your good news!

Georgia Scholastic Press Association news and notes

Georgia Champion Journalist entries due this month

The Georgia Scholastic Press Association recognizes the top student journalist in the state with the Georgia Champion Journalist Award each year. The winner receives a cash prize and represents the state in the Journalism Education Association's National Journalist of the Year competition.

Last year, GSPA received 22 total JOY entries (junior and senior combined), up from an average of 12-15. I remain hopeful that the cash prizes will motivate students to enter.

Entrants must be seniors, maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, have at least two years of journalism experience, and plan to major in journalism in college. They must submit an official transcript and three letters of recommendation, among other requirements.

The 2023 Georgia Champion Journalist and Junior Champion Journalist competitions require entrants to complete an online portfolio of their work following specific guidelines. It is important for entrants to thoroughly review the JEA guidelines for portfolios. (Do NOT submit an entry to the JEA contest, as only the state winner is allowed to be entered). It is also helpful to review the judging rubric.

It is highly recommended that entrants view this JEA JOY Guidelines video.

Click here to fill out the 2023 GSPA Champion Journalist entry form.

The deadline for both the Champion Journalist and Junior Champion Journalist Awards is Jan. 22, 2023.

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Southern Interscholastic Press Association's annual convention

The CONVENTION is March 3-5, 2023 in Columbia, South Carolina. Events are conducted at the Columbia Marriott and the University of South Carolina Journalism School.

  • Our keynote speaker is Bobby Hawthorne. If you haven't had the chance to hear Bobby, you are missing out on hearing one of the finest writing teachers in the country. If you have already heard Bobby, you simply can't miss out on this opportunity for your kids to be able to connect with him on a more personal level. In addition to Bobby, we'll have speakers from all over that will help build your publication.
  • Need photography help? ATPI's Mark Murray will be on hand.
  • Broadcast? David Knight and AJ Chambers will be working alongside your students.
  • Leadership and Staff Building? Erin Coggins is among the best.
  • Looking to build your New Voices coalition? SPLC's Hillary Davis will be there working to build strategies with your kids to pass legislation.

This is not a sit-and-get convention. In fact, our TOP (Team On-Site Production) competition pits teams of your students reporting in the field and building coverage products while competing against other schools. This truly unique offering can't be found at other conventions.

Memberships are available here. Let me know if you have any questions. I would love to answer them. I hope to "see y'all at SIPA!"

National High School Journalism Convention

The JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention is a semiannual gathering of high school journalists and advisers sponsored by the Journalism Education Association and its partner, the National Scholastic Press Association. The associations partner to prepare hundreds of practical and professional learning sessions, from high-profile keynotes to specific, problem-solving breakouts, hands-on workshops and discussion groups. Other convention activities include an exhibit hall with vendors who sell to student media, JEA’s on-site National Student Media Contests, NSPA’s Best of Show contest, receptions, awards convocations, critiques, career round tables and evening entertainment.

Breakout sessions for students from all media types — newspaper, online, broadcast, yearbook and magazine — are planned to meet the publishing and broadcasting needs of all scholastic student media. Some are specifically for advisers, administrators or middle school students. Whether it’s ethics and law, technology and design, advertising and business operations, photography and art or just the basics of news writing and reporting, this convention covers the bases.

With typical attendance of more than 4,000 delegates, the JEA/NSPA convention has become the place to seek solutions to the most challenging publishing and broadcasting problems, share and celebrate success stories, see what’s new in the media marketplace, discover trends and network with students and advisers from throughout the United States.

Members and other individuals interested in supporting the goals and programs of JEA, NSPA and scholastic journalism are invited to submit convention program proposals for sessions at the national convention. This invitation is extended to teachers/advisers, professional journalists and students in editorial-leadership positions. Proposals must be received by Jan. 15 (spring convention).

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Celebrate your staff!

State Report

I'd like to take a moment to solicit your help. I'm preparing the spring JEA state report. I'm tasked with recording major awards that your students/publications have received since the last report was submitted in Fall. If your organization has garnered national recognition of some type since November 2022, please let me know the details so that I can include your information.

Please see the example below from fall 2021:

Darlington School, Rome, Georgia

The 2019-20 Inkslinger Literary Magazine was named a Literary Magazine Crown Finalist from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

The 2019-2020 Inkslinger Literary Magazine received an All-American evaluation by the National Scholastic Press Association. The publication received Marks of Distinction for Content, Writing and Editing; Photography, Arts, Graphics; Design; and Concept. All-American publications must achieve 400-500 points with four-five Marks of Distinction. The Inkslinger rated 474 points as a total score.

McIntosh High School, Peachtree City, Georgia

Legend Yearbook named a 2020 Jostens National Program of Excellence.

Adviser Shannon Woolf was named a JEA Rising Star in August.

I will need this by March 6, please.

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Spring workshop and awards banquet

GSPA and its members from across the state will celebrate the best in scholastic journalism at the 2023 Spring Workshop and Awards. The event will be held at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education on Monday, March 27, 2023. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. A workshop will lead the event, 9-11:45 a.m., followed by a banquet-style awards luncheon at noon, catered by the Georgia Center. Professional dress is suggested.

GSPA will recognize recipients of awards administered throughout the year, including the Summer Yearbook and Literary Magazine contest winners, Georgia Champion and Junior Champion Journalists, First Amendment Essay finalists, Achievement Award winners and Spring Broadcast, Newspaper, Newsmagazine and News Website contest winners. I hope to see you there!

Connect on Facebook

The more we can connect with one another to swap ideas, the better. This could also be a wonderful forum to connect our student leaders to exchange ideas and to support one another. Here's the link to our Georgia JEA group.

If you haven't visited the Journalism Teachers' Facebook Group, I highly encourage you to do so. The shared resources, advice available, and ability to connect with colleagues near and far can't be beat. You can join here.