News and Notes: May 2019

Critique training now available through JEA

As the school year winds down, here is some news and notes for you related to journalism education.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

I know this relates to all teachers, but a big THANK YOU to all you journalism educators in the state of Idaho. The work you deal with and the stress it brings can make your position difficult, but what you do is SO important for your students, community and our country. Keep up the great work!

Upcoming Contest and Award Deadlines

Nothing can motivate your students like winning awards. As the school year ends, don’t forget there are deadlines for several journalism awards and contests.


Future Journalism Teacher Scholarship — July 15

Administrator of the Year — July 15

Broadcast Adviser of the Year — July 15

Carl Towley Award — July 15


The National Scholastic Press Association offers several contests that your students can compete for. To compete, you do need to be a member of the organization.

Newspaper / Newsmagazine Pacemaker — June 21

Broadcast Pacemaker — June 21

Individual Awards — June 21 (There are nine competitions with 43 categories. The competitions include broadcast, cartoons, design, digital, photo, stories, social justice reporting, portfolio, and social media.)

State Journalist of the Year

This competition actually takes place next February, but I want to make you aware of it. The winner competes in the JEA’s national journalist of the year contest, which is announced each year at the spring convention.

The contest is open to seniors. Students submit an online portfolio of their work that highlights their abilities in 11 categories. It is pretty involved and not something they can put together in a couple of hours. If you have students that you feel could be a good candidate, let them know about this so they can start building their online portfolio now. You can find more information here.

Also, I’m looking for someone who could coordinate our state journalist of the year contest. If you are interested, please email me at [email protected].

Critique Training

JEA just launched a national critique training program for it members that educates old and new teachers on what to look for when judging or critiquing. (If you didn’t know, other state organizations are often looking for journalism teachers to judge their state contests. Often doing this means extra CASH!)

The training takes between 1-2 hours and you earn a training badge that will list you in a national directory of certified judges. This is free for JEA members. I have not completed the training, but I did have the chance to look and it is very helpful. Even if you are not interested in judging for other states, I believe it will help you in providing feedback to your own students. Click the above link for more information on the training. Let me know if you have any questions.

Going Forward

As we head into summer, my intention is to compile a list of goals for our state organization for next year and beyond. My brainstorm list includes state contests and J-Day among other things. If you have any suggestions, please send them my way.

Did you know?

SNO Sites is huge when it comes to hosting high school journalism websites. In Idaho, there are 16 journalism programs that use SNO Sites for their website. Click here if you want to see what other programs in Idaho are doing.