to this year’s award winners!

2020 Gold Medallions

2020 Best of Show

2020 Fall Conference tentative schedule

Keynote speaker / 7 p.m. Sept. 29

Roundtables / 7 p.m. Oct. 1

Working sessions / Oct. 6

Awards ceremony / 2 p.m. Oct. 8

Adviser social / 7 p.m. Oct. 8

Registration has ended,
but contact Ashley Tilley,, on late registration.

Keynote speaker / Sept. 29

link to the recorded keynote speech
Protests, pandemics and the student press:
Reporting truth in times of turmoil

Student journalists in Minnesota have been at the front line of reporting on the key stories of this year: pandemic-related school shutdowns and youth-led racial justice protests following the killing of George Floyd.

Student Press Law Center executive director Hadar Harris discussed the important role student journalists play and the strategies you can use to take hold of this moment and step up to cover the important stories of our day.

Get the Student Press Law Center’s tip sheet:
Twenty tips for staying safe while covering protests

Roundtables / 7 p.m. Oct. 1

New Voices student-press legislation: Lori Keekley, St. Louis Park, High School, and Jeff Kocur, Hopkins High School

Hennepin Theater Trust / critical review: Glenn Morehouse-Olson, St. Francis High School, and Dudley Voigt, Hennepin Theater Trust

Journalism Education Association outreach: Kathryn Campbell, St. Paul Academy and Summit School and Journalism Educators of Minnesota president, and Val Kibler, Harrisonburg High School (Virginia) and JEA vice president

Editor-in-chief roundtables facilitated by peer EICs from around the state.

Broadcast: Emily Dopp, NOISE News, Spectrum High School

News: Talia Lissauer, The Echo, St. Louis Park High School; and Connor Rahill and Jacqueline Bucaro, KEQ, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, St. Louis Park

Website: Elizabeth Trevathan, RubicOnline, St. Paul Academy and Summit School, and Amelia Qualey, The Lantern, Cannon Falls High School

Working sessions / Oct. 6

Virtual sessions for student journalists to meet with presenters and create materials they can share with their staffs. The 45-minute sessions will be scheduled sequentially through the day. 

8-8:45 a.m.
Spicing Up Your Special Coverage Online

Breaking news or special coverage is occurring in your community and suddenly, traffic on your website is spiking. Is your website doing that coverage justice? This session will cover ways to prepare for these types of events, and to reformat your site for the occasion.

Ivy Kaplan, School Newspapers Online

9-9:45 a.m.
Learning From Buzzfeed

Despite, or perhaps because of, its varied past, BuzzFeed can serve as a case study for emerging scholastic journalism programs to learn from. This session will look at BuzzFeed’s history and what it can teach student journalists.

Kari Koshiol, Benilde St. Margaret’s School, St. Louis Park

10-10:45 am.
When Average Isn’t Good Enough

Who wants to read an average story? Heck, who wants to write an average story? But year after year, high school students produce ho-hum, average stories that “cover” the basics. But you don’t have to settle for average. In this session, we will talk about ways to take those stories and turn them from average to great.

Jeanne Acton, University Interscholastic League, Austin, Texas

10-10:45 am.
News Design for Print

As we design newspapers and newsmagazines, our design elements apply to print and then into PDF.

To prepare for the session, download and read Ron’s design handout.

Ron Johnson, National Scholastic Press Association

11-11:45 a.m.
The Thinking Photographer

A discussion of what makes a good photo with tips on including people in action-packed images. We’ll also discuss the importance of captions and some basic composition techniques that work with a cellphone or a DSLR.

Bradley Wilson, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas, and editor of JEA’s Communication: Journalism Education Today.

11-11:45 a.m.
Everybody Has A Story to Tell

Good journalists try to find great subjects for profiles. We will look at some of the best storytellers in the business and examine those magical questions that can help you find that person who has a story to share.

Laura Widmer, National Scholastic Press Association

Noon-12:45 p.m.
More Than Words

Take your story beyond the words on the webpage by including multimedia elements. This session will share some of the dynamic options out there and ask for students to share what they’ve used as well.

Kari Koshiol, Benilde St. Margaret’s School, St. Louis Park

Noon-12:45 p.m.
Story Ideas to Enhance Your Coverage

Now, more than ever before, your school is counting on you to record the stories of the year. This session will help you do that with nearly 100 ideas for pandemic and more traditional coverage as well as a variety of ways to present the story.

Linda Puntney, Journalism Education Association, retired

1-1:45 p.m.
Design and Visual Storytelling

Great media design has the power to help people understand our increasingly complex world. We’ll explore how intuitive design engages and what we know about how people read, watch, click, scroll, interact, share and remember powerful visual stories.

Sara Quinn, Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota

1-1:45 p.m.
Interviewing Basics

Journalists gather facts and quotes by interviewing sources. Hear some tips on how to make a purposeful conversation into dynamic information and quotes for your story.

Laura Widmer, National Scholastic Press Association

2-2:45 p.m.
Podcasting From Home

“So what if you don’t have the studio space and high-tech equipment of the podcast elites. Don’t let that keep you from testing the waters in this rapidly growing medium. This session will take you step-by-step through what you need to do to get your podcast off the ground from right at home, as told by someone who did it.”

Alex McNamee, School Newspapers Online

2-2:45 p.m.
A Designer’s Dozen

Twelve important tips for yearbook designers

Gary Lundgren, National Scholastic Press Association

3-3:45 p.m.
Uniting Your Team During Hybrid Learning

It is challenging to bring our crews together while they are split on different days!  In this session, some ideas will be provided for uniting our crews as well as time to share ideas with one another.   

Rachel Chrest, Spectrum High School, Elk River, Minnesota

3-3:45 p.m.
Book Looks

What’s trending in 2021 yearbooks

Gary Lundgren, National Scholastic Press Association

4-4:45 p.m.
Humans of Your School (Pandemic Edition)

Using the “Humans of New York” photo profile is an effective and achievable way to cover more students than you might have imagined possible in your student publication. This session, talk to the adviser whose students cover more than 200 seniors each and every year with a profile. She will provide tips and tricks to organize and achieve a great HONY-style project. She will also get some suggestions about how to make this work even if you are sheltering in place and conducting photo sessions with masks on.

Ellen Austin, The Harker School, San Jose, California

5-5:45 p.m.
Developing Social Media Style Guides and Calendars

In this working session, you will spend time exploring how to create a consistent brand with your social media, train your staff to use it well, and roll out a calendar for frequent posting.

Kathryn Campbell, St. Paul Academy and Summit School

6-6:45 p.m.
Get Your Head in the Game: Sports Photography Tips

Small changes can make a big difference in the quality of your sports photography. Get practical tips for photographing the most common sports that you can use right away, as well as ideas to make your photographs stand out in the long run.

Sam Oldenberg, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green

7-7:45 p.m.
Community Through Journalism

One way to become a relevant news source, rather than “just the journalism program,” is to develop a relationship with your community so that they look at the program as the official news source for not only the campus but also a great reputable source for the community. It takes time, but with the right energy, forward leadership, and tactical postings, you can become the news source for your community.

P.J. Cabrera, Judson High School, Converse, Texas

Awards ceremony / 2 p.m. Oct. 8

MHSPA/Journalism Educators of Minnesota

Adviser social / 7 p.m. Oct. 8

by invitation, via Zoom