Preconvention Workshops

Preconvention workshops all take place on Thursday, April 16.

Preregistration is required for these workshops, and delegates are placed on a first-come, first-served basis, with a limited number of students per school, per workshop. Only those who register online will be able to sign up for preconvention workshops. Room assignments will be listed in the convention program posted to this website in late March.

DSLR Lighting • $20 FULL
8 a.m.–noon. Limit 30

With solutions from DIY hacks to Speedlite strobes and wireless triggers, this course — taught by Michael Simons, CJE, of West High School in Painted Post, New York — will cover lighting techniques used in DSLR photography for publications. Emphasis will be on practical tips and tricks to use in modifying light on a extremely limited budget with instruction and suggestions (as well as demonstrations) offered on where and how to make modest investments in hardware to take students’ photography to the next level. Students will need a DSLR camera for this session.

Photo Shoot Management • $20
8 a.m.-noon. Limit 60.

Capturing an event with photos is more than just controlling the camera. You need strategies and techniques for effectively managing a photo shoot from start to finish. Participants will learn about photo storytelling, equipment organization, natural light management, photographer positioning and in-shoot photograph management. Instructor Jed Palmer, CJE, adviser of the Eagle Eye View yearbook and the Summit newspaper in Parker, Colorado, will also teach concepts for shooting an event with multiple cameras and/or multiple photographers.

Photoshop Workflow • $20
8:30 a.m.–noon. Limit 36.

Taught by Mark Murray, Arlington (Texas) Independent School District, participants will learn to use Adobe Photoshop. This workshop will emphasize a basic workflow for preparing photographs for publication. Participants must bring their own laptops with Adobe Photoshop CS4 or later installed. Two students may share one laptop. This session is open to both students and advisers.

Writers’ Workshop • $20
8:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Limit 100.

If you’re looking for ways to sharpen and brighten your writing so others will clamor to read it, this interactive workshop is for you. Taught by Dan Austin of Casa Roble High School, Orangevale, California, this seminar will entertain and inspire as we analyze excellent writing and apply the pros’ techniques to your own work. Whether you need to write a catchy headline or a 2,000-word feature, you’ll learn to improve every aspect of your writing as we discuss ledes, voice, narrative style and literary devices to tighten and strengthen your writing.

Leadership Seminar • $25
8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Limit 60.

Designed for publication editors, this daylong seminar will show participants more ways to effectively lead the way with their publication staffs. Editors will work with Lori Keekley, MJE, St. Louis Park (Minnesota) High School, to better understand their team and how to help individual members work together to solve problems and manage time. They also will discuss self-assessment, people interaction, project planning, project management, goal setting, teamwork and motivation. Those attending should be current or upcoming editors. Advisers also are welcome to attend and will be expected to participate. Limit of two registrants per school.

Broadcast and Video Boot Camp • $30
8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Limit 30.

In this hands-on workshop, beginning and intermediate students will learn the fundamentals of creating an effective news package from the ground up. This includes videography, sound recording, editing and story structure. Working in small teams, participants will spend the morning developing their videography skills and planning a story, and the afternoon shooting and editing that story. The instructor will be Michael Hernandez of Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, California. Participants must bring their own video cameras, tripods, microphones and laptops with editing software. Please test and become familiar with your equipment before attending the session, as the presenter may not be familiar with your specific hardware/software.

Redesign Seminar • $25
8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Limit 75.

Students in this intensive design seminar, led by Pete LeBlanc of Antelope (California) High School, will study advanced packaging techniques including modular design, typography, marriage of elements, negative space and photo packaging. Laptop computers with InDesign are encouraged but not mandatory. Students should bring some of their favorite magazines and supplies such as scissors, pencils and glue sticks. Students also are encouraged to bring their own publications for sharing and critique.

Team Storytelling • $30
8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Limit 54.

Great storytelling combines good writing, good photos and good design. Behind it all is good planning. In this team-based reporting experience taught by Amy DeVault of Wichita (Kansas) State University and Kristin Baker of Derby (Kansas) High School, students will work in groups of three to create real story packages. The workshop begins with instruction on planning packages with readers in mind, and then the students will go off-site to gather stories. Students will return to the convention site to finish their packages. Schools should register students in teams of three, preferably a writer, designer and photographer, though certainly the students can each practice all these skills. At least one student needs InDesign skills, as the students will design their packages. Students will need to bring any equipment they might need (cameras, laptops and card readers). Students can create content for print, broadcast or Web, and the workshop is recommended for experienced student journalists. An Off-site Permission Form is required for each student attending this workshop.

In-depth Legal Training • $8
9 a.m.–3 p.m. Limit 30.

Join the nation’s foremost expert on scholastic media law — Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center — for this entertaining, engaging and hands-on workshop on the rights and regulations regarding your publication. The workshop is geared for experienced student staffers as well as advisers. You will receive an in-depth review of the types of records that are available about schools, where to find them and how to use them to do impactful stories, as well as be exposed to the pitfalls of liability. Principals and other administrators can attend this workshop for free by emailing after submitting their convention registration.

Advanced InDesign • $20  FULL
1–5 p.m. Limit 36. 

Take your design skills to the next level with this seminar that will show you how to use the power of InDesign to streamline your publication production. Bradley Wilson, MJE, of Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, will cover libraries, styles and other InDesign tricks. Participants must bring their own laptops with Adobe Photoshop CS6 or later installed. Two students may share one laptop.

Composition and Exposure • $20 FULL
1-5 p.m. Limit 30.

The two keys to every good photo are the composition and the exposure. This course, taught by Jed Palmer, CJE, adviser of the Eagle Eye View yearbook and the Summit newspaper in Parker, Colorado, will use a blend of presentation and hands-on shooting that will show you how to capture a strong image for your publication that goes beyond the simple snapshot. Bring your DSLR and learn to control natural light through the aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings on your camera. Students will leave the “classroom” for a photo scavenger hunt to practice the rules of composition and exposure adjustments that will be taught. Each photographer will need a DSLR camera for this session. An Off-site Permission Form is required for each student attending this workshop.

Photo Editor Boot Camp • $20
1–5 p.m. Limit 30

This course is for students who will hold a leadership position with their 2015-2016 publication, and will focus on skills and techniques veteran photographers can use to train and grow their staff and publication. Emphasis will be on strategies for teaching DSLR fundamentals, development of resources including what equipment to invest in and why, and other advanced topics in portraiture, staff management, and more. Taught by Michael Simons, CJE, of West High School in Painted Post, New York, this course is for veteran photographers only.

Society for News Design QuickCourse • $25
1–5 p.m. Limit 70.

SND brings its fast-paced workshop to JEA/NSPA. We start with the fundamentals of print design and move into tips and trends, with hundreds of ideas for designs, stories, photos, graphics and typography. Taught by Indiana University’s Ron Johnson, the six-time editor of “The Best of Newspaper Design,” this session will benefit newspaper, magazine and yearbook staffers. Bring copies of your publications and your designs, either print or PDF, for our critique. We’ll make you better.

JEA Outreach Academy • FREE
8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Limit 25.

Apply online by March 15.

Outreach Academy is a Journalism Education Association initiative to promote diversity in the journalism teaching profession. The Outreach Academy is a free, intensive seminar for publication advisers who need help teaching and advising students in journalism while dealing with issues surrounding diversity. The program is hands-on and focuses on practical information advisers need. It includes discussions on teaching journalism to diverse populations, diversifying school coverage, engaging your staff and school community and understanding the resources and organizations ready to help advisers. This program is committed to helping all advisers, especially advisers of color who are underrepresented in nine-12 education, who work in challenging circumstances, including 1) have five years or fewer advising experience and 2) teach in schools traditionally underrepresented in JEA membership, especially low-income, urban and rural schools.

Participants who are accepted to the Outreach Academy and attend the Thursday workshop earn the following benefits, in addition to the instruction received at the workshop:

  • Up to $100 in substitute pay to the participant’s school for the Thursday workshop.
  • One-day parking reimbursement for the Thursday workshop.
  • One year’s membership to the Journalism Education Association.
  • Waived registration fee to that city’s National High School Journalism Convention, courtesy of JEA and NSPA.
  • Waived registration fee to the 2015 JEA Advisers Institute.