Blogs, Conventions

Convention chair extends invitation to 2017 event

State Representative Ed Clere will serve as the Friday keynote for the 2017 IHSPA state convention at Franklin College.


The Indiana High School press Association board of directors cordially invites you to the 95th fall convention. This annual meeting is an opportunity for IHSPA membership, both adult and student, to network with other journalists, to learn and hone skills, and to take the pulse of high school journalism in the Hoosier State. Additionally, it’s a chance for your association’s leadership to hear your voices as we proceed with confidence and conviction, especially this year as we partner with our friends at the State House to #BeHeard.

Our Friday keynote features State Representative Ed Clere, advocate for student press rights and co-sponsor of “New Voices” legislation. A former high school journalist from New Albany, Representative Clere will will be speaking with IHSPA convention attendees about their vital role in defeating Hazelwood and how they can #BeHeard for the future of the First Amendment.   

New in 2017:

Thursday Keynote & Social Media Contests

IBM Social Media Manager Carrie Ritchie will provide the keynote address and help run convention on-site contests Thursday.

Our Thursday keynote features Carrie Ritchie, lecturer in the IU Media School and social media manager at IBM. Formerly the social media editor and reporter at the Indy Star, Carrie will share her stories of covering courts, elections and media, which lead to a love of all things social media. Her presentation, entitled “10 Steps to Becoming a Famous Student Journalist,” will be the focus for some exciting new, free contests for Thursday evening attendees:


Social Media Challenge: Teams of three (designer, photographer and writer) will cover the Carrie Ritchie presentation and produce a 300-word, three-source news story, an infographic, and a five-picture photo gallery with full captions. They will then submit that material to the appropriate social media outlets, collect them all for a Storify and submit the URL to for judging. Contestants must have an account at prior to competition. Schools may submit multiple teams of three for this contest.

Overall Social Media Presence: Schools will submit links to for one or more of their social media outlets the week prior to convention. Those who enter will attend a critique session with Carrie Ritchie to discuss their publication’s social media persona and presence.

Event Broadcast Coverage: Teams of two will cover the Carrie Ritchie presentation and upload an edited news package of no more than two minutes to YouTube.


Event News Coverage: Cover the Carrie Ritchie presentation and produce a 300-word, three-source news story that’s formatted for web distribution, posted on Facebook and includes a Twitter-appropriate headline.

Event Column Writing: Use the information from the Carrie Ritchie presentation and produce a column of no more than 500 words posted on Facebook and includes a Twitter-appropriate headline.

Event Photo Coverage: Cover the Carrie Ritchie presentation and produce a five-picture Facebook photo gallery with full captions and a Twitter-appropriate headline.

Event Infographic Design: Use the information from the Carrie Ritchie presentation and produce an infographic with headline and caption for Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Event Live Tweeting: Cover the Carrie Ritchie presentation and maintain a live Twitter feed of the event using the #BeHeard hashtag.

Humans of IHSPA: Produce three student portraits and first-person captions that will produce the most audience interest much in the same manner as “Humans of New York.” Participants are not permitted to submit photos of people from their own school.

Twitter Headline Writing: Produce 10 headlines and hashtags of less than 140 characters using a list of real stories of various areas of interests.

Social Media Ethics: Contestants will compose a solution to three ethical situations dealing with scholastic journalism and social media. Entries will be evaluated on ability to reflect upon the SPJ Code of Ethics and IHSPA core values of truth, courage, integrity and freedom.

Snapchat Geofilter: Use Photoshop or Illustrator to create a geofilter for the 2017 IHSPA convention. Geofilters must be 1080 px wide, 1920 px high, under 300 KB in size and saved as a .PNG with a transparent background.

Rubrics and Submission: Contest rubrics will be posted prior to the convention and all entries will be submitted via URL or upload on the Better BNC contest site. There’s no cost to register, and schools may do so here.


This year, we’re excited to offer a series of break-out sessions that offer advisers and student journalists an opportunity to focus on student press rights and the ongoing efforts to forward “New Voices” legislation. These sessions are provided by a range of engaging speakers, including the press secretary to Indiana’s Attorney General, Representatives Ed Clere and Ed Delaney, and a variety of knowledgeable professionals from around the state. Look for the hashtag #BeHeard in your convention program!

Same Skills, New Endeavors  

Journalism is changing, and so must our offerings to keep pace with the many new opportunities and challenges young journalists–and high school programs–are facing. But we also know that the rock-solid skills of good journalism are ever-present. So, we’ve reached out to a diverse group of professionals from the worlds of corporate communications, political strategy, and nonprofit management to talk about how they’ve used their journalism skills in new and exciting ways. To hear foundational storytelling skills have evolved in the 21st century, look for sessions marked #NewEndeavors.

A Word from Your Student Board:


As a student journalist, I can’t begin to describe how valuable my time spent at conventions has been. I still remember being at Franklin College as a sophomore sitting in Ron Johnson’s class on design. He opened my eyes to concepts and ideas I had never heard of before. Both of the national conventions I’ve attended in Orlando and Indianapolis taught me great techniques for editing and headline writing that helped make our publication a Hoosier Star finalist every year. The information that students learn at these conventions is priceless and well worth taking the day to go to.

Not only that, but the people you get to meet and connections you get to make help link our publications together. At the workshop I attended over the summer at Ball State, I met people from all over Indiana and Illinois and to this day we still talk and help inspire each other to produce better journalistic work. As a Student Board Member of the IHSPA, I look forward to forging those same relationships at Franklin College Oct. 19-20 with you all.

See you at Franklin,
Andrew Tapp
IHSPA Student Board Member
Southport High School


I can’t wait to see you all at Franklin College in October to #BeHeard! Be sure to register here before Oct. 6 to receive free T-Shirts! 

Sam Hanley
President-Elect, Indiana High School Press Association
Chair, 2017 Convention

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