by Shelby Mullis
Those were the two words printed on the nametags, T-shirts and posters for the Indiana High School Press Association’s 2017 fall convention.
For student journalists across the state, these two words became a motto as they fought to preserve their freedoms and those of future student journalists throughout Indiana.
This year, more than 300 students from 30 schools made their way to Franklin College for the 95th annual IHSPA fall convention. Established in 1922, the organization’s fall convention remains its oldest tradition, and to this day, it’s a place where students can be heard.
The two-day event included sessions covering a variety of media issues and interests and on-site competitions for students and advisers. To kick off the convention, students heard from Carrie Ritchie, IBM’s social business manager and former social media editor of The Indianapolis Star.
Ritchie currently teaches a class on social media in the newsroom at Indiana University. She shared her social media expertise with students Thursday.
Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, gave the keynote address Friday morning about students’ vital role in making sure they are heard for the future of the First Amendment. Clere, a former student journalist, co-authored the New Voices bill for the 2017 legislative session.
The bill aims to protect student journalists from unfair and undemocratic censorship and punishment for telling stories about important political, social and educational issues.
Several schools also celebrated individual and staff accomplishments with the presentation of Harvey and Hoosier Star awards.
Columbus North High School’s Rachel McCarver accepted the 2017 Ella Sengenberger Adviser of the Year award. McCarver was recognized for her significant contributions made to the state’s scholastic journalism. This award honors the memory of Ella Sengenberger, one of the founding members of IHSPA.
Clere, Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis and Bill Chapman, a member of the Indiana Friends Committee on Legislation, were awarded with the Louis Ingelhart Friends of Student Press award. This award, presented by the IHSPA, is given to someone who is not a present adviser of any high school publication, but has made an outstanding contribution to scholastic journalism education and to Indiana scholastic journalism in particular. Each recipient made significant strides for the New Voices bill during the 2017 legislative session.
The 2017 fall convention may be over, but the fight for freedom of press in Indiana high schools has just begun.
Click the links for a complete list of this year’s Hoosier Star, Harvey and on-site contest award recipients.