Newsletter: Spring 2012

NESPA to Host Conference May 4

For details and procedures on membership, conference and workshop registration and entry forms, please download the PDF.

How the craft of journalism requires taking risks that frighten the reporter — and that’s the way it should be — will be the topic of Jim Armstrong’s keynote speech, entitled “Be afraid. Be very afraid” at the New England Scholastic Press Association’s 64th annual conference Friday, May 4.

With the doors opening at 8, sessions will be from 9 until 2:30 at Boston University’s College of Communication, 640 Commonwealth Ave., Boston.

Students, teachers, Boston University faculty and full-time journalists and media specialists will share information with the aim of supporting excellence in scholastic journalism.

WBZ’s Jim Armstrong to Give Keynote: ‘Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid’



Armstrong, an Emmy-award winning reporter at WBZ-TV Boston, said he became interested in journalism at Classical High School in Providence, R.I.

At Classical, he joined the school’s closed-circuit TV station, WCHS, as a reporter and an anchor.

“That’s where I got hooked on reporting, and on the medium of TV news,” he said.

A summa cum laude graduate of the College of Communication, Armstrong also has a master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

After reporting stints in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Casper, Wyo., Armstrong returned to New England in 2002 as a reporter and anchor for WLNE Providence.

He began reporting in Boston for WFXT and spent seven years there before joining WBZ. While at WFXT, Armstrong won an Emmy in 2009 for his work as a commentator/editorialist.

Also at the conference, delegates will find panels, exhibits, round-tables, lectures and workshops where they can learn about the latest trends, and share concerns and ideas.

For Advisers

  • Exchange of materials for instruction
  • Round-table on professional concerns
  • Sign-ups for detailed publication critiques and on-site visits.

For Staffs

  • How to go online
  • Design elements
  • Sports reporting
  • Ethical considerations for journalists
  • Feature writing
  • Majoring in journalism
  • Investigative reporting
  • Interviewing
  • Law and the scholastic press
  • News writing
  • Opinion coverage and writing
  • Photojournalism
  • Public relations
  • Social networking and journalism
  • Starting a literary magazine
  • Yearbook coverage, design and writing tips.

Awards and Recognition

Presentation of the All New England Awards will honor outstanding broadcast, print, print/online and online productions and publications in their school population categories.
Productions and publications will also receive Special Achievement Awards based on the excellence of individual submissions.

Benefits of Pre-registration
Those whose forms arrive at Boston University by April 2 will receive a preliminary conference program and speakers’ list, and a list of places to have lunch.

Contests Under Way

The NESPA Publications and Productions Contests are open to all school print and online publications and broadcasts, both NESPA members and non-members.
Awards will be given to broadcast (audio and video) productions, magazines, newspapers, yearbooks, online/print and online publications. To qualify as online/print, a site must include multi media, not pdfs only. Judges will consider only entries with working URLs. Submit URL to
DEADLINE for receipt of entries at the College of Communication: April 2, 2012.
The NESPA Special Achievement Contests are designed to identify and reward excellence in individual work and teamwork for New England’s secondary school media.
Entries should be those that advisers and staffs decide have contributed significantly to a student broadcast, print, online/print or online publication.
DEADLINE for receipt of entries at the College of Communication: April 2, 2012.


  • Broadcasting: Documentary, Feature story, Newscast series, News story, PSA
  • Magazine: Artwork, Cover design, Fiction, Nonfiction, Photography, Poetry, Typographical design
  • Newspaper: Advertisement, Artwork/cartoon, Bylined column, Editorial, Feature page design, Feature photo, Feature story, Informational graphic, News page design, Opinion page design, Photo illustration, Sports page design, News photo, News series, News story, Sports photo, Sports story, Review, Typographical design
  • Online/multimedia: Advertisement, Blog: feature, Blog: news, Blog, opinion, Home page design, Interactive graphic, Podcast, Slide show with audio, Slide show with photos
  • Yearbook: Advertisement, Caption writing (three spreads), Cover, Theme development and cover, Feature photo, Feature story
  • Headline spread, Feature story, Headline writing (three spreads), Sports photo, Sports spread, Sports story, Typographical design

Summer Workshop for News Publication Advisers

  • The New England Scholastic Press Association invites news publication advisers to a workshop, How to Advise a Scholastic News Publication, July 2, 3, 5 and 6 at Boston University in the College of Communication.
  • Based on participants’ priorities, sessions will include how to:
  • Keep a journalistic balance
  • Deal with legal and ethical considerations
  • Teach the staff to cover the school and its community
  • Teach the staff to write and edit news, features and sports along with maintaining a lively forum for student opinion
  • Motivate the staff
  • Teach fundamentals of photojournalism and design
  • Maintain a good relationship with the principal, faculty and parents
  • Use special pages, special sections and spreads as training vehicles
  • Plan, set goals and schedule copy flow for print and online
  • Manage the business side
  • Critique the publication
  • Make the most of professional resources.

Click here for the application.

In addition to a variety of lab assignments, participants will present critiques and complete curriculum projects. There will be lectures, discussions and lab work. Sessions will be 10-4 with a break for lunch.

Participants should bring with them a set of news publications students have produced during the 2011-2012 academic year. The fee is $300. The deadline for registration is June 1.
NESPA provides PDPs to Massachusetts teachers.

Helen Smith, executive director of the New England Scholastic Press Association, will be the lead teacher.
For more information, please contact Helen Smith at

For details and procedures on membership, conference and workshop registration and entry forms, please download the PDF.