Newsletter: Fall 2010

Mission of NESPA

The New England Scholastic Press Association aims to foster excellence in scholastic journalism.

This Association encourages high standards in student journalism, supports the interests of students and teachers in the student press in the New England states, and fosters a closer relationship among students and advisers interested and engaged in student journalism.

Workshops, site visits, contests and conferences are among the Association’s efforts to educate student journalists and their advisers.

Fall workshop on news, features

Editors, reporters and advisers can attend a workshop on teaching the staff to cover and write news and feature stories.

The New England Scholastic Press Association is giving the workshop Saturday afternoon, Nov. 20 from 2-4 at Boston University’s College of Communication.

Participants will look at how and where to find story ideas, how to follow up with effective research for timely news, features and longer term assignments, and how to assign stories effectively.

Writing techniques will include leads, using quotes and attribution, editing, and rewriting.

How to sign up

On a sheet of paper or using the form in the print version of Vol 16, No. 1 of NESPA News, include your name, name of publication or production, your position on the publication or production, school name, school phone, school address, email and your  home phone.

Send this information along with $25 tuition per participant to Helen F. Smith, NESPA executive director, Boston University, College of Communication, 640 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, Mass. 02215 by Friday, Oct. 29.

Free site visits available to members

Staffs and advisers concerned with improving aspects of their publication and production projects can arrange for site visits again this year.
The visits can be scheduled after school or during the school day, and there is no cost to NESPA members.
Assistance and consultation during site visits this past year have concerned a range of topics, including:

  • advertising sales and managing the business side,
  • critiques of current publications work
  • design and redesign
  • techniques to monitor copy flow more efficiently
  • news and feature coverage and writing
  • sports coverage and writing
  • staff motivation and organization
  • starting a new publication

Focal points for site visits are up to individual staffs and advisers.

Possibilities include those listed above along with copy editing, interviewing, legal and ethical considerations, opinion writing, and producing special editions.

How to arrange a visit

To arrange for a site visit, please contact Helen F. Smith, NESPA’s executive director, at or or write to:

Helen F. Smith, Executive Director
New England Scholastic Press Association
Boston University College of Communication
640 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA  02215

Localizing repeats as theme of Special Fall Contest

Publications and productions are again invited to submit pieces that localize regional, national and international issues for their own school communities.

Submissions can be artwork, charts or diagrams, documentaries, editorials, essays, fiction, news or feature stories, single photos or photo illustrations, photo essays, poetry, pod casts, PSAs, special pages, special sections, slide shows or yearbook spreads.

Members of the Board of Judges suggested that localizing become the traditional focus for the Special Fall Contest because of the importance of presenting material that is relevant to an audience and because of the large number of entries last year.

The deadline for receipt of entries at Boston University is Friday, Jan. 14, 2011.

Winners will be notified by April 1, and results will be announced at the annual spring conference.

In addition, the winners are announced in the summer issue of NESPA News.

How to enter

Please send the broadcast or published work with the entry information and fee.

Send in the web link to online entries with the information requested below. Each entry must have been broadcast or published between September 1 and December 31, 2010. Yearbook entries must have been created during this same period.

Preparation of entries

Print media please send complete page, unmounted tearsheet on which entry appears. Broadcasters please send DVD or podcast.

Tape a sheet to the back of EACH entry with the following the information: title of entry, name of the publication/broadcast, student(s) name(s) to be recognized, school’s full name, school address, school phone, school email and adviser’s signature.

Entry fee

NONE for NESPA members in good standing as of May, 2010; $3 per entry for nonmembers.

Please include $5 for postage and handling for each entry you want returned. You must note which entry(ies) you wish returned.

Send entries to:

New England Scholastic Press Association
Helen F. Smith, executive director
Boston University College of Communication
640 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215

Start a list of topics to localize

When you show how issues that affect people in New England, the United States or around the world also affect people in your own school community, that’s localizing.

Last year, we listed 50 topics to start with:

  • absenteeism and the reasons for it
  • academic exchanges
  • bicyclists and the law
  • cell phones
  • college admission standards
  • community service opportunities
  • disabilities
  • economic recession
  • elections
  • eligibility requirements for scholastic athletes
  • endangered species
  • environmental considerations
  • fitness and its challenges
  • First Amendment issues
  • foreclosures
  • funding for the arts
  • gambling
  • going green
  • health insurance
  • human rights
  • immigration and emigration
  • internet use and misuse
  • job market
  • length of school day and school year
  • military and scientific advances
  • military recruiting
  • nutrition
  • obesity
  • public art
  • public transportation
  • privacy
  • race relations
  • regulations affecting jobs for teen-agers
  • scholarships’ availability
  • school bus safety
  • school lunches
  • school safety standards
  • school security
  • sleep deprivation
  • social networking sites
  • special education
  • standardized testing
  • steroids
  • substance abuse
  • teen-agers’ rights in the work place
  • texting and driving
  • user fees
  • vandalism and graffiti
  • weather
  • women’s issues

This year, we suggest 25 additional ideas:

  • accreditation of your school
  • AIDS awareness and prevention
  • animal rights
  • archeological discoveries
  • artificial turf
  • being bi- or tri-lingual
  • boating safety
  • British Petroleum
  • children’s rights in custody disputes
  • college tuition
  • construction of school buildings and facilities
  • cost of textbooks
  • depression
  • federal aid to education
  • food safety
  • internships and summer jobs
  • marketing on the internet
  • political parties
  • safety helmets
  • sports-related injuries
  • unions and professional associations
  • volunteer work
  • voter turnout
  • wind turbines
  • yoga
Please mark the dates

Annual publication and production contest deadline is April 1. The expected date of this year’s annual conference is Friday, May 6.

For membership, workshop registration and contest entry forms, please download the PDF.