Newsletter: Spring 2017

NESPA to Host 69th Annual Conference May 5

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

Joseph Sciacca, the editor-in-chief of the Boston Herald, will give the keynote speech at the New England Scholastic Press Association’s 69th annual conference Friday, May 5.

“I will be addressing the dramatic changes that have impacted our industry and the exciting opportunities this disruption has created for young reporters going forward,” he said.

Sciacca was the 2016 recipient of The Fitzwater Medallion for Leadership in Public Communication awarded by Franklin Pierce University, which honored him as a “disruptor” in the media industry.

Having started as a correspondent for the Lowell Sun and staff reporter at the Eagle Triune of Lawrence, Sciacca joined the Herald in 1983 and became its editor in 2010.

Under Sciacca’s leadership the Herald has been named as one of “10 Newspapers That Do It Right” by Editor and Publisher, and Innovator of the Year by the Associated Press Media Editors for multimedia integration, including its internet platform Boston Herald Radio.

The Herald’s journalism has twice been honored with first place national medals by the Society of Professional Journalists.

With refreshments available from 7:30-8:30, conference sessions will be from 9 until 2:30 at Boston University’s College of Communication, 640 Commonwealth Ave., Boston.

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.

Advisers can sign up for detailed publication critiques and on-site visits.

Session topics

  • Advertising sales and managing the business side
  • Basic mobile reporting skills
  • Careers in broadcast journalism
  • Developing literary magazines
  • Editorial policies
  • Feature writing
  • Interview techniques
  • Investigative reporting
  • Law and the scholastic press
  • News writing
  • Opinion coverage and writing
  • Photojournalism and digital technology
  • Sports writing and editing
  • Systems for covering local news
  • Yearbook coverage, writing and design

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.

Individual professionals will be recognized for their contributions to the scholastic press in New England.

Benefits of pre-registration

Those whose forms arrive at Boston University by Friday, April 7 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: Friday, April 7, 2017.

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: Friday, April 7, 2017.


  • Broadcast: Advertisement, Documentary, Feature story, News series, News story, PSA, Sports series, Sports story
  • 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, News photo, News series, News story, Opinion page design, Personality profile, Photo illustration, Review, Special section, Sports page design, Sports photo, Sports series, Sports story, Typographical design
  • Online/multimedia: Blog, Home page design, Interactive graphic, Podcast, Slide show with audio, Slide show with photos, Video. Coverage, writing and design entry categories for online/multimedia are the same as those listed in broadcast and print.
  • Yearbook: Advertisement, Caption writing (three spreads), Theme development and cover, Feature photo, Feature 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, Monday, June 26- Friday, June 30 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

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 2016-2017 academic year. The fee is $300, check or money order. The deadline for registration and tuition is Friday, May 26.
 Click here for the application.

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 registration and entry forms, please download the PDF.