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National Journalism Quiz Bowl

Are you ready to test your staff’s skills and knowledge against teams from across the country? Then start prepping and putting together four-person teams for the National Journalism Quiz Bowl competition, part of the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention.

About the Quiz Bowl

The quiz bowl-style competition and qualifying exam will include questions related to current events, pop culture, journalism terminology, Associated Press style, spelling and usage, scholastic media law, civics/American government, classic and modern literature, sports and general knowledge (example: How many pints in a quart?).

Qualifying for Competition

Any team hoping to participate in the National Journalism Quiz Bowl at the JEA/NSPA convention must qualify in advance. A free online test will be given four times during the school year to determine the national qualifiers. The top 15 scoring teams in each state will be invited to compete in the National Journalism Quiz Bowl at the National High School Journalism Convention. Teams qualifying for the fall convention are automatically qualified for the spring convention quiz bowl, as well.

The test will be 30 multiple choice questions that must be completed in a 20-minute sitting within the testing window. The testing windows for the 2017-2018 school year will be Sept. 18-22, 2017, and Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 2017, for the Dallas convention, and Jan. 22-26, 2018, and March 26-30, 2018, for the San Francisco convention.

All teams MUST be supervised by their adviser and sign an honor code indicating that the team completed the test with no outside assistance.

Schools may enter as many teams as they wish, but a unique email address is required for each team to log in to the qualifying test. For the qualifying test, each team also will need to supply the name of its school, as well as the name of the adviser and the adviser’s email address.

Teams with top scores will be notified through their adviser within a week of taking the exam and will need to respond within two weeks to hold their spot in the live competition at the national convention.

All qualifying teams will be recognized on the JEA website and various social media outlets.

How to Register for the Online Quiz

Please click through the Registering for Qualifying Online Quiz Bowl Exam slideshow to see step-by-step images on how to register and access the quiz. Advisers can enroll teams of four to take the online quiz here.

If you make it through the slideshow and still have trouble accessing the quiz, please contact contest chair April van Buren.

National Convention Participation Deadlines and Registration

Teams that qualify in the fall, may compete in either the fall or spring convention (or both) and teams that qualify in the spring will be eligible for the spring convention.

Although substitutions are allowed, the intention of the qualifying exam is for the team of students participating online to be the same members who will participate in the live competition at the National High School Journalism Convention.

Qualifying teams will take a written test at 8 a.m. on Friday at the convention. The test scores will be used to seed the top teams that will compete in the live buzzer rounds 8-11 a.m. Saturday.

The registration fee for each four-person team is $50, and registration must be done online by the early-bird deadline of the convention.


Four team members can divide up the topics to study in preparation for the quiz bowl. For example, have Team Member 1 study the terms in the glossary of a good journalism textbook. Remember the test represents all media: newspaper, magazine, yearbook, broadcast, photography, graphic design and online publications.

Team Member 2 can review the major legal cases that impact scholastic journalism. The SPLC Law of the Student Press is a good resource as are the splc.org and jeasprc.org.

Team Member 3 can review terms and concepts from civics. Websites that help immigrants prepare for the citizenship test are a good place to start. Most civics teachers have study sheets.

Team Member 4 should brush up on Associated Press style and basic grammar and usage.

Finally, have the whole team review the major news and sports stories from the past 12 months. There are a number of websites that list major news events from each month.

Watch for details about how to register a team for the National Journalism Quiz Bowl.


Email April Van Buren (MSryanpchs@yahoo.com) for more information.

Past winners

Spring 2017  – Seattle

Torrey Pines High School, San Diego, Calif.

Fall 2016  – Indianapolis

Conestoga High School, Berwyn, Pa.

Spring 2016  – Los Angeles

Torrey Pines High School, San Diego, Calif.

Fall 2015  – Orlando

American Heritage School, Plantation (Florida) Campus

Spring 2015 – Denver

Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Mo.

Fall 2014 — Washington, D.C.

duPont Manual High School, Louisville, Ky.

Spring 2014 — San Diego

duPont Manual High School, Louisville, Ky.

Fall 2013 – Boston

Conestoga High School, Berwyn, Pa.

Spring 2013 – San Francisco

Mountain Vista High School, Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Fall 2012 – San Antonio

West Henderson High School, Hendersonville, N.C.

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