Write-offs become National Student Media Contests

Write-offs become National Student Media Contests

Since 1975, the Write-offs have been a staple of the National High School Journalism Conventions, but they have changed since those early years. Today, JEA offers 46 writing, design, photography and broadcast contests. Our competitors represent their school’s newspaper, newsmagazine, literary magazine, broadcast, online, photography, digital media and graphic design programs and more than 3,000 students compete each year. 

As our membership heads to Washington, D.C., this fall for what is shaping up to be one of the largest conventions in JEA/NSPA history, JEA officials have some MONUMENTAL changes to announce.

First, JEA is rebranding the Write-offs as the National Student Media Contests, better reflecting the scope of the contests, many of which involve skills beyond writing. 

Next, a computer management system designed to make the registration and content submission process easier for JEA members will roll out this fall. The system has undergone several rounds of testing and the feedback from advisers has been great:

Debra Klevens from Parkway West High School said, “Traveling with teens, whose minds often change, isn’t a problem with the new contest software. It’s easy to add students, edit their contest entries and register students. The new system is extremely user friendly.”

Sarah-Anne Lanman from Munster High School said, “Registering students was easy and then getting them into contests (even with uploading for some contests) was even easier. There’s so much paperwork to do as a teacher, and even more when you have to take kids to convention, but no one should worry that registering for contests will be extra work. It’s that easy! Everyone who goes to convention should be registering students for contests.”

Watch for an email from JEA with information about how to access the system and set up a password. Every member will need to complete this step to register students in the new system which will open Oct. 1, 2019, for the fall convention.

As JEA moves forward with the new identity and management system, contest chair Nancy Smith said she hopes members realize that “it is a work in progress, and we will continue to make tweaks as we discover areas in need of improvement.”

Everything regarding the National Student Media Contests (or NSMC), including contest rules, instructions for registering students and uploading online submissions, links for downloading contest material for conventions, links to the new registration system and other helpful information, will be available online at jea.org/contests. 

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