Board approves bylaw changes, standards for journalism educators

Board approves bylaw changes, standards for journalism educators

Educational Initiatives Director Megan Fromm, MJE, listens to committee chair reports at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C. Photo by Kelly Glasscock, CJE


The Journalism Education Association board of directors met Nov. 21 in Washington, D.C. prior to kickoff of the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention.

Contest Chair Nancy Smith, MJE, reported on the rebrand for the National Student Media Contests and official launch of its new website, thanking her committee members and recognizing the ongoing efforts of JEA’s web developer, Kate Dubiel.

“The D.C. convention has been historic for JEA contests. We have the largest number of entries, with 2,125, in addition to a full rebranding of the contests,” Smith said. “We also rolled out a new, more efficient contest management system, making the fall 2019 event truly monumental.” 

Career and Technical Education Chair Nina Quintana, CJE, reported on the committee’s efforts to promote industry-standard certification exams. Fourteen convention attendees are registered to take exams in Washington, D.C. Leaders discussed ways to educate members on the format and value of utilizing Certiport and Precision Exams for adviser and student certification through JEA and made plans for additional promotional and educational efforts, including ways to make journalism teachers not affiliated with CTE programs aware of the opportunity and benefits.

Other reports during the board meeting included updates about digital media, JEA One Book, Scholastic Journalism Week, mentoring, certification, awards, NCTE, C:JET and curriculum in addition to the headquarters report from Executive Director Kelly Glasscock, CJE, with financial information and a convention update.

NSPA Executive Director Laura Widmer provided updates about their staff and programming, too. Widmer reported registration for the D.C. convention as 6,100 just prior to the on-site registration opening.

In new business, the board approved two bylaw changes by 7-0 vote. The contest chair position will now be an appointment made by the executive director with the president’s approval. This individual will oversee the National Student Media Contests, the Junior High/Middle School National Media Contest and the National Journalism Quiz Bowl and will serve without a term limit.

The second bylaw change affects membership categories as outlined by Section 1d(2) and eliminates “secondary schools” in order to preserve the original intent of an institutional membership.

“I wanted to clarify the membership category for advisers,” Vice President Val Kibler, MJE, said. “All advisers should be using the first option when they apply for or renew membership.”

In addition, the board approved 7-0 to endorse a revision of the Standards for Journalism Educators. President Sarah Nichols, MJE, led a team of journalism educators earlier this fall to update the standards based on changes in the industry. The new standards have been updated on the JEA website here.

The meeting adjourned at 1:42 p.m.


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