NHSJC speaker portal

The JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention is the largest gathering of high school journalists in the country. 

Typically, the on-site conventions comprise around 300 breakout sessions.

If you have any questions about the national convention, contact JEA Assistant Director Lindsay Porter through email at NHSJC@jea.org.

Speaker proposals for the 2024 spring convention in Kansas City are due Jan. 15 for priority scheduling.

Speaker proposals

If you are willing and able to participate in the national convention, please complete this short form.

The form includes:

  • Session topic
  • Session title
  • Session description
  • Speaker biography
  • Speaker contact information
  • Speaker availability

Speaker proposal guide:

Session title: 6-8 words (Avoid vague titles. Clever is good, but we prefer one that people would understand what the session will cover at quick glance.) Example: Open up: Writing yearbook theme copy, NOT JUST Open up. Use sentence style with first word and proper nouns capitalized. All other words lowercase.

Session description: 45-50 words. Avoid using speaker’s name in the session description. Describe what the speaker will cover and what the audience should take away from the session. Please use complete sentences.

Bio: 65 words max for most speakers. May go to 80-100 words for featured speakers. We prefer education/journalism-related work and honors. Avoid family/pet information, age, personal philosophy, overly promotional details about product/service/company, things people do outside of work (unless it’s relevant to the session).

Session proposals

Members and other individuals interested in supporting the goals and programs of JEA, NSPA and scholastic journalism are invited to submit convention program proposals for sessions at the national convention. This invitation is extended to teachers/advisers, professional journalists and students in editorial leadership positions.

Proposals must be received by Jan. 15 (spring convention) or Aug. 15 (fall convention), to be listed in the registration booklet. If the deadline has passed, please contact Lindsay Porter at 785-532-5563 or Porter@jea.org to see if speaking times are still available.

Each person submitting a proposal will be notified by email six to eight weeks before the convention of the status of that proposal.

The number of proposals accepted will be determined by the number of rooms and available time slots. The program committee will look for variety and coverage of topics appropriate for student journalists involved in yearbooks, newspapers, newsmagazines, literary magazines, online news and broadcasting. In addition, the committee will consider topics appropriate for advisers.

Advisers, professionals and student are invited to submit proposals on topics including, but not limited to, these curricular areas:

  • Trends in journalism — Developing diversity in the newsroom, data journalism, visual storytelling, future of journalism, tools and equipment every journalist should have or know how to use, community journalism co-ops
  • Design — basics of design, typography, use of color, white space, front page design, double-page spread design, trends, infographics
  • Editing — copy editing, style, coaching writers, online editing, fact checking in the digital age
  • Marketing and Audience Engagement — business, marketing, digital publicity, sales, public relations, social media promotions, branding, funding models for news
  • Law and Ethics — First Amendment, libel, court cases important to student media, copyright, plagiarism, reporter’s privilege, ethics, privacy, rights and responsibilities, establishing staff policies
  • Leadership and Team Building — planning staff retreat, leadership portfolios, leadership traits and styles, diversity in staff and coverage, ice breakers, end-of-the-year activities, staff motivation
  • Multimedia Broadcast — pre-production, script writing, storyboarding, lighting, videography and editing, audio, video storytelling, on-air reporting, podcasting, tools and equipment
  • Newsgathering — news judgment, journalistic research, investigative reporting, interviewing basics, news gathering basics, using public documents, conducting a press conference, reporting with social media, data journalism, evaluating website credibility
  • Online — defining an audience, budgeting, information design, basic HTML, online writing, social media, staff structure and workflow, advanced web skills, creating a design style guide, tools and resources, truth and social media
  • Photojournalism — history and ethics, composition basics, caption writing, tips and tricks, sports photography, portrait photography, photo editing, working with reporters/editors, photography and social media, image workflow/organization, preparing a portfolio
  • Staff management — staff manuals, job descriptions, organizing a staff, recruiting a staff, developing a grading system, building a parent/alumni support organization, organization for group photo or yearbook distribution days
  • Writing — basics of journalistic writing, revision, using quotes, headlines, feature writing, news writing, opinion writing, sports writing

We also welcome session proposals tailored specifically for advisers about the classroom and publication management, as well as sessions aimed at students about college and career preparedness.

Program information

  • The speaker proposal is designed for equitable and expeditious reviewing of proposals.
  • As professional, nonprofit associations, JEA and NSPA are unable to reimburse program participants for travel and lodging expenses. However, speakers who present two or more sessions (or present one session and judge or critique) and are members of either JEA or NSPA are exempt from the registration fee. In the case of multiple presenters from one school or team-taught sessions, only two fees will be waived without special permission from JEA and NSPA.
  • Students in leadership positions are encouraged to submit proposals. It is recommended that not more than three students present any one session. There are no student fee waivers for speaking. The adviser should be at the session to assist if necessary. Student presenters are asked to work with their faculty adviser to guarantee quality instruction. We encourage advisers to share sessions with their student instructors and/or attend the students' session.
  • Acceptance or rejection of a proposal will be issued in September (fall) and February (spring). Proposers should be sure they have approval from administrators to attend the convention before submitting a proposal.
  • Proposals whose essential purpose is to advertise or disseminate information about books, materials or services for sales will not be accepted. Exhibit space and advertising in the program will be available for sale.
  • No proposal will be disqualified from consideration because it requires audio-visual equipment but with a limited budget for equipment rental, program proposers should indicate the need for AV equipment only if it is essential. Not all convention spaces have internet access. This must be requested on the speaker form.
  • The program proposal form provides a space for description of the presentation that will be used in the program. Proposers are urged to provide clear, brief and specific descriptions of the session.
  • Membership in JEA or NSPA is not required for convention program participation; however, in cases of equally good proposals on similar topics, proposals submitted by members may be favored. Proposals should be received no later than Jan. 15 for spring conventions and Aug. 15 for fall convention (preferably well before this date).

Email questions about the speaker proposal to NHSJC@jea.org.

Convention style guide

Official name: Fall JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention. (or Spring JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention)
Spring convention, fall convention or national high school journalism convention on second reference. Not JEA convention or NSPA convention.

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