Reflections on the JEA-NSPA National Conference

Twice a year, the Journalism Education Association and the National Student Press Association host national journalism conferences. Several thousand students, educators and professionals attend each convention. For those four days, it is easy to reflect on the conference and believe in the future of journalism.

At this year’s conference, veterans and newcomers inspired the students. Vadim Lavrusik spoke to a couple thousand attendees. Lavrusik is Facebook’s Journalist Program Manager. He is also 25. Before he worked at Facebook, he was the Community Manager and Social Strategist at Mashable.

Added link on March 24, 2015

Dave LaBelle, photographer and educator presented at the conference. LaBelle has authored two books that have defined how photographers cover photojournalism. While Lavrusik is only 25, LaBelle has more than 25 years of experience. LaBelle and I are going to present together at the next conference. This year, Mark Murray and presented together again. At the next conference, I will present on photography portfolios and photo stories.

Many other experienced educators continue learning from each other. Jack Kennedy, 2004 Carl Towley Award Winner, attended presentations so that he might improve his state organization. The Carl Towley Award is the highest honor a JEA member can receive. This year Steve O’Donoghue received the Towley Award. In 1990, O’Donoghue was also named the Dow Jones Journalism Teacher of the Year.  O’Donoghue taught in Oakland, California at Fremont High School. (I am from Oakland.)

This year, Aaron Manful was named the Dow Jones Journalism Teacher of the Year. Manful, who teaches at Francis Howell North High School, is also the JEA Digital Media Chair. At the JEA DM Committee meeting, Wendy Wallace of the Poynter Institute attended, along with many other talented educators.

As usual though, I was most impressed by the students. Hannah Kunz, a Texas photographer, won another photography event. In the last five contests, she has received the top award in her category each time. (In her first two competitions, she was only excellent.) However, Hannah was not the only superior student. There were many. Looking forward to seeing the next batch in Seattle.

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One Response to “Reflections on the JEA-NSPA National Conference”

  1. Jaime Perry says:

    I love the photography Mr. Farley. I think you have a new gift in life. Keep making a difference in the world.

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