2020 Instructional Sessions

We’ll cover a wide range of topics during our morning presentations, and there are more to come.

During each of the three daily presentations —at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 CDT on Tuesday, on Wednesday and on Thursday — you can select from these topics and more. There will be about 100 sessions from which to choose.



Building a staff manual
Collaboration and planning to help staff culture and workflow.

Interviews: Tell me more
Strong interviews come from good conversations. We’ll discuss preparation, drafting questions and tips and tricks for quality conversations.

Caption writing
Captions are the most read copy in any publication. Are yours worth reading? We’re HEADing out Learn the ins and outs of good main headlines and why secondary headlines might be even more important.


Editorial leadership

Editorial leadership: So you want to be an editor?


Writing, reporting & editing

Writing: Revision tools
Develop specific skills to edit your own writing or to use in a group setting. Which of the two types of writers are you? Good writer or a quitter?

Online reporting: Tips, tricks and tools
Putting content on a website goes beyond just taking the print version of a story and pasting it into your website’s content management system. You’ve also got to consider other means of distribution (like social media) and how to tell your story across different media, and whether one specific format might work to engage your audience better than just traditional text and photos.

Extreme makeover: Reporting/writing edition
A challenging writing course for students who want to tell compelling stories and are willing to put in the work and take the risks to do so. The course will focus on four major themes: (1) There are no absolute rules. (2) If there are, they’re meant to be broken by those who have mastered them. (3) Narrative, style and voice matter more than anything else. (4) Editing can be brutal, but it’s a sign of love. Your best writing so far will come out of this class.

Writerly things (Sarah’s Hope)
Work out your writing core in an in-depth analysis of one of the best features even written in journalism.

Everyone’s an editor
Editing is for everyone, not just the editors. Staffers should check design and copy for the big — and little — things before their assignment is “finished.” Here are some things to look for and how to make it easier to find them.

Reporting: 50 ways to tell a story
Well, at least 20 — and much simpler and more visual when it comes to storytelling.

Beat reporting
Journalists are jack-of-all-trades, but a beat reporting system encourages in-depth knowledge in news gathering as well as relationship building.

Writing is essential
In this surreal moment of social distancing, shelter-in-place and flattening-the-curve, you must ask yourself, “Am I essential? Do I provide an essential service?” To cover this pandemic and the hundreds of ways it has affected every aspect of our lives, we need teams of reporters, writers and editors, working together, to find a way to tell the stories about all that was lost and, perhaps even, all that was gained.

What is life?
Learn the David Knight way of coverage and interviewing that will keep your publication connected to the pulse of your readers.

Reporting for duty
Journalism isn’t about writing. It’s about reporting. Reporting isn’t about Google searches, texts or tweets or Snapchats. It’s about face-to-face conversations with well-connected sources who share compelling stories and vital information that can’t be found anywhere else.

Narrative personal columns
We can’t tell others’ stories until we can tell our own. Let’s look at some incredible examples.

Feature writing
Ways to not write the same old stories.

How I wrote that story
I’m going to tell you stories about all kinds of people I’ve written about: A kickball player, a drummer, a public school superintendent, a retired judge, an old friend I bumped into one morning. In this session, I’ll explain how I gathered the information for each story, how I organized it, how I cleaned and repaired it, how I wrote my first draft and how I finally completed a draft I was willing to put my name on.



Online: Coding basics in HTML and CSS
HTML and CSS are the building blocks of every single website that exists out there. In this session, learn the basics of building a webpage — you’ll code along and build a simple page — and learn how to read these two languages. This is useful even if you never plan to hand-build a page from scratch the rest of your life; most modern web platforms allow for a little customization, and even this basic knowledge will help you fix basic problems or make small changes that can make a big difference.



Typography and design
Learn how type affects your designs.

Elements of design basics
From design terminology to the steps of creating a layout, this crash course will teach you what you need to know to get started designing spreads.

Principles of design
Contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity are the four pillars of graphic design. In this session we’ll look at what makes great designs so … crappy.

Take concept development and build a brand style guide for your staff. A style guide works as the instruction manual and rule book on how to communicate your concept.
DesignspirationLearn how to use print/digital media to gather theme inspiration, layout design trends and creative coverage ideas for your yearbook.



Yearbook theme/concept development
Selecting the best concept for your school for 2021. Includes visual theme design, verbal concept development, theme copy and carrying it through the book.

Yearbook: Theme ideas for 2021
Select a theme with a unique voice for 2021

Yearbook: Design talk
Discussion of contemporary spread design.

Pay attention and be nosy: Find/tell better stories
Writing the story of the year in yearbook isn’t just rehashing what happened. To write a story that students actually want to read, find those moments that matter. Ask better questions, and pay attention to the little things to find that angle that gives your copy some emotional punch.

Coverage ideas
Show spreads from current books to encourage editors to consider new ideas for coverage topics and ways to cover them.

Yearbook: Step by step
Consider coverage and organization to help your staff plan the perfect ladder for the 2021 yearbook.



Beginning video

Fundamentals of video

Video camera basics

Introduction to audio

Video: Beginning editing with Premiere Pro

The structure of video stories

Video basic training: How to interview

Video basic training: How to shoot effective B-roll

Video workflow: From brainstorm to final edit

Video: Critiquing news packages

Video: Mobile storytelling
Using the power of your smartphone, learn the best and easiest ways to tell video stories of yourself, your family, your school and your community. By using just a few simple apps, and multiple storytelling strategies, students will come away prepared to go back to school in the fall feeling confident in their mobile video content creation skills, whether while in school, or through remote learning.

Advanced video
Advanced reporting techniques and story structure, videography, sound design, lighting, editing workflow, and ultimately produce multiple stories, which will be published online. Effective ways to build staff leadership and plan for your upcoming school year. (This course is on crafting a broadcast news story, NOT on how to use equipment. Make sure that you are familiar with ALL of your equipment.)

Beginning video
This beginning video course is designed to prepare students for their first year as a video reporter. Students will study the types of video projects that form scholastic video journalism, learn the basics of capturing and editing video, learn to interview with a camera, as well as learning to plan and execute full video reporting assignments. This course will also address the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic, focusing specifically on how to conduct interviews remotely, with an emphasis on learning how to train your interviewees to prepare, record, and send their own video footage to you, the reporter. The instructor will also work with individual staffs to get the most out of the equipment available to them.

Video: How to make a video memorable
In this session we will cover the elements incorporated in great videos which truly bring out the emotion and power of a visual story.

Video: Interviewing tips
Learn in detail the step-by-step process of interviewing for video as we explore having a conversation, not an interrogation, leveraging the 5 Ws and an H, story subject selection, camera composition, location setting, subject positioning, lighting, ideas for b-roll, equipment needed and audio tips.

Video editing techniques
We’ll cover the most efficient workflow, no matter what editing platform you are using, to become a better storyteller and turn stories around faster. From importing, organizing, naming files, editing news packages in the timeline and exporting the final product.



Preparing images for publications
A workflow using Photoshop or Lightroom to get images ready to be published.

What does it mean to be advanced video producer?
We will review the basics of what it means to master and go beyond the basics of being a beginner video producer so we can advance our skills.

Beginning photo
Demystifying the camera controls and learning proven methods and formulas to get students producing useable image quickly.

Digital image workflow for outside the classroom
Students have micro computers with smart phones and tablets. Unleash the power of mobile computing and digital photography to tell stories from the field quickly and without a computer lab.

Use your phone camera like a pro with lighting, composition and editing workflow tips and tricks.

Beginning sports photo
After learning basic photo, students are forced into shooting sports with little to no instruction. This session can teach photographers about sport basics and how to “compose and wait” on the best sports photo.



Manage remote reporting
If you find yourself in unusual circumstances, how would you tell the story? Practical tips on how to report remotely and online.

25 tips
The job doesn’t necessarily get easier the longer you do it, but we do get stronger and smarter as advisers. From what we learned to what we still need to learn, this session will feature at least 25 tips for advisers to survive in the journalism classroom.

Ready to take your publication to the next level
Wonder how the CSPA Crown or NSPA Pacemakers are named? We’ll give advisers an inside look of what goes into these two national contests, and give you some takeaways to elevate your student media program.

COVID-19 roundtable for yearbook
As some have made it to the finish line for 2020, others are still waiting for their shipments. After surviving the spring season completing the yearbook in quarantine, what next? This session will be an open discussion about how to navigate the 2020-2021 school year with a threat of a second pandemic shutdown. Bring your questions and solutions for the new challenges we will all face in our media rooms this fall.

COVID-19 roundtable for news and broadcast
While some were able to return to campus for equipment, others were locked out early-mid March never to return. Reporting in quarantine provided a new set of challenges like we have never seen before. What’s next? This session will be an open discussion about how to navigate the 2020-2021 school year with a threat of a second pandemic shutdown. Bring your questions and solutions for the new issues we will all face in our media rooms this fall.

Copyright, creative commons and public domain
Your editors approach you with an idea to cover the greatest bands of the year. One of your broadcast staffer must compile a video montage for a pep rally using a popular song. A staff member turns in their design with a photo that says courtesy of Google. Let’s look at the common hot spots for media staffs dealing with copyright law. We’ll also look at free or cost effective solutions to help your students still cover those stories while abiding by copyright.

Making big moves with small details
Let’s talk about five things you can do to organize your staff to work better together. Cover more ground, worry less about the little things, empower your staff to be more productive.

Avoiding eye rolls and the reject pile
You had no idea when you became an adviser you were going to write this many letters of recommendation. And in our current climate, the demand of those requests are increasing. The pressure is on with each student, but do your letters help? Come gather advice from someone who has been on the receiving end of those letters and what makes them memorable.

HyperDocs for online advising
Teach journalism fundamentals and establish staff workflows with all components on a digital document as a central hub

Distance learning strategies to engage students
Advisers will learn techniques to structure an online class format to offer valuable lessons for students to learn, find out adviser communication do’s and don’t, offer effective feedback strategies for student work, and ultimately keep your student team on pace to produce your publication.



Gloria Shields/NSPA Media Workshop
National Scholastic Press Association • info@studentpress.org • 612-200-9254