K-State hosts KSPA journalism conference


K-State held one of three Kansas Scholastic Press Association’s Fall Conferences Tuesday. The event took place in the K-State Student Union with nearly 300 high school journalism students and their advisers in attendance.

The fall conference tour began at Fort Hays State University Monday, Sept. 22 and will end today in Lawrence at the University of Kansas. KSPA asks each college to organize the event. Each campus has a specific organization to host the events. This includes reserving a space for the event as well as lining up speakers. K-State’s conference was sponsored by the Collegian Media Group.

The opening keynote speaker was Ron Johnson, director of student media at Indiana University. Johnson was once the media head at K-State.

The colleges host the conference each year as a way for students and advisers to meet one another and learn about various fields of scholastic journalism including newspaper, yearbook, broadcast, photography and, in more recent years, webpage development.

Kim Isbell, multimedia adviser at Humboldt High School, said she and her students gain a lot of knowledge from the conference each year.

“Every year after fall conference, I feel like I advance as an adviser,” Isbell said. “When we were beginning our webpage for our school newspaper, I depended on my fellow journalism advisors for guidance on the best way to implement a website within our already busy newspaper staff.”

Isbell and Anna Setter, current editor-in-chief of Humboldt High School’s Cub Tracks, presented a breakout session together.

“We spoke about the organized chaos that is within our journalism room,” Setter said. “Utilizing technology and on and offline programs helps us maintain a somewhat calm class. I actually learned about one of the programs we use to organize at a KSPA fall conference.”

The breakouts were broken into four time slots throughout the day, all ending before 1:30 p.m. There were 46 informative sessions students and advisors could choose from.

While at the conference, high school journalists could have professionals critique their newspapers and yearbooks.

“A journalism room can sometimes be like a creative vacuum in the the way that the same people are generating the same ideas every year,” Travis Feil, Jostens Yearbook representative, said. “A critique can be a breath of new life; students are sometimes more receptive to feedback from a source from outside the creative circle.”