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Southern Interscholastic Press Association • USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications • October 2012 • Issue 1

SIPA 2013: the limit does not exist

CNN assignment editor keynote speaker at convention When I was first assigned an article detailing the life and career of the 2013 SIPA Lauren Harper Convention’s keynote speaker, Stephanie Scholastic Press Office Assistant Gallman, I was told to do my research to find out who she is. I figured I would find the basics: her current job position as an assignment editor at the CNN National Desk, a graduate of the University of Georgia in English and Telecommunications, and photos of the strawberry-blonde journalist. And while I did come across all of these things, I did some digging and discovered even more about her through her blog, “Project Formerly Known as ‘Project 29 to 30,’” her Facebook page, and through a series of articles she had written in high school. In her blog I found a hilarious, yet articulate, writer with a great deal of experience and knowledge about the world of journalism. When she graduated from UGA, Gallman began as a mobile marketer for Country Music Television, driving across the country in a Ford F350 promoting country music. The she got a job at CNN in Atlanta as a tour guide, later becoming a Newsource writer and eventually moving to the position she now holds as an assignment editor. In this position, Gallman gathers news for all CNN platforms, including CNN International and, specifically for the East Coast. Gallman searches for news through a variety of sources, from newspapers, online and news affiliates to the police. “I like being on the front lines of history – seeing these things up close and personal,” Gallman said in a phone interview. “As mature as it might sound,


I want to know everything that’s happening before everyone else.” The 32-year-old journalist also takes pleasure in the fact the job is ever-changing. Some days she works to “fish out stories” and other days – like the day we talked on the phone – are chaotic. “Today has been really crazy with the Jerry Sandusky sentencing,” she said, apologizing several times for putting me on hold while she took a phone call. Although she is in the broadcast field now, in high school Gallman wrote for her school’s newspaper. She calls herself a “natural-born storyteller,” always enjoying the impact news has on people’s everyday lives. She said whether people have concurring or opposing opinions, news affects everyone in some way. Since Gallman has been a high school journalist herself, she is comfortable giving some advice to scholastic journalists now: 1. “Being born naturally curious is super important – the second you’re not curious about things, you should be looking to do something else.” 2. “You have to be willing to do whatever is necessary. Sometimes you are leading the story and getting the bylines, and sometimes you’re going to get someone a diet Coke out of the break room. Be OK with having to do the dirty work.” 3. “You really have to be flexible and let your career move to where it needs to be. You kind of take things as they come and go for opportunities

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as they come to you. Seize every opportunity because you never know if it will come to you again both in journalism and in life.” 4. “It’s so important to work hard. Be open to everything, it may seem completely miserable, but it may not be in the end. Be comfortable with finding out who you are along the way, be open to new ideas, ask questions, and you’ll be that much better.” Karen Flowers, SIPA director, said she suggested Gallman as the 2013 SIPA keynote speaker for many reasons, including her experience and work at CNN, her love for journalism and her energetic style. In high school Gallman wasn’t unlike how she is today. “Her enthusiasm is contagious,” Flowers said, “so she was a good motivator for our staff and that motivation continues today. I hope she will motivate our scholastic journalists at SIPA to be the very best they can be because that’s what she is – the best at what she is.” While Gallman said she is unsure of how the next chapter of her career will unfold, she is certain she would like to be in a position in which she can inspire other journalists while she is learning and growing as a journalist herself. As the 2013 SIPA keynote speaker, this desire to inspire seems to be exactly what she will be doing, and we are all going to be able to be a part of that.

challenge allows rammar u ru hallenge: New students to learn, have fun

Grammar is often viewed by high school students as an outdated subject, learned only by completing monotonous written exercises on a Blaine Parrish dusty chalkboard. However, at this year’s SIPA Turner Convention, students will have the opportunity to engage in interactive technology and have fun with Scholastic Press Office Assistant grammar by participating in the first Grammar Guru Challenge.   The Challenge was created by SIPA members Kay Phillips, Martha Rothwell and Amy MedlockGreene. After years of teaching grammar seminars, they wanted to offer convention attendees the chance to take part in an interactive grammar session. The idea of the challenge is to show students not only that grammar is still important, but that learning it can actually be an enjoyable experience. Even in today’s technology-centered world, students must still have a firm grasp of correct grammar and style to be effective writers and communicators. The ability to write clearly and effectively is key for all students, but especially scholastic journalism students interested in pursuing a career in professional communications. “We just want students to enjoy grammar and use it to have more fun with journalism,” said Kay Phillips, former North Carolina Scholastic Media

Association director. “I think when you have a grasp of grammar, you’re much more free to speak and to write.” The challenge will involve three sessions over the course of the weekend. At the end of the final session, students will take a 100 question multiple choice test on grammar, AP style and spelling.  Students do not have to participate in all three sessions of the weekend to take the final challenge. At the closing ceremony Sunday morning, the top scorers of the test will receive recognition as SIPA Grammar Gurus. Students do not already have to be “grammar gurus” to participate in one or more of the sessions. Participants will be able to engage in social media during the first session on Friday night by tweeting photos of the grammar mistakes they encounter.  During this session, participants will also be asked to use the online program Poll Everywhere to answer multiple choice grammar questions with text responses.     “We’re trying to merge new technology with the teaching of grammar,” said Martha Rothwell, JEA mentor and former South Iredell (N.C.) adviser.  “With programs like Poll Everywhere, we can use technology to give us teachable moments.  Grammar itself doesn’t necessarily have to be fun, but teaching it and learning it can be.”



Game. Set. Match! CCCF to match SIPA donations Nov. 14 starting at 12:01 a.m. Talk about a lucky coincidence! This year’s Endowment Match Day is on the same day as it was last year: Nov. 14. At 12:01 a.m., when Tuesday turns into Wednesday, SIPA members will be poised Mary Inglis to log into Central Carolina Community SIPA Past Chair Foundation and make a donation that CCCF has agreed to match. “Much as I need my beauty sleep,” Martha Rothwell said, “I wouldn’t miss this donation opportunity. It is the perfect way to make our money go farther. Count me in.” The maximum donation is $100, and it must be made online with a credit card. Once the CCCF has met its daily match of $3,333, no other donations will be matched that day. Endowment co-chair Beth Dickey recalls last year’s match day: “We were all up and ready for 12:01. Our organization really hit the mark. So many of us donated early that CCCF matched us one to one. I know that this year our members will be just as successful, if not more.” Let’s beat last year’s donations of $1,559, to which, after CCCF’s matching donations, we ended up with $3,118. Here’s how to do it: 1. Go to or go directly to Give now: (then skip step 2). 2. Click on “Give Now” located in the upper right hand of the page. 3. Under Please apply my gift to the following: Choose – A Specific Fund. 4. A Fund Name box will appear. Type in Southern Interscholastic Press Association. 5. Select a donation amount or choose “other” and type in an amount (may not exceed $100). 6. Provide your contact information. Pay attention to the required fields. 7. I would like my gift to be made (fill in donation if in honor or memory of someone). This is not a required field. 8. Billing information: Fill in all three lines (Credit Card # - no spaces are needed between numbers, CW – 3 digit number on back of the card and expiration date) Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards will be accepted. 9. Click Make a Donation and your gift will be processed. 10. You will receive an email (at the email address you provided in the contact information area) verifying your gift.


Issue 1 October 2012

Pushing limit s

Student applies for Shrine Bowl of Carolinas

The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas is the week-long All-Star game between North and South Carolina that features soon-to-be college football players in their last high school football game. Shrine Bowl also offers a unique opportunity for two high school journalists to be student Collyn Taylor correspondents. These correspondents participate in all the Shrine SIPA Vice President Bowl events players do, except for the fear of injury.  They go to practice, eat with the team, talk to coaches and stay with the team.   They get to do all of this and only have to write two-three stories a day.  Pretty good deal.  I knew when I read about it that it was something I wanted to do.   I wanted to do this to push my limits.  I wanted to see how I could push myself to reach new heights since the limit does not exist.   I wanted to apply to experience new things and build my resume as a sports journalist. Just to be considered as a finalist, I had to fill out an application so detailed and with so many stories it reminded me of a novel.   An information sheet, a story about Pep Club, a story about a coach and an editorial How have you about the benefits of sports.   pushed your limits, Those four things would determine my future in this competition.  Those four things, personally, as a the only things telling judges about my talents student journalist? and me. Tell your story on I was nervous.   I sat and waited for two months for an Facebook – answer.  I got that answer on a Saturday, the Southern day of the prom at Dutch Fork.   I got the email from James Webb and read Interscholastic the tagline: We are glad to announce Collyn PressAssociation. Taylor as a finalist.   I reread it over and over.  It was surreal.  Although I hadn’t won the Start talking about the competition yet, I was being considered as a SIPA 2013 convention finalist.   To the judges, I was one of the best sports on Twitter – writers in the state.  I was honored just to be #SIPA2013 in consideration. The second wave of stories came through in #limitless September, and I worked for a month writing @SIPAatUSC and perfecting the stories that I hoped would catapult me into one of the biggest sporting @SIPAofficers events in South Carolina.   My application to the Shrine Bowl is just like SIPA 2013: no limits.   If I get selected as a correspondent, I get to make relationships with new people and college coaches. I get to push my limits as a journalist, experiencing something new at the same time. The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas will push my limits on finding stories and photos, causing me to better myself as a sports journalist and a person as well.   SIPA 2013 will push the limits of those who attend. Let’s push those limits together. November 2012, Issue 1

Southern Interscholastic Press Association • University of South Carolina • School of Journalism and Mass Communications • Columbia, SC 29208

Phone: 803.777.6284 • Fax: 803.777.4103 • Email: • Website: • Facebook: Southern Interscholastic PressAssociation • Twitter: @SIPAatUSC

Director Carol Pardun Executive Director Karen Flowers Scholastic Press Manager Leslie Dennis Accents Designer Leslie Dennis Office assistants Kelsey D’Amico Lauren Harper Rebecca Piner Blaine Parrish Turner

Executive Committee: Chair: Amy Medlock-Greene, Dutch Fork HS, S.C. • Vice chair: Coni Grebel, Lee County HS, Ga. • Secretary: Stella McCombs, Stratford HS, S.C. Past chair: Mary Inglis, Wellington HS, Fla. • President: Chloe Hargrave, Clarke Central HS, Ga. • Vice president: Collyn Taylor, Dutch Fork HS, S.C. Member-at-large: Anna Roberts, Lee County HS, Ga. Appointed Members: Phillip Caston, J.L. Mann HS, S.C. • Meredith Cummings, ASPA, Ala. • Joe Dennis, GSPA, Ga. • Cynthia Ferguson, Oxford HS, Miss. Beth Fitts, MSPA, Miss. • Brenda Gorsuch, West Henderson HS, N.C. • Monica Hill, NCSMA, N.C. • Valerie Kibler, Harrisonburg HS, Va. Mark Murray, Arlington ISD, Texas • Susan Newell, Northridge HS, Ala. • Jake Palenske, Raytheon, Texas David Ragsdale, Clarke Central HS, Ga. • Chris Waugaman, Prince George HS, Va. • Bradley Wilson, Midwestern State University, Texas Endowment Committee: Co-Chairs: Beth Dickey, S.C., and Martha Rothwell, N.C. • Marilyn Chapman, S.C. • Sylvia Daughtry-Brown, Ga. • Jenna Eckel, S.C. • Chris Floore, Ga. Melanie Huynh-Duc, N.C. • Mary Inglis, Fla. • Kay Phillips, N.C. • Jenny Proctor, S.C. • Jane Speidel, Fla.


Issue 1 October 2012


Former Tumblr Vice President of Support, scholastic journalist shares advice on blogging Tumblr is viewed by more than 143 million people each month and nearly a fifth of them are 13 to 18. It’s an amazing platform for connecting with your Marc LaFountain school’s community. Here are tips on using Tumblr effectively.

Vice President of Support, Tumblr

Be Visual Tumblr supports seven different types of posts. But, the most popular by far is the Photo post. Viewers respond to compelling visuals. They crave them. So, even if your content is largely textual, Tumblr Themes make a Photo post that links to the text. Or, make a Text post that has a visual with some text at the top and a link to the rest. Text posts offer a Read More feature that makes continuation links a snap. Be Timely With a blog, you aren’t constrained by a print deadline or production schedule. Also, your viewers don’t expect blog posts to be long or overly detailed. They do expect you to post often and for your content to feel fresh. So, focus on frequent, timely posts that quickly convey information to your viewers. Post Original Content Too many organizations take what they already publish in traditional form and simply regurgitate it online. It’s fine to repurpose some of your content. But, if that’s all you do then people won’t have much reason to read your blog. Make sure a healthy portion of your blog’s content is great stuff that viewers can’t get anywhere else. Stand for Your Brand Tumblr lets you control the code and visual assets used by your blog theme. You have designers and geeks on your staff. Use them. Your school has a brand identity with a logo, colors, and perhaps a motto. Your publication or program has a nameplate or logo. Design a blog theme that represents you.

Tumblr also allows blogs to use a custom domain, like myorganizationhere. com, or a custom sub-domain, like Using a custom address can help your blog feel more professional and official. Engage the Community You wouldn’t go to a party and stand in the corner talking to yourself. You can’t behave that way in an online community either. Tumblr is a social place and you must engage with others to create value for your organization. Tumblr Dashboard Tumblr allows you to Follow blogs, to Reblog their posts onto your blog, to Like posts, to Ask questions, to answer questions, to Submit posts to others, to receive Submissions, to Reply to others, and to receive Replies. You make the community stronger when you reach out. Others in the community will then be more likely to reach back in return. Learn from Others A ton of amazing journalism is happening on Tumblr. You can use what others have done as inspiration for your blog. Here are some links that can help. Visuals from

LaFountain credits passion, initiative with success In 2007 blogging and social networking sites Blaine Parrish were still primarily Turner reserved for only the Scholastic Press Office Assistant most avid Internet users. Marc LaFountain, who served as vice president of tech support until Oct. 10 for the popular blogging site Tumblr, jumped into the new world of interactive online media with high hopes and even higher ambitions. Though LaFountain already used Facebook and Twitter and had a blog on the site Typepad, he said he was drawn to Tumblr immediately because of the site’s unique features.  Tumblr combines the features of both blogging sites like Typepad and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. “Tumblr was unlike anything I had ever seen back in 2007,” said LaFountain.  “It brought social networking features to blogging. It offered six different posting types rather than one. Blog themes could be completely customized. You could use a custom domain for free. You could post via email and via a browser bookmarklet. It all felt revolutionary.” As a Tumblr user, LaFountain began to see flaws in the innovative site’s user tech support system.  He realized users wanted to be able to send their questions, ideas and feedback to a real person rather

than just the site’s Help page. He sent an email to years, LaFountain left his full-time job with Tumblr Tumblr’s CEO, David Karp, and convinced him Oct. 10 to move to Switzerland with his wife, the company needed someone Francisca Rahardja, as she accepts a responsible for the site’s tech director position with the European support system.  Karp hired Union at Philip Morris International. LaFountain as Tumblr’s third LaFountain will continue consulting employee after LaFountain part-time for Tumblr even when he suggested he could answer leaves the Richmond office.  Though user emails faster than the site’s his passion for the company and current Help system. the quickly growing world of social When LaFountain first started networking is apparent, LaFountain’s working for Tumblr in December job history has given him a wide 2007, he worked for five months variety of interests ranging from Photo by Patty Hall, USC SJMC as a part-time consultant, technology to corporate public responding to emails from users At the S.C. Scholastic Press relations. He encourages journalism with problems and questions.  students to pursue their careers with Association 75th Anniversary LaFountain made reports for Oct. 17, 2011, Marc LaFountain an open passion and desire to learn his colleagues detailing the reunites with SCSPA director and the various aspects of the changing specific problems and requests industry. former adviser Karen Flowers that were generating the most “Never assume that you will and former staffers Erin McClam user email.  As LaFountain’s always have the same job or even that and CeCe von Kolnitz Nunn. work with the company you will always work in the same They were all members of The began to improve the site, he industry,” said LaFountain.  “That Stinger, Irmo HS’s newspaper. started working full-time as a often doesn’t work out. You may Support Ambassador and then not even want it to as you grow and eventually becoming director as the support group change. Try to have hobbies and interests outside of continued to grow. your current job or industry. Engaging in multiple After successfully serving the company for five passions at once has always served me well.”



Issue 1 October 2012

Beyond the classroom: SIPA’s relationship with the Journalism Education Association’s mentor program has served a beneficial role for advisers with little or no experience for three years. The program gives new scholastic journalism advisers the opportunity to network and learn from veteran advisers with years of experience and wisdom. As the world of journalism changes and school publications suffer budget cuts, it is essential for advisers to maintain strong relationships with one another and encourage other educators to support scholastic journalism in their schools. This year SIPA is helping support three mentors in Alabama, three mentors in North Carolina and one in South Carolina. Three mentors and one mentee shared with our staff their goals and expectations for the upcoming year.

Marilyn C hapman

– Mentor

Central HS (Ala.) literary magazine adviser Tyrone Jones goes over the magazine with Connie Nolen. Jones’s mentor is former Alabama Scholastic Press Association director Marie Parsons.

How did you get involved in the mentor program? Members of SIPA, who were already mentors and knew I was retiring, encouraged me to do it because they liked the program so much. I went to the JEA training that summer and began mentoring two teachers when school started again. It was a great opportunity to be able to use all the journalism skills I had used for many years to help an overwhelmed, new adviser. Being able to assist that new adviser to make the job easier and more professional as well was a rewarding experience for both of us.

Marilyn Chapman

Challenges you face as a mentor: My biggest challenge is getting a mentee to learn and develop the necessary journalistic skills to produce a better publication. It is also difficult to keep the mentee’s enthusiasm up after the staff makes a mistake or two, so I endeavor to use positive reinforcement to keep the mentee going ahead at all times. Advice for your mentee: My advice usually starts with encouraging the mentee to meet other advisers and experienced teachers at workshops and conferences where the mentee can find new ideas as well as confirmation about  ideas in use already. Too often a mentee is the only person in the building who has a journalism job, and working in isolation can be difficult and overwhelming without the support of other advisers who understand the job’s needs and can offer positive suggestions to facilitate the production process. I also advise mentees to work with enthusiasm but to also plan time to be away from the job and recharge their academic batteries for the school day. Knowing the computer programs to be used, the vocabulary of the production process, and budgetary needs and duties are all necessary to do a good job.

The Mentor Program is a a terrific idea and way to allow retired journalism teachers to assist and help new advisers so they too can develop the enthusiasm and joy of teaching journalism that facilitates new, positive, ongoing productions.

Ju ne Ashby

– R.B. Glenn HS (N.C.) – New Mentee

Why did you decide to get involved in the mentor/mentee program? The school newspaper was the red-headed step-child of our English department. No one really wanted to take on the hassles of teaching this subject. Several years of long-term subs had filled the position. Last year when I decided to make a change in the level of English I was teaching, I was told if I switched I had to also take newspaper. I wanted a change, so I said, “OK.” This is a totally new area for me. I struggled through the first year with the help of our yearbook adviser. My goal was to become the best journalism teacher that I could become. I attended the North Carolina Scholastic Media Asssociation’s online journalism class at UNC-Chapel Hill during the summer.

During that class, another first-year teacher mentioned that he had a journalism mentor. He gave my number to his mentor, and we were able to make a connection. I decided to get involved in the mentor/mentee program because I needed a coach and sounding board in this field. What do you hope to gain through your mentor relationship? My mentor is an experienced journalism/newspaper adviser. She listens, encourages, and points me in the right direction. Through our relationship she has helped me locate some resources to enhance our program. She has helped me feel like I am not alone in this field.

Issue 1 October 2012



New advisers get help from retired advisers who in turn find outlet for knowledge, experience Nora Stephens

– Mentor (Ala.)

How did you get involved in the mentor program? I became involved in the mentor program when Marie Parsons contacted me from the University of Alabama. She is director emeritus of the Alabama Scholastic Press Association overseen by the UA Department of Communications and is still a dynamite adviser to Meredith Cummings there. Marie and I had worked together in the 1980s when I was president of Alabama’s advisers’ association. Now we find ourselves traveling together once again – along with Jo Ann Hagood, also a former AJEA president – on behalf of student journalists and their often beleaguered advisers. Challenges you face as a mentor: The greatest challenges have involved finding programs with a need for veteran guidance. Sad to say, many schools have cut newspapers and literary magazines (or never tried to start them). In addition, the number of students interested in quality journalistic endeavors is dwindling in our area. Advice for your mentee: Perhaps the best advice I could give to During class, Huntsville HS (Ala.) literary magazine adviser Tanya Bowman young adviser is to hang on to your enthusiasm and passion for your role as a mentor for your student journalists – and remember helps students. Bowman is in her second year as a mentee under mentor that our program offers a staunch support system to show you that Nora Stephens. advising publications IS significant. I still receive calls and notes from my “kids” from the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s – even an occasional lunch invitation. Priceless!

Martha Rothwell

– Mentor (N.C.)

Dealing with budget cuts: Unfortunately, many schools are eliminating journalism programs because of budget cuts. Therefore, finding a mentee is often difficult. Many schools are not continuing journalism programs when an adviser leaves. The greatest obstacle for mentees is money. The schools support journalism education by allowing the programs to be part of the curriculum, but they do not fund the programs. Printing the paper is only the beginning of the cost of a journalism program. Keeping updated software can be very expensive and having adequate computer equipment to run the software adds to the cost.

Former mentee Leah Baisden, South Iredell HS (N.C.), leads her newspaper staff in a discussion. Baisden was Martha Rothwell’s mentee for two years.

Attending conferences, joining scholastic journalism associations, having publications critiqued and maintaining classroom materials must also come from the journalism budget. Money is a major concern for most journalism programs. Fundraising events and ad sales are the primary sources of revenue. As a mentor, I can coach my mentee on the processes for raising money, but money is a major challenge. 
 The ultimate goal: The goal for a successful adviser is to prepare a staff to be self-sufficient and to produce a quality publication without any input from the adviser.

SIPA also supports JEA mentees by: • providing free SIPA membership – which means being on the SIPA mailing list and on the SIPA listserv • providing free registration to the SIPA convention



Issue 1 October 2012

I nve st iga t ive Jou rnalism

Investigative Journalism Workshop provides college experience for rising juniors, seniors

Amid the stack of scholarship applications, feedback from the 2012 SIPA convention and other Lauren Harper miscellaneous pages of FYI information, I Scholastic Press Office Assistant found an application for an Investigative Journalism class sponsored by the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Why not apply, I thought. I figured such a workshop could be something worth my time. Of course three bonuses also influenced my decision to apply: (1) an excuse to visit the campus I fell in love with and (2) the workshop was going to be taught by professors in my future home and a Pulitzer Prize winning editor and reporter and current investigations editor and (3) the workshop was FREE. I applied, and I got in. The morning of the workshop I was thrilled to have my first taste of what college life was going to be like. The only setback in the day›s events was my slipping on the stairs outside the hotel and ending up with what I self-diagnosed as a broken coccyx, but thankfully it wasn’t. The accident actually resulted in what turned out to be a fantastic ice-breaker with the other members of the class at breakfast. After getting acquainted, we walked across Assembly Street to the Carolina Coliseum, the home of the School of Journalism, to begin our workshop. I remember worrying that my attention span would falter, and I would grow bored. But that was most definitely not the case.  Professor Ernie Wiggins, Dean Charles Bierbauer, other j-school faculty and Chris Davis of the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times) provided a great deal of information that day. Though the participants were from different schools and involved in different aspects of the journalism

world, we were all able to find a plethora of tips and information that could be applicable in our work and in our lives. When it came to the investigative aspects of the class, we learned about various methods of searching for information on the Internet that actually didn’t – gasp – include Google! Not only were we taught these alternatives, more effective ways to search, but we also learned a lot about ethics in journalism. Professor Wiggins provided different scenarios and asked us to decide what we would do if placed in that particular situation. From scandals with the mayor to dealing with issues involving the police, we brought forth a wide range of opinions on how to handle the different cases. The exercise was extremely interesting, and as we evaluated the scenarios, we also questioned our own personal ethics, as well as the ethics of the professional media. The last session of the day was a lesson on Microsoft Excel. Little did I know that sometimes you do have to do a little math in the journalism field. Data is actually a much more effective and beneficial tool than I realized, so knowing how to present it effectively can really be a great aid. The workshop was a huge success. Not only did I learn a lot of helpful information from the workshop presenters, but I also got a lot of input from the other workshop students who went to schools very different from my high school when it came to their newspaper/television production staffs. Everyone bounced ideas off each other well, and the day turned out to be informative and an amazing experience. I would most definitely encourage others to apply to attend this workshop in June 2013 because, like I initially thought, why not? When it comes to this class and other potentially great opportunities, you never know what kind of wonderful information, connections and experiences you’d be missing out on. So just go for it. Oh, and they give away free stuff too. So you can’t ever go wrong with that.

Be ready... June 12-16, 2013

ournalINSTITUTE ism

sipasummer summer workshop workshop aasipa

Pre-collegiate fellowship successful, more to come

The University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication was Ernest Wiggins host to 10 scholastic journalists from USC School of Journalism Georgia, Ohio and South and Mass Communications Carolina during its first investigative reporting workshop aimed a high school reporters and editors. The one-day workshop was held June 13, immediately before the Carolina Journalism Institute, and was attended by two scholastic journalists from Clarke Central HS in Athens, Ga.; six from Lakota East HS in Liberty Township, Ohio; one student from Fort Mill HS in Fort Mill, S.C., and one from Dutch Fork HS in Irmo, S.C.   Each participant received a fellowship from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications that covered the cost of instruction, material, meals and hotel accommodations for those needing housing. The workshop was divided into morning sessions of practical instruction in strategic web searching, law and freedom Applications for the 2013 of information and Pre-Collegiate Fellowship media ethics. After in Investigative Reporting lunch, the students – a cooperative venture were introduced to between SJMC, SIPA and databases and basic South Carolina Scholastic data analysis by Press Association – will Chris Davis, head be distributed in January. of the investigative Another 10 fellows will be reporting team selected in May for the at the Tampa Bay workshop’s second year. Times. They were then issued the challenge to apply their new skills to projects back at their schools. The two best projects produced during the 20122013 school year will receive cash prizes.   Jenny Alpaugh of Clarke Central said she was pleased with the workshop. “It was uplifting to be in the company of other students and adults who feel as passionate about journalism as I do and have real discussions about investigative journalism and the ethics of journalism,” Alpaugh said.   Lakota East’s Sydney Aten said the information covered during the workshop will be useful as she plans projects during the coming year. “I enjoyed learning about how to dig deeper and use data to help produce a story,” Aten said. “I also found the Excel tips to be beneficial. Although we only skimmed the surface in class, learning the different ways to create a chart was a great start, and I plan on using Excel this next year. “Finally, the ethics questions served as a great way to become more aware of how journalists have to be very careful when deciding whether or not to interview a source, release information, etc. I thought those questions were great because it got the entire group involved and made me realize how important it is for journalists to be cautious and attentive when they produce stories.” Collyn Taylor at Dutch Fork said the workshop provided valuable information and opportunities. “I especially enjoyed the session with Chris Davis, and I really liked the idea of splitting the fellows into pairs in order to brainstorm ideas,” Taylor said.  “It allowed for a personal and fresh way of thinking from someone my own age.”



Issue 1 October 2012

Al Neuharth Free Spirit Award

Student recalls experience in Washington, D.C. This summer I received the opportunity of a lifetime. I was selected to represent Logan Ulrich North Carolina at the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and South Iredell HS (N.C.) Journalism Conference in Washington, D.C., along with 50 other representatives, one from each state. The honor came with a $1,000 scholarship and a five-day, all-expenses-paid journalism experience with prominent journalistic and political figures like David Gregory from “Meet the Press,” Bob Schieffer from CBS News, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Sarah Ganim and U.S. Representative and Freedom Rider John Lewis. Our schedule ran non-stop from the second we arrived in Washington. One central tenet of the conference was the First Amendment. The second day of the conference we stood on the street corner across from the 75-foot tall plaque of the First Amendment engraved on the side of the Newseum and recited it to everyone within earshot. While in D.C., I learned how critical the First Amendment is, not only for protecting our ability to carry out our jobs as journalists, but for protecting

our ability to impact the country as a whole. The First Amendment safeguards the “watchdog” role we as journalists play over the government. While in D.C., we spent half a day studying each branch of government and learning about their interactions with the press. It’s the job of reporters to present the facts to the people accurately and objectively and to uncover the truth through the stories they write. By keeping the public informed about the government, we are fulfilling our role as the catalyst of a democratic society. Thomas Jefferson believed the key to the American method of democracy was that the people be informed. Knowledge is power, and, as journalists, we distribute much of the knowledge in this country. It’s a heavy responsibility, and abuse of this power by the present media has given journalists a bad reputation in the eyes of many. But at the conference, each of us learned what journalism can achieve when done correctly.

One of the exhibits at the Newseum was a 1976 Datsun 710 with a jagged hole ripped through the bottom of the driver’s side. The car’s previous owner, Don Bolles, was an investigative journalist who was killed when the Mafia planted a bomb in his car. After his death, other journalists flooded into Phoenix to finish his work, despite the threat of death. They brought the killer to justice, and Don Bolles fulfilled his responsibility to inform the public of the truth, even in death. Journalists tell compelling stories through a variety of media. They can move us to tears, fill us with laughter, outrage our senses with tales of injustice or inspire us with accounts of greatness. Attending the Al Neuharth Free Spirit Conference with 50 such story-weavers inspired hope and anticipation for my future career with such bright individuals. Even with the advent of digital media and the uncertainty of what exactly journalism will evolve into, it’s certain that there will always be a need for professionals dedicated to the truth.

Want to apply for the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference? Go online to

Meet the Scholastic Press Staff on yearbook and three on newspaper. I learned time management skills, along with editing and writing. Without those high school experiences I would have never had such a passion for it.

*BACK AGAIN* Kelsey D’Amico – Visual Communications Senior Career Goals: With my BA in Journalism and Mass Communications, I hope to earn a Master’s degree and become a journalism/mass media instructor and advise my own high school publication. Working for SIPA: I absolutely love working in the SchoPress office because it is full of smart and wonderful people. I love having the opportunity to continue working with high school journalists and publications to help develop their writing, interviewing, filming, and video editing skills.

*NEW TO THE OFFICE STAFF* Lauren Harper – Broadcast Journalism Freshman Career Goals: I want to become a reporter working for a national news broadcast, perhaps internationally. Working for SIPA: I love getting to be involved in journalism around the school, and it exposes me to a lot of experience and networking in the field.


Scholastic Journalism Experience: My involvement with high school journalism had everything to do with my college and career goals. Before joining my high school’s broadcast and newspaper staffs, I had every intention of going to college as a math major because that is what I was the best at. But my adviser, Amy Medlock-Greene, encouraged me to join her staffs. I immediately fell in love with journalism and visual communications and was determined to continue on with it after high school. Thanks to scholastic journalism, I was able to enter college doing something I love while working toward a career in the same field. Rebecca Piner – Broadcast Journalism Sophomore Career Goals: I want to produce live sporting events and hopefully become the director for football games. Working for SIPA: I love working in the office because SIPA was a huge reason I came to USC and became a broadcast major. To help a younger journalist make that decision is so rewarding.


Scholastic Journalism Experience: I would not have become a journalism major if it wasn’t for my four years

Scholastic Journalism Experience: I originally wanted to do print journalism but after taking the television productions class in high school, I became more interested in the broadcast side of journalism and realized that this is what I love to do and would like to continue doing as a profession.


BP Turner – Public Relations Junior Career Goals: Right now, my dream job is to be an editor for a publishing house. I also would like to one day direct my own non-profit organization. Working for SIPA: The SchoPress office has the best work atmosphere I’ve ever experienced. We work as a team to promote scholastic journalism and everyone here plays a key role in doing so.


Scholastic Journalism Experience: I have always wanted to be a writer, but writing for the yearbook in high school made me realize the importance of clear, concise writing and working with a deadline. Compiled by BP Turner

Southern Interscholastic Press Association University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications Columbia, SC 29208

We’ve got it. Come get it! • Journalism: Digital, print, electronic • Design • Leadership • Photography • Team building • Writing

carol na



June 12-16, 2013

Columbia, S.C. University of South Carolina School of Journalism & Mass Comm. 803.777.6284 •

a sipa summer workshop

Accents October 2012  
Accents October 2012  

October 2012