Page 1

Fall 2013

Vol. 37 No. 1

What’s inside...

2013 Conference recap

Journalism scholarships

Looking ahead to 2014

and more!

Table of Contents



NEWSPA Board Meeting

The NEWSPA board met last month to discuss plans for the upcoming conference.


Lorenz Wins NEWSPA Scholarship


Advance-Titan visits high schools


2013 Conference Recap

UW Madison freshman took home NEWSPA’s $500 scholarship last spring.

UW Oshkosh’s newspaper staff will be visiting high schools to talk about journalism.

In case you missed it, read all about the sessions and speakers at the 2013 conference.


03 02

Letter from the President

Read sara Marquardt’s letter about the impact of social media on today’s students.


Adviser Profile


Journalism Scholarships


Board Member Contact Information

Meet Hartford Union High School’s newspaper adviser, Jeff Carter.

Letter from the President by Sara Marquardt interesting to anyone except maybe NEWSPA President your dentist!

My complaint, however, is not with social media so much as it is --feeling happy; 75 likes; share with what my students are interestthis on your wall; retweeted 14 ed in. times; 187 followers… The conflict in Syria? Not so Sometimes it seems that social much. What happened on Jersey media is taking over our students’ Shore? That apparently has been lives. trending all week. Congress’ controMany times when they answer versial sequester without passing a a question, it has little depth and budget? Not one tweet. Miley Cyrus sounds more like a Facebook status twerking at the VMAs. OMG! than critical thinking. I believe one of our many and varThe amount of minutiae they ied duties as educators, especially share with each other really boggles with our penchant for journalism, the mind…what they ate, who they is to spark students’ interest in the saw at the gas station, how many world around them, at least a little times they washed their hair this farther than Justin week. Bieber and Selena When I was a I believe one of our many Gomez’s rocky rokid, I wrote that and varied duties as edumance. rubbish in my diHow do we do cators, especially with our ary and didn’t let this? We need to anyone see it! Now penchant for journalism, is show how importit’s out there for to spark students’ interest in ant and relevant everyone to read, the world around them. to them these isbe it Facebook, sues are. Just like Sara Marquardt Twitter, blogging, Instagram, TumNEWSPA President we tell them when writing for us, take blr, and whatever the story and show else they’ll think of the proximity. next. Why does it matter to us? If we And honestly, the fact that you can show this and get them excited flossed twice today is not remotely


Sara Marquardt

about this, our publications will only improve. This year’s NEWSPA conference is one way to get kids excited about the news around them and the thrilling world of journalism. We are keeping many of our staple sessions that teach the fundamentals of good journalism, but we are also bringing some new sessions to you to help spark that interest. Join us on April 9 for what is sure to be another great conference with networking, learning and fun.

Dates to remember

to register for reducedNov. 30 deadline priced NEWSPA membership

Feb. 3

Newspaper contest deadline

April 1

NEWSPA scholarship deadline

April 2

Conference registration deadline

April 9 2014 NEWSPA conference! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on NEWSPA news! 03

Adviser Profile: Jeff Carter, Hartford Union High School by Haley Walters

students who didn’t really like to write but still needed the credit,” Carn the 12 years Jeff Carter has adter said. “It took a few years to realvised Hartford Union High School’s ly change that stigma that had been newspaper, The Hartford Chroni- created through the school prior to cle, he has incorporated his experi- me getting there.” ence as a journalist to improve the He started by recruiting students quality of the publication and teach through English classes who had his students. strong writing abilities and work ethBefore coming to the HC, Carter ics to report for the newspaper. Stuworked as a sports reporter, photog- dents then had to go through an aprapher, disc jockey, and radio sports plication process to be accepted onto director. He also reported for his high the staff where they were expected to school and college newspapers. write, take photos, design pages and “Having the professional experi- generate story ideas. ence has given me a better idea of “I tried to turn [The HC] into somenot just academically how to teach it, thing that’s more professional and but also how to prepare students for for students who are more high-level what their general experience would students and who could handle the be when they may go to work for a responsibility of independent work newspaper or go into college,” Carter and being able to write in a lot of said. “I saw a lot of what worked and different styles,” Carter said. “[The what didn’t work from the managers HC is] for students who are ready for and advisers. I took a lot of that and thinking and writing and working toadapted what they did well and did gether collaboratively.” that with the newspaper.” Throughout his years as an advisLast year, the HC took first place at er, Carter said he has seen a shift in NEWSPA for a newspaper publication the way news is delivered and written produced in a class at a large school. as the HC starts to adapt to online Carter attributes the win to the hard journalism. work and leadership skills staff mem“Journalistic writing and reportbers demonstrate while producing ing, whether it’s in a print format or the monthly paper. online hasn’t really “When you look Go with what your passion altered that much, at the newspaper is. If you love it, don’t listen it’s just the way it’s itself, whether it’s going out to the to the people who say jour- public,” Carter said. print or online, most nalism is perishing and you “The only nuance-y people don’t appreciate how much efthings with digital won’t make any money. fort goes into makJeff Carter is that things have ing it what it is,” to be a little more Hartford Chronicle Adviser concise and the Carter said. When Carter importance of the came to the HC, he began working on headline has value.” transforming the publication from a Carter said he has been attendnews magazine with sub-par content ing NEWSPA for about 12 years and to a newspaper utilizing journalistic it has become huge help in pushing techniques similar to professional his students to take the newspaper publications. seriously and produce a good publi“When I first started, it was more cation. of a magazine format and the class “The editors who are returning was sort of a dumping ground for know what the NEWSPA conference is

I 04

Photo courtesy of world wide web

Jeff Carter is the adviser of Hartford Union High School’s student newspaper The Hartford Chronicle. coming since they’ve been to the conference and understand they can get awards and they get recognized for their work and the paper as a whole,” Carter said. “It really becomes a strong motivator for the students, especially the returners, to make the paper great.” According to Carter, one of the best aspects of NEWSPA is the individual recognition it gives to students. “A lot of the other organizations, like KEMPA for example, only recognize the publication as a whole,” Carter said. “It’s nice to get the students recognized individually for what they were able to do.” Carter said students who love writing and are determined to succeed shouldn’t be afraid to pursue a career in journalism. “Go with what your passion is,” Carter said. “If you love it, don’t listen to the people who say journalism is perishing and you won’t make any money. With any profession those things can be very true, but with any profession somebody who is determined and focused can accomplish those things.”

NEWSPA board plans 2014 conference by Haley Walters



NEWSPA 2014 Conference


April 9

will feature a panel of keynote speakers, new sessions geared toward online journalism and opportunities to network with students, advisers and media professionals. New sessions will focus on utilizing the Internet to share student publications and reach more readers. Beth Plankey, adviser for Neenah High School’s online student newspaper, Satellite, will present “When Your Newspaper Goes From Print to Online,” which will focus on making a publication’s transition to the web as smooth as possible and include information on various web platforms. In addition, the board decided a create a new publication contest entry for online publications only. More information on that will be posted on the NEWSPA website closer to the 2014 contest. There will also be a session devoted to social media aimed to engage readers by using programs such as Instagram and Twitter to share information, hold contests and get feedback. For students especially interested in social media, the Careers in Journalism session will feature types of careers available utilizing social media. Alex Gelhar, a NEWSPA and Oshkosh West High School alumnus, will talk about how he became a blogger for NFL. com and more. In addition, this year the board decided to offer only one adviser session for both newspaper and yearbook advisers, giving advisers more time to attend other presentations or network with other school advisers individually. The board also decided to rename and tweak three sessions. “Making Images Speak Without Words” will now be called “Getting Good Pictures Without Good Equipment,” “Get Your Mojo” will now be “Digital Storytelling” and “Yearbook Writing and Trends” will now be “Yearbook Trends.” Following the morning sessions, the keynote presentation will include a panel of college students and recent professionals who will share their experiences of internships and being a young professional in the journalism industry. Possible speakers have interned with U.S. News and World Report in Washington D.C., Details Magaine in New York, NY, Caesar’s Entertainment in Las Vegas NV and USA Today, as well as others. They will talk about their internships, how they got there and what students should do during college if they want a similar internship or job, before answering questions from the audience. “I’m particularly excited about our keynote pre-

Photo by Barb Benish

Board members discuss changes to the upcoming NEWSPA conference at their meeting on Oct. 11.

sentation,” said NEWSPA Executive President Barbara Benish. “High school students have always told us they particularly enjoy sessions featuring young professionals because they can better relate to them. And while we’re not yet sure who will be on the panel now, we do know it includes young people who have successfully met career goals early in their lives. I think it will be a very interesting and uplifting presentation.” On other matters, board members unanimously decided NEWSPA should offer up to $250 per school that needs help paying for bus expeneses to get to the NEWSPA conference in Oshkosh, as well as substitute teacher costs. Beginning in 2014, NEWSPA will spend as much as $500 each year to schools that request financial assistance. In order to qualify, schools should submit the financial application form that can be downloaded from the NEWSPA website at journalism/newspa. Funds will be allocated on a firstcome, first-serve basis. Lastly, NEWSPA will be looking for additional feedback at the conference that can be used to improve future conferences. “A lot of people didn’t take the time to fill out the SurveyMonkey surveys last year as we had hoped,” Benish said. “So this year we’re planning to try Scantron surveys in hopes that more students and advisers will tell us what they liked and didn’t like.” To get additional feedback, Benish will also email all advisers who attend NEWSPA 2014 a link to a survey about the conference overall and future possible speakers and sessions. 05

NEWSPA awards $500 scholarship by Haley Walters




entered his first year

at UW Mad-


$500 richer, thanks to his hard work at his high school newspaper, The Talon, which paid off as a NEWSPA scholarship. Lorenz graduated from Sheboygan Falls High School after working on the school’s newspaper for four years where he grew as a writer and editor. “One day, I went to the newspaper office and found a printout taped to the door regarding the NEWSPA scholarship,” Lorenz said. “I asked [my adviser] about it and she said that she had left it for me specifically. When she said that she thought I could win the scholarship, it was an odd feeling to hear someone say they have faith in me, so it seemed like as good a reason as any to go for it.” Before attending the conference, Lorenz had some suspicions about winning the scholarship. “One morning, I’m in the newspaper office and our editor-in-chief, Amy Zhang, is having a conversation with Ms. Degenhardt [adviser],” Lorenz said. “When she notices me, she says to me ‘You and I are going on a date.’ More specifically, she told me that I’d be attending the instructor’s lunch at NEWSPA. I had a feeling it had to do with the scholarship, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up, just to make sure I would be crushingly disappointed.” Lorenz is currently studying English at UW Madison and is deciding between pursuing creative writing or journalism. “I give it thought everyday, and it’s safe to say that it won’t be an easy choice,” Lorenz said. “I’d like to put my writing talents to use in some field. Journalism is a very likely category.” Lorenz’s interest in journalism began when he started writing for his high school newspaper during freshman year. He eventually worked his way to becoming an award-winning feature writer and joined the editing staff junior year. “I’ve always enjoyed writing, but when I got to high school there weren’t a whole lot of options for me to pursue with writing,” Lorenz said. “The only real one seemed to be the Talon, so I figured I’d give it a shot. It just kind of stuck.” At his time at the paper, Lorenz and fellow staff member Stpen Parent wrote a regular feature column called Dual Perspective, which won an award at NEWSPA for humor columns. “Our editor submitted it as a humor column, which was not how Stephen and I wrote it as,” Lorenz said. “From that point, we just rolled with it.” Later on he continued writing humor during his junior year with “Everything’s Coming Up Joey.” 06

Photo by Alex Beld

Joseph Lorenz accepts his NEWSPA Scholarship during the adviser luncheon at last year’s NEWSPA conference. He now attends UW-Madison for English.

“The amount of thought that goes into those silly cartoons you see in papers is crazy and humor is a billion times harder than you think,” Lorenz said. Lorenz attended NEWSPA two times where he attended sessions and the award ceremonies. “I always loved the award ceremony, since it brought together the entirety of our newspaper writers as well as the yearbook students that attended,” Lorenz said. “It was always fun to applaud the winners, applaud winners from our school a bit harder and gossip with everyone in between the announcements.” After his experience as a student journalist, Lorenz said he learned a lot from working on the high school newspaper and offers some advice for students interested in doing the same. “Write for your school newspaper,” Lorenz said. “Edit for your school newspaper. Spend way too much time after school working for your school newspaper. Read journalistic articles of all kinds. Suggest stupid ideas for your school newspaper. Go to NEWSPA. Follow grammar rules and the like, but don’t be boring.” Lorenz said it’s important to be confident and follow your instincts. “Listen to that stupid little voice in your head, he won be 500 bucks,” Lorenz said.

College newspaper travels to talk with high schools by Haley Walters


chools who are staff of


can request

a visit from UW Oshkosh’s student newspaper The Advance-Titan to come and speak with students, offer advice and critique their work. Advance-Titan adviser Vince Filak said the paper decided to offer the service as a way to give back to students. “In a lot of cases journalism is a hands-on business,” Filak said. “Being able to work one-on-one with people is where they get the most benefit.” The meetings, which will usually include three to four staff members will focus on the process of producing a publication instead of the end product. “The difference between doing this long distance and doing it in person is the difference between having a mechanic working on your car and having a mechanic trying to diagnose it over the phone,” Filak said. Filak said the visits can give the staff some perspective on how they are doing compared to other publications. “When you’re working on a high school newspaper, you’re on an island,” Filak said. “There’s one editor-in-chief. Do they know they’re doing a good job? No. Because there’s nothing to compare it to.” The visits will also reaffirm what publications are doing right and draw their attention to areas for im-

provement. “The intention is to expose students to additional helpful voices to give them what they need to be more successful and better enjoy what they do,” Filak said. Schools can request help in specific areas and Filak will tailor the meetings to their needs as much as possible. “If they say to me ‘we’re fine on writing but our photography is horrible’ then I’ll bring the editor-in-chief, managing editor and the photo editor,” Filak said. “We’re going to try to create a grocery list for advisers and find people to meet their needs.” Filak said the students coming to the meetings are dependable and knowledgeable about what they do and excited to share it with others. “I think our students are mature, I think they’re well rounded and they’re very well educated and know what it takes to put out a product that brings important information to an audience,” Filak said. The A-T will visit as many schools as they can and take as much time as they need based on what the paper requests. “We’ll do as many as it takes,” Filak said. “I love student media and I love the students who love it” In order to get the A-T to come to your school, contact Barb Benish at or Vince Filak at

Journalism Scholarships NEWSPA Scholarship $500 April 1, 2014

Applicants must have worked on a school publication, attended a NEWSPA conference, be graduating in 2014, and plan on majoring in journalism or something pertaining to it. An application and 500-word essay are required. For more info visit www. newspa/scholarships

Free Spirit Scholarship

Richard G. Zimmerman Journalism Scholarship $5,000 March 1, 2014

This scholarship selects one student from each state to attend the Spirit Journalism Conference in Washington D.C. and receive a scholarship. Applicants must be a junior in high school and plan to pursue a career in journalism. Submit three samples of work. For more info visit www.

High school seniors with a 3.0 GPA and plans to go to college are eligible to apply. Applicants must provide three copies of three work samples, three letters of recommendation, a high school transcript, a completed FAFSA form, a college acceptance letter and completed application. For more info visit: www.

$1,000 Feb. 1, 2014

Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Writing Scholarship $1,000, $500 and $250 February 2014 Submit a blog less than 600 words with a photo, digital artwork or video. Applicants must be between 13-18 years old. For more info visit: w w w. m y f a m i l y t r a v e l s . com/Teen_travel_writing 07


Confer 08

Students enjoy a day of media, learning at NEWSPA conference by Haley Walters


rence Recap




conference celebrated

student journalism while offering learning and networking opportunities to high school journalists. The conference was held at UW Oshkosh and featured over 20 sessions hosted by professionals, students and teachers. Cartoonist Joe Heller taught students the process of creating editorial cartoons. Photographer Phil Weston explained the importance of good photos in a newspaper and offered his tips on being a better photographer. Dan Flannery spoke on the changing field of journalism and what the future of print looks like. These, along with numerous other session leaders provided high school students with three hours of fun and learning. Sessions brought students from other schools together to discuss ideas, challenges and address questions about their publications. Students were able to test their media trivia in Journalism Smackdown and then learn about food blogging from a fellow student journalist. Following the sessions, keynote speaker Kirsten Strom of Pandora Internet Radio spoke to students about her career and how she landed her job.

More info about the conference on pages 10-16 09

Newspapers will continue on D by Issac Haight

within the last 10 to 15 years,” Flannery said. “We have gone from doing a once a day or twice a day product to having about 1,400 deadlines a day; that’s dying; it’s just changing its role. Dan Flannery, the executive editor for the Ap- online obviously.” Flannery asked his audience of high school and pleton Post-Crescent and regional executive editor for Gannett Wisconsin Media, said despite discouraging college journalists if they read a newspaper daily, numbers from newspapers, the art of journalism is and if so, which one. One high school student said she read whatever definitely still alive. Flannery, who has worked in Appleton for more was available and that she read a newspaper a couple times a week. than 28 years, said: “Journal“I read [a newspaper] two If nobody does the job of journalism, ism is not dead… Newspapers or three times a week,” she still make a lot of money; its you have no idea what’s going on. said. “It’s usually the same just not as much money as 10 paper so its whatever is at my Dan Flannery years ago, 15 years ago or 20 house.” years ago,” he said. “NewspaAppleton Post-Crescent UW Oshkosh journalism pers play a vital role in what student Ashley Gruenstern said newspapers’ niche is happens in a community.” Journalism, and in particular newspapers, will stay with the older generation since they like to hold the alive because of the niche it has carved out for itself, paper in their hands. “Some people like my grandparents don’t know he said “If nobody does the job of journalism, you have how to work a computer so they turn to [a newspano idea what’s going on,” Flannery said. “You play a per],” Gruenstern said. “They turn to that as their pretty vital role in what happens in the life of a com- news source. That’s how they know things and they trust it.” munity.” Flannery said it is encouraging to see so many He went onto explain how journalism is adapting rather than dying. The integration of technology and young people interested in journalism and hear that social media has given journalists alternative routes young people are still interested in newspapers. “I’m encouraged by this,” he said. “It keeps me of getting information to the public. “Technology has brought about a lot of change and a lot of other people employed.” on ’ t listen to the naysayers .


isn ’ t

Newspaper Facts


number of Non-Daily newspapers


number of Daily newspapers


minutes spent reading a community newspaper

Local news 71%

the most read topic of newspapers

people believe their community newspaper is accurate Source: National Newspaper Association 10

Reviews begin before the show by Jason Chastain


hether writing reviews of movies, music or live

shows, the steps are all same. Shane Nyman of the Appleton Post-Crescent told students at the 2013 NEWSPA conference that adequate preparation is a crucial first step before reviewing something. “It is incredibly important to prepare,” Nyman said. “I prepare before every review I do.” This could include watching a director’s previous works before going to review a movie or listening to a band’s newest album before seeing them live, he said. “Go in with notes, things to expect and things to watch out for.” Nyman said he avoids reading other reviews before he’s had a chance to experience the art for himself because he prefers to go into something without prior thoughts about it. “If you read something, chances are you’re going to be thinking of that review,” Nyman said. “You’ll echo what you’ve already read.” During the presentation, Nyman showed a video of Roger Ebert discussing the keys to writing a good review. In the video Ebert said it’s not what something is about, but how it is about it that is important. The idea of simply telling the reader what happens isn’t a good review, Nyman said. “You can apply this to everything,” Nyman said. “No matter what you are writing.”

Nyman offered tips on things to avoid when writing reviews, such as using distracting language. “Avoid ‘I’ statements,” Nyman said. “That makes the audience think of you and not the art. Write as an omniscient narrator.” Nyman said when starting out with review writing, many people tend to overwhelm the reader with extra information. “Avoid too much setup,” Nyman said. “Avoid too much background. You’re likely to lose readers if all you’re giving them is background.” Nyman said social media plays a big role in his review writing, as it helps him figure out key points of what he is reviewing. “Any journalist worth their salt is on Twitter,” Nyman said. “It helps boil down the key elements from the night. Chances are, something you tweeted could be re-worked as your lead.” Nyman said when actually writing a review it’s OK to have fun with the story, and review writing offers a great chance to be creative. “Reviews are to inform and entertain,” Nyman said. “You’re writing about art. It’s not the most important thing in the world; have fun with it.” Having a unique voice is key to writing a good review, even if that voice is contrary to popular opinion, Nyman said. “If you didn’t like something, say so,” Nyman said. “Be brave and be honest. Go against the grain, it’s OK.” 11

Photographer shares expertise at NEWSPA by Taylor Lackey



Phil Weston

spoke to students about

photography and the importance of good photos in a publication. “Making images speak without words is really what photography is all about.” That’s what Weston stressed during his session. When people see good photography, they give the equipment credit rather than the photographer, he said. Weston worked for a daily newspaper in Europe and got a degree in photojournalism from the University of Iowa. While in Iowa, Weston took a commercial photography class where he learned to control light and in 2000 he became an architectural photographer. Weston spoke about the five rules of photography. The first being the rule of thirds, which divides a photo horizontally and vertically into three parts while keeping the subject in one of those sections. Weston said leading lines help take the viewer’s eye to a certain point of a photograph. Good photography fills the frame, which means everything adds or subtracts from the photograph, Weston said. “Photographers have to take responsibility of every square inch, every pixel in the photograph, otherwise it won’t be great photography,” Weston said. According to Weston, patterns add value to a photo and if a pattern is used and one element breaks the rule, the

pattern becomes more visible. “One thing to remember about these rules is that gesture always trumps the rules of composition,” Weston said. He introduced the value of light in a photograph. Weston recommended to be aware of where the light comes from and the photographer’s point of view. He said to shoot at dusk or early daybreak since those times give off ambient light. After every photo he showed during the presentation, he asked: “Where’s the photographer’s point of view? Where’s the light coming from?” Weston then spoke about the secrets of professionals. He shared one of his secrets about how to get a natural looking expression. “The more we can stay away from the word ‘smile,’ the healthier and more natural photo you’ll get,” Weston said. When he shoots portraits, Weston asks his subject for a puzzled expression and takes a photo. After being silly, the subject laughs and Weston said he gets a natural shot. Weston then asks for a surprised expression from his subject, takes a photo, and again, the subject laughs. “If I would’ve asked him to give me a smile, I don’t think I would’ve got that,” Weston said. “You know they’re going to laugh.” His final point was about where photography is headed. “Markets do change over time,” Weston said. “What stays constant is the need for good photography, photography that speaks well for people.”

NEWSPA gives advice to future college students

by Katie Neumann


esides helping

students suc-

ceed as future journalists, NEWSPA also provides advice for students’ future college careers. Social media and web content specialist at UW Oshkosh Melanie Cross and UW Oshkosh senior Jenell Riesner told students during the 2013 NEWSPA conference getting involved with a club or organization is the key to succeeding in college. Cross said finding a balance between work, school and fun is something students need to prioritize. “You have time, you just have to make time to go to those things, even if it’s just an hour here or there,” Cross said. “Just schedule it right away, plan on doing it. You’ll feel so much better.” Riesner stressed finding a balance and encouraged students to experience what their campus has to offer. 12

“You’re in college, you’re here to experience something new,” she said. “You can play video games all you want but realize there’s a lot of opportunities that are there for you.” Cross said involvement is crucial to a successful social life. “Just look around you for all of the opportunities,” Cross said. “The more you get involved in, the more people you know, the more people they know.” Riesner said a club, organization, or on-campus job is the starting point for building a quality resume. “It shows that you’re dedicated and it shows that you’re interested in what you’re going to do,” Riesner said. “It puts you ahead professionally.” While GPA is important, she said, work experience is equally as important. If two people are equally qualified for a job, involvement in campus activities can set the other apart. Oshkosh North High School senior

Meghan Ziegler attended the presentation and said she hoped the session would ease some nervousness about freshman year. “None of us really know what it’s going to be like going to college so we’re all kind of afraid,” Ziegler said. “We thought this [session] would be a good one to go to, to get advice from college students and people who’ve been through it to kind of guide us along the way.” Ziegler said the presentation helped her realize that many students are feeling unsure about their first year. “They were explaining how everyone feels the same way you do about getting involved in clubs, and so you’re not alone in feeling awkward and feeling scared,” Ziegler said. “It was nice to know that everything will be OK if you just put yourself out there and do it.”

Food blogger gives a recipe for success by Ashley Gruenstern


ood. Fitness. Faith.

Those three things describe Amanda Gajdosik, a journalism student at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism who aspires to be a food writer. Gajdosik spoke at the 2013 NEWSPA conference about her Food, Fitness, Faith blog and shared tips on how to create a successful online journal. She said that her blog is a way to show who she is through her three pillars: food, fitness and faith. “Whatever you’re going to write about, make it your passion,” Gajdosik said. Gajdosik said she used every excuse to write about food and because of her independent study in blogging she was able to improve her original blog, The Dormestic Goddess, into what it is today. Blogging isn’t the only type of writing that Gajdosik does. She also is a writer and photographer for a student-run food magazine, Spoon, at Northwestern University. Gajdosik also is an intern at Candy Industry Magazine. “Bloggers create and brand themselves into who they want to be and what they want to write about,” Gajdosik said. She shared her tips about blogging and gave advice to the audience on ways to improve their own blogs and expand their audience. “Consistency is key,” Gajdosik said. “Get a posting schedule and don’t be afraid to post. Spacing out your posts can also help grow your audience.” Creating a presence using social media is also a great device when trying to expand one’s audience and connect with other bloggers, she said.

Photo courtesy of world wide web

Amanda Gajdosik writes a blog about cooking, exercise and her life. Last spring she spoke at NEWSPA about her experiences as a blogger and writer. “Social media is a great tool to connect with other bloggers and people,” Gajdosik said. “Make yourself a known presence on other bloggers’ social media by commenting on their posts or following them on different sites.” An easy trap to fall into is writer’s block. Gajdosik said that she distracts herself for a while and thinks of things she should or needs to write about. “Sit down and write,” Gajdosik said. “Don’t think about word count.” Blogging has presented her with different opportunities and has taught her things about herself. Gajdosik said she is recovering from an eating disorder and fights everyday to become happier and healthier. “The biggest opportunity is becoming more active about eating disorder awareness,” Gajdosik said. “It’s very therapeutic and helps me vent my emotions. You also don’t know how many people you’ll touch. You have a story to share and it can help others.”

About Amanda:

Attends Northwestern University for journalism Blogs about food and fitness at Graduated from Berlin High School 13

Students compete in smackdown

by Ashley Whaples


hen candy and prizes are

given out during a NEWSPA session, things are bound to get pretty competitive. The students participating in the Journalism Smackdown sessions during NEWSPA 2013 didn’t disappoint. “I’ve been doing these sessions since 1998,” UW Oshkosh professor Miles Maguire said. “It’s a good way for the students to listen to the top journalists in the area and to have competition among others to test their knowledge, but while playing a game.” Maguire explained to students that Journalism Smackdown conPhoto by Alex Beld sisted of five rounds: journalism Students compete in Journalism Smackdown during a 2013 NEWSPA firsts, usage quotes, news about session. The game tests students’ knowledge about journalism and news, AP style and grammar. current events and awards candy to the winning teams. “Each answer is worth one point for the first three rounds, and two points for the other two rounds,” guess to win the game,” Maguire them, so you just kind of have to Maguire said. “We asked the stu- said. let it go.” dents to form five teams and buzz Oshkosh West student Kara RheStudents said they enjoyed the in the correct answer after the ingans said she enjoyed the gram- sessions, but felt they could learn question flashes on the screen.” mar round more than the others. more about the AP style round When Maguire asked, “What was “I felt that everyone in the group questions. the first penny paper to achieve suc- could help answer the grammar “I mean, most of the AP quescess in the United States?” teams questions the best because we tions our group had no idea what buzzed in to answer his question, each had a good idea of the us- the errors were,” Rheingans said. which was The New York Sun. age rules,” Rheingans said. “I also “We just kind of winged it on the “It was great to see the kids knew most of the answers because answers, but we did know most of so eager to anI write and edit the months and date corrections, swer questions,” for our school which helped my group for the win.” It’s not often that you can NEWSPA founder newspaper and The final question asked was, get students from several Gary Coll said. grammatical er- “The New York Times won a Pulitdifferent high schools and get rors are easy to zer Prize for its recent investigation “It’s not often that you can get them to want to learn more spot for me.” in what?” when the Rheingans team students from Toward the buzzed in for the win. about journalism topics. several different end, most stu“International trade!” the team Gary Coll dents high schools and called shouted. “Officials at Walmart have NEWSPA founder out the answers been involved in bribes.” get them to want to learn more in order to get Overall, every team ended up about journalism topics.” points for a win, Maguire said. with points on the board, which is Maguire challenged the students “I had to make sure to let the the purpose of the sessions, Maguwhen they buzzed in an answer by students know they would be dis- ire said. making them further explain why qualified if they answered before “Having around 25 schools here, an answer would be true or false. the question was stated,” he said. and watching students get excited “The goal is get [the students] to “But it showed competition and to answer these questions is wonprovide an explanation, not just to that’s what we want to see out of derful,” he said. 14

Good writing needs variety

by Zach Cook




sports editor and

UW Oshkosh

alumnus Brandon Berg explained the difference between news, features and columns at his 2013 NEWSPA session on sports writing. “You need to be able to write long enough to tell a story,” Berg said. “Don’t write just for the sake of writing and make sure you address all questions so your reader is not left questioning themselves about what you wrote.” Berg said writers never know what they may find when writing a feature. “Everyone has a story to tell,” Berg said. “It may not always be the most interesting, but nonetheless they still have a story to tell.”

He stressed the importance of variation in writing and said writers should avoid using the same style or format for every story. “Variety is the most important thing I stress to my writers because I don’t want them to keep going to the same well,” Berg said. “Our most popular stories at times have not necessarily been football or basketball, but rather a little more off the beaten path.” Berg concluded by talking about column writing and gave students one last piece of advice. “Facts are your best friend when writing columns because it backs and validates your opinions,” he said. “Not all stories will appeal to everybody, but all stories appeal to somebody so don’t be afraid to express your thoughts.”

Session takes on interviewing problems

by Garrick Garvens


eople worry about how to get

the most out of life, but Trent Scott showed students at the 2013 NEWSPA conference that it was just as important to get the most out of every interview. Scott, English teacher at Oshkosh West High School and adviser for the Oshkosh West Index, said the session would be more interactive, rather than just another lecture. “This is going to be more like group therapy than a class,” Scott said. “It will work out better for all of you if you interact with the questions I ask.” Scott brought his senior managing editor Daphne Thompson, who has three years of writing and editing experience with the Oshkosh West Index, to help give students advice about holding interviews. Scott and Thompson asked the students many questions and gave feedback to the problems students said they had while conducting interviews. Thompson asked the class what kind of problems they ran into while conducting interviews. Students replied that some people they interview don’t always give them the information they ask for or they don’t get back to them after they have been contacted for an interview.

Photo by Denise Cakmak

Daphne Thompson (left) and Trent Scott address NEWSPA attendees about interviewing techniques. “Has anyone ever had trouble getting someone to talk to you for an interview?” Scott asked the class. A student raised his hand and replied: “Lunch ladies. I think they have some sort of secret they are hiding.” They also acted out a skit with Thompson showing the students how not to conduct an interview with a source. “Can anyone tell me what Daphne did wrong this time?” Scott asked. A student raised her hand and

said, “Her questions weren’t well constructed, and she didn’t follow them up with better questions.” “Yes! Did anyone happen to notice how Daphne didn’t have a very personable manner about her? This is also important to maintain during an interview,” Scott said. As time ran out, Scott reminded students that the best time to write is right after the interview, and to keep the information from the interview in context with the rest of the story. 15

Start with the basics, the rest will fall into place

from how to lay out big graphic art to how to get photographers to listen to what you have to say. Abigail Edmonds, the editor-in-chief of Appleton North an Higgins preached the basics of newspaper design during his presentation at the 2013 NEWSPA High School’s Nocticula student newspaper, attended the conference, and even cited a speech that Wisconsin session with hopes to fill a void left by a classmate. “One of our [page designers] quit halfway through the legend Vince Lombardi said to his team on the first day year,” Edmonds said. “And I really like layout so I took of each season. “Every year, Lombardi would go into the locker room on over her responsibilities and wanted to learn more about the first day of practice and say ‘This is a football,’” said design.” Following the question and answer segment, Higgins Higgins, Green Bay Press Gazette columnist and features allowed students to give him their editor. “You need to treat design the same way. Begin with an empty The best way to get attention is with papers so he could show the audience some do’s and don’ts in repage and work from there.” a photo. But a close second is an gards to newspaper design. Higgins told students to begin attractive headline. One of the design aspects Edby picking a focal point, such as a Dan Higgins monds is most eager to take back photo, for a page and building everything around that. Oshkosh Northwestern to her Nocticula staff is that of vertical text and “oddities” that break Next, Higgins gave some tips on how to attract the most attention to a front page. Some up a page, such as a front page rail or a Q and A column. “I think our newspaper is definitely a little too horizonof the more stressed points were varying font sizes, white tal sometimes,” Edmonds said. “I definitely want to use space, good photos and big, catchy headlines. “The best way to get attention is with a photo,” Higgins more vertical breaks like he was talking about during critiques.” said. “But a close second is an attractive headline.” Higgins touched on newspaper design in regards to After sharing some “things I’ve seen” knowledge with graphs and artwork, but ended by reminding the students the students, he opened up the floor to questions. The students stayed engaged throughout Higgins’ pre- that if they start with the basics, the rest will eventually sentation and asked a wide array of questions ranging fall into place.

by Gary Flick


Session teaches students to be Googleable

by Skyler Bohn


ocial media isn’t just a way to keep up with friends.

It’s a way to promote and market skills. Oshkosh North High School teacher Brad Weber talked about how social media can help students get a job. “We have to figure out how to use the skills we have, to better promote ourselves for future and better job opportunities,” Weber said. “Most teenagers do not know how to utilize social media or choose not to do it.” Weber told students getting their names out there with brand recognition is important so people know them and the quality of work they provide. “Colleges, employers, and companies want people who can design and share global communities to meet a variety of purposes,” Weber said. “Your job is to get [colleges and employers] to be aware of your brand recognition.” In an example, Weber described how a previous student made a music video of the Beastie Boys’ song “Sabotage” and used it to market his filming talents. “Evan started putting it [the music video] on Facebook and YouTube and it came across the eyes of the assistant dean at USC [University of Southern California],” Weber said. “The assistant dean wanted Evan to enroll into their 16

film program. Now people ask [Evan] to do different videos for them, meaning he now has brand recognition.” Cedarburg High School student Billy Kobin attended Weber’s session and said he thought the examples were the most useful aspects of the presentation. “Some of the stuff I already heard about branding, but it was great to see examples of how it is successful if you try hard and really want something,” he said. Another concept Weber promoted was the importance of being “Googleable.” “With today’s social media, résumés are dying and it is possible that in five to seven years college applications will change completely,” Weber said. “By the end of high school, you need to be ‘Googleable’ or have positive information on the Internet for people to see.” Cedarburg High School student Kyle Watters said the idea of being “Googleable” was particularly important. “The whole thing of being ‘Googleable’ was interesting,” he said. “It showed that you want to have a positive image on the Internet to promote your skills to colleges and employers.” Weber offered some advice to students in his session. “You need to be different, start a cause, do community service; you need to promote yourself to get brand recognition and then you will standout amongst the others.”

2013-2014 NEWSPA Board Members

Sara Marquardt, President (2015) Reflections (yearbook) Oshkosh North High School 1100 W. Smith Ave. Oshkosh, WI 54901-1896 920-424-4020, ext. 2684

Trent Scott (2016) The Index (yearbook) Ashwaubenon High School 2391 S.Ridge Road Ashwaubenon, WI 54304 (920) 492-2955 ext. 5126

Susan Carlson (2015) The Hi-Light (newspaper) Green Bay East High School 1415 E. Walnut St. Green Bay, WI 54301-4305 920-448-2090

Emma Slowinski (2015) The Paw (newspaper) Oshkosh West High School 375 N. Eagle St. Oshkosh, WI 54902 920-424-4092

Lucas Cleary (2015) Hi-Lights (newspaper) Plymouth High School 125 S. Highland Ave. Plymouth, WI 53073-2599 920-893-6911, ext. 1538

Matt Smith (2016) Cardinal Columns (newspaper) Fond Du Lac High School 801 Campus Dr. Fond Du Lac, WI 54935 920-238-9255

Jason Cummings (2014) North Star (newspaper) Oshkosh North High School 1100 W. Smith Ave. Oshkosh, WI 54901-1896 920-424-4020, ext. 682 Amy Karoses (2016) Notebook (yearbook) Oshkosh West High School 375 N. Eagle St. Oshkosh, WI 54902-4294 920-424-4092; fax: 920-424-4950 Shannon Kuehmichel (2015) Red ‘n’ Green (newspaper) Berlin High School 222 Memorial Dr. Berlin, WI 54923-1252 920-361-2000, ext. 1815 Aaron Rompani (2014) Noctiluca (newspaper) Appleton North High School 5000 N. Ballard Road Appleton, WI 54913-8942 920-832-4300

Contacts at UW-Oshkosh Mailing Address: NEWSPA Department of Journalism UW-Oshkosh 800 Algoma Blvd Oshkosh, WI 54901-8696 Barb Benish, Executive Secretary 920-424-7145 Fax: 920-424-7146 Haley Walters, PR Assistant 414-467-8195 Cindy Schultz, Academic Program Associate 920-424-1042 Fax: 920-424-7146

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Newspa fall2013 hires  
Newspa fall2013 hires  

Read about what some of the speakers at the 2013 NEWSPA conference had to say, as well as learn about what is being planned for the April 9...