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Release: Oct. 12, 2001

UI hosts high school journalists for statewide conference

The Iowa High School Press Association (IHSPA) will host high school journalists from across the state Wednesday, Oct. 17 during its annual fall State Conference at the University of Iowa. Among those presenting workshop sessions are media representatives and university and high school journalism teachers. The conference runs from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The theme "Building on the Past," recognizes the 80th anniversary of the IHSPA.

Featured this year will be Scott MacKay, political reporter for the Providence (R.I.) Journal, who will speak who will speak about "Covering the Beat," which this past year has included two of the most significant stories in American history - the 2000 Presidential election and the Sept. 11 attack. Also, Michael Lorenzen, coach of the UI women's gymnastics team will speak on "The High School Journalist's Guide to the Wide World of Sports Beyond Football and Basketball."

Conference sessions focus on developing the skills of Iowa's high school journalists, who are some of the nation's best, said Vanessa Shelton, IHSPA director. Iowa high school yearbooks and newspapers consistently are ranked among the best in nationwide competitions. Iowa also has a long tradition of advisers who are nationally recognized for their excellence in teaching.

In addition to sessions on writing, editing, photography and managing, the conference will feature a panel of student reporters and editors from The Daily Iowan discussing their coverage of the World Trade Center attack from the field. Staff members from the Iowa State Daily will discuss boosting advertising and tackling controversial issues in the college newsroom.

An awards ceremony will be held at the day's end. Student photo, writing, web site and yearbook awards will be presented, as will awards for IHSPA publication advisers of the year and school administrator of the year.

Newspaper and yearbook advisers and their staffs are encouraged to exchange advice and instruction with their IHSPA colleagues during the conference programs. Topics will include recruiting students to participate in high school journalism, legal and ethical issues, and a roundtable discussion for new advisers.

Conference registration costs $20, and those interested in participating should register the day of the conference on the second floor of the Iowa Memorial Union, at the corner of Jefferson and Madison streets in Iowa City.

The IHSPA is also hosting a regional conference for high school journalists this month in Des Moines. The regional conference is scheduled for Oct. 25 at Drake University.

For more information about state or regional conferences, contact Vanessa Shelton at (319) 335-3318 or