Fall Conference Registration Now Available

2016 August 3
by admin
You may now register for the GSSPA’s biggest event of the year: Fall Student Press Day! This conference for advisers and their students will take place on Monday, October 24 at Rutgers University.
This year, there is a bit of a change in the process. Advisers must complete this online form and then mail in the paper form with payment. Please complete the online form as soon as possible. The paper form and payment must be received by October 18.
Anyone wishing to present a session should get in touch with Sue Everett at everetts@earthlink.net as soon as possible.

Legislative Update: Bills in Senate and Assembly with Editorial Support

2016 August 3
by admin

New Jersey Senator Diane Allen (R) introduced the New Voices bill on Monday, August 1 with Senator Nia Gill (D) as the co-primary sponsor and Senator Jennifer Beck (R) as co-sponsor. We now have identical bills in both the State Senate (S-2506) and Assembly (A-4028)!

This bill will re-establish the First Amendment rights of student journalists under the Tinker standard (speech is protected unless it is illegal or may cause a material disruption to the education process). The bill also protects journalism teachers and advisers, in public high schools and institutions of higher learning, from retribution for supporting their students.

The bill was first introduced in December of 2015 by former Assemblywoman Donna Simon (A-4912). It was reintroduced in this legislative session on June 30 by Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus (R) and Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D) (A-4028).

Since the bill was reintroduced, an article was written by Kaelynn Knoernschild for the Student Press Law Center. The bill also received the support of the Editorial Board of the Times of Trenton, The Record, and Gannet Newspapers. The Gannet Editorial does have an error, however. The bill does NOT “forbid any requirement that all content be subject to administrative review before publication.”

This bill is part of the New Voices network which is supporting campaigns in 16 other states after three states (North Dakota, Maryland, and Illinois) enacted legislation in the past two years. New Voices legislation has received the endorsement of the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of News Editors, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the Journalism Education Association.

To get regular updates on how you can support this bill “like” the New Voices of New Jersey Facebook page. Student journalists who want to advocate for their rights (and work toward’s the bill’s passage) should join the Student Chapter of the Garden State Scholastic Press Association. 

NJ New Voices Legislation Seeks Sponsors

2016 May 6
by admin

In December, a bill was introduced by Assemblywoman Donna Simon that protects student journalists and their advisers from censorship and administrative retribution. The bill needs to be reintroduced by a new legislative sponsor (Simon lost her re-election campaign).

This bill is part of the New Voices movement – a nationwide effort inspired by the success of the North Dakota law that was passed unanimously last year. In April, Maryland became the second state to pass a New Voices law. Seven other states have active bills. But New Jersey’s bill is no longer among them.

We are seeking legislators who might agree to become primary sponsors of this legislation. Contact your assemblyperson and senator. If they have interest, please leave a comment. And please sign and share this petition.


Time to begin picking your contest entries

2016 April 23
by amulshine

Contests Deadline – July 1.

It’s time to reap rewards for this year’s hard work. Your staff members have written, designed and photographed some great content this year.

The Summer Newspaper and Yearbook contests  allow them to compete for awards in many categories.

Preparing your entries is simple and quick. Out-of-state professionals are standing by to judge your work.

Newspaper members: You can enter up to 73 entries (six in each of the 12 categories plus one for overall excellence), or send just one entry in one category. It’s up to you. Categories include news, opinion, features and sports writing, photography, cartooning, review writing and more.

Click here for more details,  here for the packet entry form, here for individual category entry forms, and here for an entry form for overall excellence.

Yearbook members: An experienced judge from out of state will mark a thorough critique form and give you points in each category. Explanations and the critique will accompany each returned entry. Judges will be encouraged to write in your book, pointing out specific kudos and constructive criticisms.

Click here for more information on the yearbook contest and here for an entry form.

Awards will be announced at Fall Press Day, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, at Rutgers’ Busch Campus Center. Questions? Contact Susan Everett at everetts@earthlink.net.

Attention High School Seniors: Student Scholarship Deadline – February 12

2016 January 20
by admin

The Garden State Scholastic Press Association offers two student scholarships to member schools. The contest is run by the New Jersey Press Foundation.

The Stevens Scholarship is for $2,000 towards college tuition. It is awarded to a senior student who has shown dedication to their school newspaper or yearbook. Advisers may nominate one student.

The Kilgore Scholarship is for $5,000 towards the tuition of a student who will be enrolled in a college journalism program in the Fall. The winner of this scholarship becomes the GSSPA’s New Jersey High School Journalist of the Year and is entered into the National High School Journalist of the Year competition administered by the Journalism Education Association. Advisers may nominate one student. Editors at newspapers who are members of the NJPA may also nominate students.

Applications and materials for both of these scholarships must be postmarked by February 12.

More information and application materials for the Bob Stevens Memorial Scholarship can be Sfound here .

More information and application materials for the Bernard Kilgore Memorial Scholarship can be found here .

Scholarship winners will be announced at the Spring Adviser’s Conference on May 6.

Spring Advisers Conference – Friday, May 6

2016 January 8
by admin

GSSPA’s Spring Advisers Conference will be held on Friday, May 6 at Rutgers University’s Douglass Student Center. This year’s conference will also provide advisers with the opportunity to become a Certified Journalism Educator. Registration for certification must be done through the JEA by March 14.

For more information on the conference click here. Registration and payment must be received by April 27. To register online, click here. More information on payment can be found in the Spring 16 brochure.

Simon Introduces Student Rights Bill

2016 January 8
by admin

Assemblywoman Donna Simon introduced a bill on December 17 that provides protection for student journalists in public high schools and public universities to exercise their First Amendment Rights. Bill A4912 also protects teachers and advisers from administrative discipline for supporting their students.

The Garden State Scholastic Press Association has been at the forefront of this legislation and will continue to work towards its passage. For information more on this bill, see this article from the Student Press Law Center.

We thank Assemblywoman Simon for sponsoring the bill.

GSSPA Announces Twitter Contest Winner

2015 November 4
by admin

Congratulations to Luke Hinrichs from Cherry Hill High School East (Eastside Newspaper) who won the Twitter reporting contest at the GSSPA Fall Conference on October 26.

His handle for the day was @lukehh_NJFPD15. Go to Twitter and see his award-winning work tweeting the conference.
Here’s one example:

2015 Summer Newspaper Contest Winners

2015 October 28
by admin

At Monday’s Fall Press Conference, the GSSPA announced the winners of its Summer Newspaper Contest. For a list of the winners click here.

Press Release: First Amendment icon to speak at GSSPA Fall Conference

2015 September 9
by tmchale

By April Catuogno

Her bold actions fifty years ago guaranteed students’ First Amendment rights today. Now, Mary Beth Tinker will be the keynote speaker at the annual Garden State Scholastic Press Association (GSSPA) conference on Monday, October 26, 2015, held at Rutgers University.

Tinker’s keynote address is scheduled for both 9:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. A more personal roundtable discussion with select journalism students will follow in the afternoon. Members of the media are welcome to attend all of the day’s events.

“Mary Beth Tinker is a true champion of The First Amendment, and she is a great example to young people. Her courage and determination against great odds changed scholastic journalism in America, and students will learn that they can be empowered to be a force for change as well,” said one of the GSSPA’s founders John Tagliareni.

'65 School Board photo

Mary Beth Tinker attends a Des Moines School District Board wearing the black arm that got her suspended. Seated next to her is her mother at the meeting on December 21, 1965. Photo by Dave Penney, Des Moines Register.

In 1965, Tinker and a handful of other Des Moines, Iowa, high school students wore black armbands to school to mourn victims of the Vietnam War and support a truce. Administrators suspended the students. In 1969, the Supreme Court decided 7-2 that students retain their freedom of speech while in school. Since then, courts have cited the Tinker decision in hundreds of rulings, making it the cornerstone of First Amendment rights for students in America.

“Since I started teaching journalism and serving as newspaper adviser in 1973, I taught my students the Tinker case every year, and I have stressed the Tinker Standard at every conference and every session where I have been speaker. It will be a great honor to meet Mary Beth Tinker and to hear her speak at our conference this year,” Tagliareni said.

Several hundred students and advisers are expected to attend the 36th annual GSSPA conference.  More than 50 workshops on topics such as news writing, law and ethics and yearbook design will be offered at the Busch Campus Center of Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ.

Mary Beth Tinker, speaking recently at Kent State University in Ohio as part of the Tinker Tour. Photo courtesy of Mary Beth Tinker

Since 2013, Tinker has been traveling around the country and beyond speaking to thousands of young people about their constitutional right to free speech. The Tinker Tour is an initiative of the Student Press Law Center. The center gives educational and legal advice to students.

For questions about Mary Beth Tinker’s keynote address at the GSSPA, contact Sue Everett at everetts@earthlink.net.

More detail on the Tinker Tour is located at http://tinkertourusa.org/.

Additional information on the Garden State Scholastic Press Association can be found at http://www.gsspa.org/home/.