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.
At Monday’s Fall Press Conference, the GSSPA announced the winners of its Summer Newspaper Contest. For a list of the winners click here.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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/.
Mary Beth Tinker was a thirteen-year-old middle school student when she knowingly broke school rules to express her opposition to the Vietnam War. Her actions and fight for her right to express herself would eventually be heard by the Supreme Court. Their decision in 1969 established for the first time that students have First Amendment rights while in school.
The GSSPA is excited to have Mary Beth Tinker as the keynote speaker at this year’s Fall Press Day Conference. To learn more about Mary Beth, the Tinker Tour, and the Supreme Court case click here.
Time to start planning for the GSSPA’s largest conference of the year. We are excited to have Mary Beth Tinker as our keynote speaker this year!
The registration deadline is October 20. For a brochure with a registration form click here.
More updates on the conference will be coming.
The following were elected at the Spring Advisers Conference:
President – Greg Gagliardi, CJE
First Vice President – Jill Ocone
Second Vice President – Andi Mulshine
Recording Secretary – Bill Allen
Corresponding Secretary – April Catuogno
Treasurer – Susan V. Everett, MJE
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. Simply follow the directions on forms available under the Contests tab at the right on this home page.
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.
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.
Awards will be announced at Fall Press Day, Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, at Rutgers’ Busch Campus Center. Questions? Contact Susan Everett at email@example.com.
Attention high school journalists – the deadline to apply for the Bernard Kilgore Memorial Scholarship and the Bob Stevens Memorial Scholarship is February 13.
This year’s scholarship forms are now posted on our Scholarships Page.
Begin making plans and build your portfolio now. You can gather all of the information you need to compete for these two awards – the Kilgore Scholarship is open to students who plan to study journalism in college; and the Stevens Scholarship is designed for high school journalists who may major in other subjects.
The Kilgore Scholarship – valued at $5,000 – is awarded by New Jersey Press Foundation, which administers the Bernard Kilgore Memorial Scholarship Fund.
The Stevens Scholarship – valued at $2,000 – is awarded by the Garden State Scholastic Press Association. The winner of the award is announced at GSSPA’s Spring Advisers’ Conference in May.
The Kilgore Scholarship recipient is also named GSSPA’s New Jersey High School Journalist of the Year and is entered in a competition for the National High School Journalist of the Year, operated by the national Journalism Education Association.
The Kilgore Scholarship recipient is selected by a panel of New Jersey newspaper editors. Selection criteria include the student’s intent to major in journalism in college. Applicants must have at least two years of experience on their high school newspaper. Applicants must submit at least three letters of recommendations with their applications and at least three samples of writing published in the high school or community newspaper. Because applicants must have at least a 3.0 grade point average out of 4.0, a current high school transcript must be enclosed with the application package.
The Bob Stevens Memorial Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding journalism student who has demonstrated dedication to his or her school newspaper or yearbook. This scholarship does not require that the recipient major in journalism in college or pursue a career. Applications will be judged by a panel of independent judges, chosen from the many professional journalists employed in New Jersey.
The Stevens Scholarship is awarded by the Garden State Scholastic Press Association. The winner of the award is announced at GSSPA’s Spring Advisers’ Conference in May.
Bob Stevens was a dedicated teacher at Highland Park High School for many years, where he served as the adviser to the Highland Fling, the student newspaper.
He was a founding member of GSSPA and served as the first president of the organization. After his death, GSSPA started this scholarship to honor his memory and to help aspiring journalists.
The student’s school newspaper adviser must be a member of the GSSPA in order to be eligible for the award. The membership fee is $25 per year. For information, contact Susan Everett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anna Robinson, a junior at Communications High School in Monmouth County, is this year’s first place winner in the annual WriteOff contest at Fall Press Day, held today at Rutgers University.
Robinson was one of 15 students who wrote news stories immediately after the keynote presentation, a panel discussion on student press rights and recent incidents of censorship at student newspapers in New Jersey.
Robinson takes home a citation and a $100 award provided by The Bergen Record, which sponsors the WriteOff.
Taking second place is Lilia Wood of Glen Rock High School in Glen Rock. Winning third place was Kaitlyn Boyle of Cherry Hill High School East in Cherry Hill.
Robinson’s winning story:
Warning: this article has not been tampered with, but countless other pieces by journalism students have faced censorship.
A crowd of 732 students and 80 advisers attended the Garden State Scholastic Press Association conference Monday, representing 50 schools in New Jersey. The keynote address was presented twice and covered the topic of press rights on a school level.
GSSPA founder John Tagiareni acted as the moderator of the event, accompanied by guest speakers Kylie Sposato, Adelina Colaku, Frank LoMonte and Phil Gianficaro.
Students in the audience tweeted their questions using the hashtag gsspa2014.
According to Tagliareni, it was the first time students had been invited to a panel. Now freshmen in college, Sposato and Colaku were seniors when their articles were prohibited from publication by their school adminstrations.
“It just seems like the schools pull the blinds on them,” said Gianficaro, an award-winning columnist for Calkins Media who write columns in support of Sposato and Colaku.
Sposato, now a student at Rowan University, attended Pemberton Township High School when she wrote a piece about smoking in the bathrooms at her school. Before the article could be published, she said, the school administration cut the column.
“It’s constant. Any time you go into the bathroom, there is smoke in there,” Sposato said. She fought the school on their ruling in a legal battle and eventually won the right to publish her piece.
Colaku submitted her article, on a school administrator’s tenure charges, for prior review to her principal and was denied the right to publish the piece.
“I had to be reflective,” Colaku said as she, too, started a legal battle against her school, Northern Highlands Regional High School. Her newspaper’s adviser would lose his position if she persued this case, she said.
After a three-month legal battle, Colaku was granted the right to publish her story and her adviser lost his position.
“You’re not going to let authority figures boss you around,” Colaku said with the support of her adviser.
Both Sposato and Colaku sought legal aid for their cases. Frank LoMonte, the executive director of the Student Press Law Center, helped them and other students who face a breach of their First Amendment rights.
“The foundation of journalism is truth,” said LoMonte. “When muffled, scream louder.”
LoMonte said he pushes for students to fight against school officials who try to quiet voices because, he said, “We’ll only make progress if you share it.”
“The last thing they want is bad publicity,” said Tagliareni, who agreed with LoMonte on fighting censorship.
“We want you guys to be freedom fighters,” said LoMonte.
The invited speakers were all recognized for their achievements. LoMonte was given a Golden Quill Award, which commends leaders against censorship.
LoMonte spoke of a previous event where he asked 60 students to raise their hands if they had ever faced censorship and 50 raised their hands.
“I asked them how many did anything about it, and 50 hands went down,” he said.