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Idaho Journalism Conference to Be Held for Second Year at Idaho State University on Oct. 29-30

October 28, 2010
ISU Marketing and Communications

More than 400 journalism students from high schools around Idaho will converge on Pocatello and the campus of Idaho State University at the end of October.

The occasion is the 25th annual Idaho Student Journalism Association fall conference, to be held Oct. 29-30 on the ISU campus. ISU's James E. Rogers Department of Mass Communication and its staff, professors and students will help with organization and logistics.

"Journalism teachers from across the state look forward to the fall conference as a place where our students can demonstrate their skills and develop new ones," said Juli Stricklan, ISJA president and English teacher at Rigby High School.

"Being on a university campus gives our students a sense of what is possible in post-secondary education in journalism-related fields.  It’s a priceless experience," she added.

ISU Mass Communication chair Tom Terry was excited to welcome the students.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for high school students to network and meet fellow journalists from around the state in an intense learning atmosphere," Terry said. "It also gives them the chance to interact with college students and professors and get an idea where they want to go both professionally and as a college student.”

"For ISU and the department," added Terry, "we can show off our state-of-the-art computers and broadcast equipment and give our students some practical experience as well."

Assistant Professor Tom Hallaq is coordinating the conference for ISU and was equally enthusiastic.

"We are looking forward to having the students in the department and on campus," Hallaq said.

"The two-day format focuses the students and gives them the ability to improve their skills. It also exposes them to different aspects of the media and can assist them in deciding their career path."

The conference will feature contests, seminars, workshops and speeches, all revolving around broadcasting, advertising, public relations, photography, video production, graphic design, and writing for print and the web.

The keynote speaker is Chris Huston, news director at KIDK-TV, Pocatello and Idaho Falls.  He will speak Friday afternoon, October 29.

Competition categories include writing news stories, features, sports stories, video productions, reviews and headlines.  Students may also submit editorial cartoons or photos, and newspaper or yearbook advertising entries.

Among the judges will be ISU mass communication students, some of whom participated in the conference themselves while in high school.  The ISJA was originally formed in 1964 as the Idaho State High School Press Association.  Afton Bitton, a teacher from Idaho Falls High School, was the first president.

The aspiring journalists, broadcasters, advertising agents, photographers, graphic artists and public relations professionals will attend educational workshops, hear from a keynote speaker, submit competitive entries and just plain have some fun. 

About 200 high school journalists attended the fall conference at ISU in 2009.

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