NEWSPA: Showing Students What They Can Be In 5 Years

By: Andrea Larson (@andrea_larson_)

Every year, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh gives high school students a hands-on experience into the world of journalism. The university has the pleasure of hosting NEWSPA, Northeastern  Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association. The conference brings in over 400 high school journalists and their advisers to campus, giving them the opportunity to ask questions and participate in informational sessions led by journalism professionals.


NEWSPA was founded by Dr. Gary Coll in 1969. The idea was to take a few college students to local high schools and share their experiences of majoring in journalism, and answer questions the high school students might have. Like other efforts, the conference is a way to show prospective students that journalism is a vibrant major  that is growing in new ways.

NEWSPA has changed over the years, and today the conference is composed of concurrent sessions led by professionals in the field and a keynote speaker. The sessions include learning the basics of Adobe Creative Suit software, ways to improve your high school yearbook and newspaper, careers in journalism, layout and design, photography, social media and writing tips. There is even an interactive jeopardy-type game, Grammar Smackdown.


Instead of a keynote speaker this year, alumni will be brought in to speak about where they are now and what they learned from UWO and their experiences in a panel discussion format. Barb Benish, NEWSPA Executive Secretary, is also hoping journalism classes get involved to help report about NEWSPA and promote the event.

The NEWSPA conference will be held on Wednesday, April 9. This year’s event promises to be the best ever!


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