Puntney Journalism Grant

Posted by on Oct 11, 2017 in Kansas/Missouri News, Tips and Ideas | 0 comments

Puntney Journalism Grant
The Phillip Martin and Amanda Sue Puntney Journalism Grant has been established in memory of Amanda Sue Puntney and her father, Phillip Martin Puntney. Amanda’s mother and Martin’s wife, Linda Puntney, has taught journalism in Kansas since 1979 and has served 22 years as Journalism Education Association’s Executive Director.
Applicants must be associated with Kansas high school journalism programs. The grant will award a one-time gift between $500 and $1,000 annually to one or more Kansas journalism programs that demonstrate how this money would expand their organizational capacity and further the resources, skills and/or experiences of scholastic journalism students in Kansas.
To donate to the fund or apply for the grant, visit puntneygrant.com.
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Nine Member Schools Named Pacemaker Finalists

Posted by on Sep 19, 2017 in JEA News, Kansas/Missouri News | 0 comments

Nine Member Schools Named Pacemaker Finalists

Nine JEMKC member schools were named 2017 Broadcast or Newspaper Pacemaker Finalists last week by the National Scholastic Press Association! Winners will be announced on Nov. 18 in Dallas at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention.

Congratulations to all the newspaper finalists:

Jagwire – Mill Valley HS
Northwest Passage – Shawnee Mission Northwest
Le Journal – Notre Dame de Sion
Budget – Lawrence High School
The Tiger Print – Blue Valley High School
The Express – Blue Valley Northwest
Harbinger – Shawnee Mission East

And congratulations to the two broadcast finalists:

Trojan TV – Park Hill High School
Tiger Broadcast – Lee’s Summit High School

Check out all the finalists nationwide here.

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Featured Speaker Matt Pearce: Adviser’s Take

Posted by on Apr 27, 2017 in Events, Tips and Ideas | 0 comments

Featured Speaker Matt Pearce: Adviser’s Take

During the Trump campaign, a lot of pundits were mocking journalists for not understanding “real Americans” as well as the pundits did. A dapper reporter from the LA Times tweeted about the pundits, “I’d pay ten bucks to watch one of these guys try to start a tractor.”

I scoffed. Silly West Coast reporter. I grew up on a farm. Tractors start like any other stick-shift vehicle, I told him.

Mr. LA responded, “I had old ones when I was growing up! Had to prime it and engage the clutch.”

I, like the pundits, was misunderestimating the redneck credentials of a big city journalist. We then shared tractor stories: My dad’s Farmall 656s from the 1960s, his dad’s Ford 8Ns from the 1940s. That was how I met Matt Pearce, became one of this 111,000 Twitter followers, and found out he was a Missouri boy. And it made my day when he agreed to speak at the JEMKC Awards Show last night.

Sometime between the tractor argument and last night, I got the impression Matt had always been a hotshot journalist. I was retelling the tractor argument to an English teacher and she said, “THE Matt Pearce? From Mizzou?!” You know Matt Pearce? “I know OF him!” I thought that meant he was known for his work on The Maneater. Nope, he was just a heckuva popular writer among English majors at Mizzou.

Matt told the audience his story: He grew up in tiny Cleveland, Missouri, and does not remember his high school even having a newspaper. He was in the band. He majored in English at Mizzou. Then, at age 24, he went back to Mizzou for his master’s in journalism and built up credentials at The Kansas City Star and The Pitch. He wanted to write 4,000-word pieces for Esquire, but he was covering crime instead.

He gave some insight to JEMKC’s young writers about the craziness of the journalism profession with his story about how he ended up in LA: When the Joplin tornado hit, he had the urge to drive down to help. Then he remembered he has a master’s in journalism. He sent notes to several major newspaper editors and said he’d freelance for whoever called him first. The LA Times won, Matt learned how to cover a tragedy by watching the professionals in Joplin, and then he worked his way up to being the national reporter for the nation’s fourth-largest newspaper, covering the celebrities and the homeless, the riots in Egypt and the white supremacists in America.

Matt told the audience, “You don’t get the money, but you get the story. And you get to know the world better every day, which is pretty cool.”

His advice to the young writers came from his father: “Don’t listen to advice.”

Also, “Slavishly imitate the people you like” and to not be afraid to strike up a conversation with a journalist you admire on Twitter.

My main takeaway from Matt’s talk was a reminder that the kids who are hotshot journalists at 16 aren’t always the future journalists. Even the star college journalists often do not stay in journalism. The editor-in-chief before me, the Kansas Collegiate Journalist of the Year, went straight into advertising. The chief after me, also the KCJOY, went straight into teaching. The talented sports co-editors were eager to be in public relations, the arts editor was called to be a Methodist preacher, and my edgy opinions editor now wears a tie in a cubicle doing something that seems dreadful.

Meanwhile, four of the beat reporters that always needed quite a bit of coaching and editing stayed with it and became professional journalists. And I’ve seen the same thing at Aquinas: my greatest chiefs never became journalists, but some quiet staffers with some flaws stuck with it.

During the awards show last night, I saw a girl go up for an award for the second or third time and the adviser behind me said, “She’s so quiet in class, you wouldn’t even know she was there.” But that adviser is a rockstar, who noticed the quiet girl’s gifts and kept working with her.

That’s what I grabbed from Matt Pearce’s journey from priming antique tractors in rural Missouri to being a national reporter at the LA Times: Even when a kid is dumped into our class because nothing else fits their schedule, seems disinterested and pushes back against news-style writing, we have to keep spreading the joys and mentality of journalism to all of our kids.

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Awards Night Results

Posted by on Apr 27, 2017 in Contests, Events | 0 comments

Awards Night Results

Congratulations to all our members who took home awards at our Annual Awards Night last night!

Check out all the results here:

If you have any corrections to certificates or would like to request a duplicate, please fill out our form here.

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JEMKC Members Win Big in Seattle

Posted by on Apr 14, 2017 in JEA News, Kansas/Missouri News | 0 comments

JEMKC Members Win Big in Seattle

Many JEMKC member schools were honored with a variety of awards at the Spring JEA/NSPA Convention in Seattle April 6-9. Congrats to everyone!

Adviser Awards

Pioneer Award
Jim McCrossen, Blue Valley Northwest

Distinguished Broadcast Adviser
Christina Geabhart, Oak Park High

Online Pacemaker Winners

The Harbinger Online, Shawnee Mission East HS, Prairie Village, Kan.
C. Dow Tate, adviser

Mill Valley News, Mill Valley HS, Shawnee, Kan.
Kathy Hill Habiger, adviser

Dart News Online, St. Teresa’s Academy, Kansas City, Mo.
Brad Lewis, adviser

Online Pacemaker Finalist

Tonka News, Winnetonka HS, Kansas City, Mo.
Laura Williams, adviser

Yearbook Pacemaker Winners

Indian, Shawnee Mission North HS, Overland Park, Kan.
Hauberk, Shawnee Mission East HS, Prairie Village, Kan.
Lair, Shawnee Mission Northwest HS, Shawnee, Kan.
Le Flambeau, Notre Dame de Sion HS, Kansas City, Mo.

Best in Show Winners

Newspaper Special Edition
9. The Harbinger, Shawnee Mission East HS, Prairie Village, Kan.

7.The JagWire, Mill Valley HS, Shawnee, Kan.
8.The Tiger Print, Blue Valley HS, Overland Park, Kan.

Publication Website, small school
3.The JagWire, Mill Valley HS, Shawnee, Kan. www.mvnews.org

Publication Website, large school
6. The Harbinger, Shawnee Mission East HS, Prairie Village, Kan. www.smeharbinger.net

Broadcast Program
4. The North Report, Blue Valley North HS, Overland Park, Kan. www.vimeo.com/21153550
8. MVTV, Mill Valley HS, Shawnee, Kan. vimeo.com/album/4136570/video/200244983

Newspaper Tabloid 16 or Fewer Pages
4. The Northwest Passage, Shawnee Mission Northwest HS, Shawnee, Kan.

Newspaper Tabloid 17 or More Pages
1. The Harbinger, Shawnee Mission East HS, Prairie Village, Kan.

Yearbook 232 or Fewer Pages
4. Le Flambeau, Notre Dame de Sion HS, Kansas City, Mo.

Yearbook 289-336 Pages
1. Indian, Shawnee Mission North HS, Overland Park, Kan.

Yearbook 337 or More Pages
3. Hauberk, Shawnee Mission East HS, Prairie Village, Kan.
4. Heritage, Shawnee Mission South HS, Overland Park, Kan.
5. Lair, Shawnee Mission Northwest HS, Shawnee, Kan.


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Are you ready for Awards Night?

Posted by on Apr 2, 2017 in Events | 0 comments

Are you ready for Awards Night?

The 2017 JEMKC Awards Night will be held on Wednesday, April 26, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Regnier Hall Auditorium (part of KU Edwards Campus).

Awards include all individual contest awards, scholarships, sweepstakes and a spirit award! We will also hear from keynote speaker Matt Pearce of the LA Times.

Get all the details here (including address and directions)

Download invitations to hand out to your staff here


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Choosing The Right Editor-in-Chief

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Adviser Resources | 0 comments

Choosing The Right Editor-in-Chief

*Note: This was published last year around the same time and I feel it’s something we can all think about each time this year when it comes to looking at leadership for your publication’s staff. Enjoy it again!

Choosing an Editor-in-Chief for student publications is one of my favorite things to do. It’s a chance for a fresh start and there’s nothing quite like seeing a student’s excitement when you offer them the position,

It is also one of my most dreaded things I have to do as an adviser too because, despite the previous sentence, there is also the other side of it. Having to inform a student who did not get the nod is a tough thing to do because their dream of being EIC is crushed, and you just hope it doesn’t drive them from wanting to be a part of the publication.

As advisers, we sometimes spend weeks collecting applications, performing interviews, and pouring over portfolios and emails from co-workers trying to narrow down to those students who will lead our publications in the coming school year. There’s no magic wand or formula to choosing the best candidate, but as a former leadership consultant prior to my days as a publications adviser, here is some advice for making the process a little easier.

  • Go through the application process. Having an application for students to fill out gives them a chance to tell you a little about themselves and why they want to be EIC up front. Plus, it’s a good indicator as to who is taking the process seriously. Timeliness, proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation, plus how they articulate their thoughts are all factors that go into my final decision. The application is the first step.
  • Put the application online. Trust me, this is going to save you so much time. Using Google Forms is my preferred way to manage the application. This places all answers into a nice and neat spreadsheet in which I can filter and quickly look at each applicant’s answers. Click here for the link to my EIC application at St. Teresa’s.
  • Perform an interview. I know. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Despite this, it’s another great indicator of how your applicant will handle a high-stress situation. For example, last year, I had an applicant whose written application was full of great ideas and very articulate. However, when she came in for her interview she froze up and could barely get a word out. This was a factor in my decision in the end, as I wondered if she would be able to communicate with staffers when she needed to. Plus, this is a great chance to ask questions you didn’t ask on the application or to have an applicant expand on their ideas from the application.
  • Ask for feedback from your peers. We only see our students for a small percentage of the day. Other teachers, coaches, and club or organization sponsors can give you a wider picture of an applications leadership potential. Don’t be afraid to ask for their feedback as well. I do this every year not just with my EIC applicants, but for new staff applicants as well.

Outside of the process of helping you make a more informed decision, here are some factors I take into account when all the above has been done.

  • Practice what you preach. Perhaps the most important factor I look for when choosing an EIC is do they hold themselves to the same standards they will expect from their staff? Do they meet deadlines? Do they help others without being asked to? Do they go above and beyond what their current duties are, whether they are a staff writer, page designer, or managing editor?
  • Leadership. This one is wide open to interpretation, but what obstacles would keep this applicant from being a strong leader? Do they delegate tasks or do they take over? Will staffers be able to trust in the decisions the applicant will have to  make?
  • Communication. Does the applicant have the ability to listen to others? Do they have the ability to communicate well face-to-face, electronically, online?
  • Time in class. Do they spend the whole class period working on their own assignments or have they taken the time to help others when asked?
  • Open mindedness. Are they open to the ideas of others or is it their way or the highway? Are they open to trying new ideas? Are they ok with tearing down the whole publication from story ideas to publication and starting over or are they ok with the status quo?
  • Trust. This kind of ties into the first one but can they be trusted to follow through? Will staffers be able to view them as their leader or just as their peer?

Although this is the process I go through, the most important thing is to find a process that works well both for you and for your publications.

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