We are offering numerous options, taught by experts in the field to help yearbook, newspaper and media advisers and their students sharpen their proficiency in selected areas of interest and skill. These are preliminary. Please check back often to see additional sessions and expanded descriptions of sessions.

Immersion Journalism Goes Behind the Human Mask
Leon Dash – University of Illinois, Pulitzer Prize winner for explanatory journalism, Washington Post. The student with an insatiable curiosity about human behavior will be able to extract from willing participants surprising revelations about their needs, desires and motivations. Importantly, you will learn how the personalities, the circumstances, and the choices made by your participants’ parents and forebears still have bearing on the life of your participant today. Often, an individual is unaware of the past’s impact on their present-day life until your interviewing brings it to their attention. When this moment of self-awareness occurs and, if it is not too painful, your participant will likely become fully committed to YOUR project. 
Illini Rooms B & C

Using Analytics to Understand Your Audience, Drive Student Media Decisions
Amanda Bright – Eastern Illinois University
Professional journalists are increasingly turning to data analytics to help reporters and editors understand readers’ responses, as well as make choices about content and coverage. But, how can those sophisticated tools and techniques transfer to scholastic media programs? In this session, you will see a variety of programs and options—most of which are free and easy to learn—that could benefit what you are already doing through social media, websites, and multimedia. Also, we will discuss limitations of data-driven decisions, as well as how to get qualitative data that can help you understand the numbers. Bright is a former professional journalist who spent a decade as a scholastic newspaper & yearbook adviser in Mattoon.  She is the Media Content Coordinator for Indiana State Online and is on the IJEA Board of Directors. 
IU Room 209 

Beyond the Cover; Concept Driven Story Telling
Brenda Field, MJE, Adviser Glenbrook South HS, JEA State Director
If you're doing theme right, your yearbook's concept should be more than something that just lives on the cover and divider pages. Good yearbook concepts should be all about the stories you want (and need) to tell. In this session, we'll explore how to use a concept to open up coverage opportunities. Learn how to make your book more honest, authentic and inclusive than ever before. Field’s staff creates a nearly 500 page book that has been recognized by state and national press associations and earning NSPA Pacemakers and CSPA Crowns.
IU Room 210

Dropping the Journalistic F-Bomb
Stan Zoller, MJE is lecturer of Journalism at Lake Forest College and is President ex-officio and VP of Freedom of Information, of the Chicago Headline Club, the Chicago chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Protecting the Public’s Right to Know is a fundamental responsibility of journalists.  This session will cover the basics of two vital tools – the Illinois Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Using both gives journalists the ability to provide news consumers with verifiable and independent information.
Zoller is a Board Member of the Illinois Journalism Education Association and co-chair of its Legislation Committee, which led the successful effort for passage and signing of scholastic press rights legislation in Illinois.
IU Room 217 

How should yearbook and newspaper staffs handle a crisis?
Jennifer Reiser newspaper adviser, Washington Community High School
Trudy Hurd, Yearbook adviser, Cisne High School
When a tragedy such as the death of a student or faculty strikes, students, faculty, and staff are often very emotional. It is important to handle a crisis with respect and consistency. At this time it is best to have a policy already in place. This presentation will discuss positive ways these situations have been handled in the past and help you put a policy in place for your yearbook and newspaper staffs.
IU Room 314 A

It's Not Just a Theme-It's Your Books Personality!
Joelle Sexton, Herff-Jones
From picking your theme to carrying it through your book, learn the best practices to tell your school's story and bring your book to life! Sexton is a former yearbook adviser and English teacher whose publications received All KEMPA awards. As a representative for Herff Jones, Joelle enjoys working with the advisers and students to develop their yearbooks.
IU Room 314 B

Putting Together Stories on Your Smart Phone
Ken Erdey, U of I Department of Journalism
You have this great idea for a story, but you do not have a video camera to tell it. Or do you?
Erdey is a 20 year career news photographer for television stations in Chicago and is currently an instructor for the journalism department here at U of I. He will teach you how to get all the essentials for telling a broadcast story that people will want to watch. Using only your personal cellphone as your camera, Erdey will provide you tips about shooting, lighting and even a little demonstration to get your videos to the next level. Bring your phones and help tell this story.
IU Room 405

Captions, not Craptions.
Carol Smith, JEA Mentor, IJEA board.  Former adviser Lovington High School.
Photos capture the readers' attention. Whether readers read the rest of the story often depends on the information in the accompanying caption. No caption means writers are asking readers to guess why the picture is there. Poor captions insult readers' intelligence. This session reinforces the necessary steps for effective captions, not craptions.
IU Room 406