Official site of the Illinois Journalism Education Association, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston

Illinois JEA

IHSA Journalism Tournament

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TWO ORGANIZATIONS, ONE STATEWIDE JOURNALISM TOURNAMENT

NOTE: For information about how to enter students into the IHSA tournament, see Section III of IHSA Journalism Terms and Conditions.

Since the spring of 2006, students throughout Illinois have had the opportunity to compete in journalism events in a statewide tournament administered by the Illinois High School Association.

The tournament begins with sectional competitions at seven locations around the state. This year, students competed in 17 events, ranging from news writing to yearbook layout to feature photography. The top three finishers in each event at the sectional sites then go on to compete a week later in the state final at Eastern Illinois University.

What makes this tournament so exciting is that the students do all of their work onsite under deadline pressure. They’re on their own with no one to lean on. It’s a true test of journalistic ability.

Students generally have just 90 minutes to complete their specific tasks, and then judges assess their work. The top six finishers in each event win state medals, and the top three schools take home IHSA trophies.

It’s an invigorating experience, one that thousands of students have participated in over the last decade — and it probably wouldn’t have happened without the dedication and vision of IJEA members.

Our board worked closely with IHSA officials in the years leading up to the inaugural tournament, tending to the details while holding fast to the big-picture ideal of a statewide competition that would put journalism students from all backgrounds on an even footing, if only for two days a year.

After helping to transform that ideal into reality, IJEA members have continued to be closely involved in the planning and management of the tournament. Our executive director, Dr. Sally Renaud of Eastern Illinois University’s Department of Journalism, manages the state final. Other IJEA members help to manage or co-manage sectional competitions.

Our members sit on the IHSA advisory committee that meets a week after each state final and recommends changes for future tournaments. Our board of directors maintains a close working relationship with the IHSA administrator in charge of overseeing the tournament — Susie Knoblauch for many years, Matt Troha beginning in 2014-15.

In the process we’ve created a true partnership between IJEA and IHSA, all for the benefit of Illinois high school journalists. To learn more about the past, present and future of the IHSA journalism tournament, we invite you to visit the links below.


IJEA’S PARTNERSHIP WITH IHSA:

The story of how IJEA helped to create the statewide journalism tournament


IHSA TOURNAMENT EVENTS:

A nuts-and-bolts summary of each event


IHSA TOURNAMENT RESULTS:

Top 10 team finishes in each tournament


IHSA TOURNAMENT CHANGES FOR 2016:
Journalism Advisory Committee proposals approved by the IHSA Executive Board

Official site of the Illinois Journalism Education Association, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston
IHSA Journalism Tournament