December 6, 2013



Journalism Education Association to stay at K-State

By Birgit Wassmuth

At its fall convention in Boston, Mass., the board of directors of the Journalism Education Association voted unanimously to keep the Journalism Education Association, or JEA, headquartered at K-State and housed in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Competing institutions included Vanderbilt University and Colorado State University.

"On the heels of its recent very positive re-accreditation review, the reaffirmation of the quality of the JMC program speaks volumes about the talent we have here at K-State," said Peter Dorhout, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. "We are very pleased to continue this important leadership role with JEA."

With 2,500 members, the Journalism Education Association is the largest scholastic journalism organization in the U.S. Founded in 1924, the association has been leading the way in high school journalism, media literacy education and journalism teacher certification. The membership includes teachers, publications advisers, media professionals, press associations, adviser organizations, libraries, publishing companies, newspapers, radio stations and departments of journalism. K-State has provided a home to the association for nearly 25 years.

"I believe the board's decision to remain at K-State had as much to do about the future as it did the past," said Kelly Furnas, an assistant professor in the A.Q. Miller School who serves as executive director of the national association. "The staff members who serve JEA bring decades of institutional knowledge and helped grow the organization into what it is today. But just as exciting are the joint pedagogical and research opportunities that JEA and the A.Q. Miller School have just begun to explore."

The association's twice-annual national conventions, co-sponsored by the National Scholastic Press Association, attract more than 5,500 high school students, publication advisers, journalism teachers, publishing companies, and universities that offer journalism education. High school students compete for the prestigious Pacemaker Awards given annually for outstanding journalistic work in newspapers, magazines, broadcast, online media and yearbooks.

"Anybody who may have doubts about the future of journalism should attend one of the JEA conventions to see for themselves what great talent there is in the pipeline for the journalism profession," said Birgit Wassmuth, director of the A.Q. Miller School. "Of all the professional and academic conventions I have attended over my 30-some years in academia, I have never been so inspired. I am relieved to know that JEA will stay at the A.Q. Miller School. We are looking forward to strengthening our relationship with JEA by collaborating on innovative academic programs and events."

The mission of the Journalism Education Association is to provide training around the country at national conventions and institutes. It offers national certification for teaching high school journalism; publishes print and online resources on the latest trends in journalism education; provides avenues for virtual discussion among teachers as well as communities and mentoring to learn best practices; and it monitors and actively defends First Amendment and scholastic press rights issues across the country.