IHSPA recap


University of Iowa Journalism Convention 2022. Top row: Left to right – Brooke Grett, Aydan Camu, Jack Eighmey, Rylee Gallaher, Eleigh Davis, Gabe Graber. Bottom Row: Emma Hiebert, RaeAnn Duinink, Gabe Hobbs, Johnny Jarnagin

Jack Eighmey, Editor

On Oct. 21 the PCM Journalism staff attended the Iowa High School Press Association (IHSPA) Fall Conference at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City, Iowa. 2021 marks the 100th year the conference has been going on for; it originated in 1921. 

The conference began with a presentation by Charity Nebbe, who hosts the “Talk of Iowa” and the Emmy-winning Iowa PBS show “Iowa Ingredient.” Her presentation started off with a statement to the Journalism students in the room where she congratulated us all on being as strong as we are after enduring so much in recent years. After that, she brought on three different Journalism students who have achieved great things. 

The thing I remember most from the presentation occurred during Nebbe’s opening. She spoke about how Gen Z has this ability to question things instead of believing them right away. While I don’t remember exactly how she worded the scenario, here is a rundown of it: Imagine Nicki Minaj posted on Twitter that her cousin’s friend’s husband’s neighbor received the COVID-19 vaccine and then his testicles swelled; he was the only case in the world that had that side effect. The purpose for the story was to show that because we have such an open viewpoint on things, along with a natural hunch to determine the credibility of news, we can determine that the story probably wasn’t true. It was a great opener to a great presentation and I learned a lot from it. 

We then broke up and picked three different sessions with guest speakers to attend throughout the remainder of our time there. I only got to attend two of the sessions because the second one I wanted to go to was full, so we just hung out instead. My favorite session was the video-editing one because I feel that we can make ThunderTV better than ever by using new tricks. 

The other staff members who attended the conference also shared their favorite sessions.

“The interviewing one because I learned a lot about how to interview someone properly and it was really informative,” said Emma Hiebert.

“The Daily Iowan tour because I read the Daily Iowan and it was cool to see where they put everything together,” said Gabe Graber.

“Lunchtime [at Pizza Ranch] because it was good food. I liked the pizza the best,” recalled Gabe Hobbs.

“The one about shooting a good video even though you don’t have good equipment to film with. You can use a phone and get the same results. I am going to make superstar ThunderTV from now on,” claimed ThunderTV Editor RaeAnn Duinink.

“I went to the Adviser meeting and learned a lot about different contests that we can enter. I am really excited about that,” said Adviser Brooke Grett.

After the conference, we went to Pizza Ranch and I snuck into the arcade with Emma. I played the SpongeBob Machine and won over 300 tickets. Out of the kindness of my heart, I bought everyone a mini Smarties and handed them out like I was Oprah Winfrey handing out cars.

I cannot wait for next year’s conference. Until then, the Journalism staff will apply what we learned to our work and use our new knowledge to improve the quality of our publications.