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NCSMA is pleased to announce two virtual fall workshop opportunities this fall. Our annual regional workshops are now virtual workshops. Schools are welcome to attend one or both workshops, regardless of region.

The first will take place Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., and is co-hosted by The Charlotte Observer, Elon University, N.C. A&T State University and Queens University of Charlotte. Deadline to register is Sept. 25.

The other fall workshop will be Thursday, Oct. 15, from 9 a.m. – noon, and is co-hosted by The News & Observer, East Carolina University, N.C. Central University and UNC-Chapel Hill. Deadline to register is Oct. 9.

Both workshops feature opening webinars on Reporting in the Age of Covid-19 (Sept. 29) and on Covering the Elections (Oct. 15). Both will also feature keynote speakers, and breakout sessions in seven divisions:

  • Literary Magazine
  • Broadcast/Podcasting
  • Yearbook
  • News/Online
  • Art/Photography/Design
  • Editorial Leadership/Issues Forum
  • Advising Student Media

Closing webinars of each workshop will feature Campus Tours of co-hosting campuses.

Cost is $10 per person. Students and teachers may submit online payment individually through the registration portal, or schools may request an online payment link or pay by school check.

All students attending our 2020 Virtual Fall Workshops must read and sign the Code of Conduct and have their parents/guardians read and submit the Release Form.

Visit here for more information and to register.


NCSMA congratulates all student media staffs that participated in the Statewide Student Media Contests. Results are posted here.

Results were announced during the virtual NC Scholastic Media Institute at the Statewide Awards Ceremony on June 16. Tar Heels were announced at the NCSMI closing on June 18.

Critique booklets have been returned to advisers. Certificates and plaques will be mailed at a later date.

The 2020 student officers look forward to welcoming students and teachers to the North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute offered through the UNC-Chapel Hill Hussman School of Journalism and Media. The 2020 Institute will be offered online June 15-18.

This year’s theme is The Golden Rules of Journalism: Balance. Serve. Inform. 

The virtual Institute will include instructional sessions for eight divisions, daily guest speakers, a trivia challenge, awards ceremonies and more. Students will produce an Institute newscast and an online newspaper. If you are an attendee, watch your email for links and more on June 12.


NCSMA offers critique services and All-North Carolina media contests. Award categories include Achievement, Honor, Distinction and All-North Carolina.

All-North Carolina is NCSMA’s highest rating. All-North Carolina media demonstrate excellence in all areas of journalism, combining effective writing and design with broad and diverse coverage. Tar Heels, the highest honor, are awarded to select student media from the All-North Carolina class.

Staffs may elect to enter section contests, and students may also submit entries for more than 50 individual contests.

Critique services of NCSMA offer annual opportunities for students and staffs to distinguish themselves and to receive feedback for improvement. NCSMA’s critique service is one that features a flash critique returned to attendees at the annual N.C. Scholastic Media Institute. Awards are announced at NCSMI each summer.

Click here for more information, including how to enter. 


North Carolina Scholastic Media Advisers Association announces a Facebook group for K12 journalism teachers in the state.

Board member Anna Barefoot Saunders of West Brunswick High launched the effort to connect North Carolina journalism teachers, student media advisers and resources.

NCSMA is also posting online teaching tools and resources on our Adviser page.

Click on “Resources” to access the list, which highlights free services, such as lesson plans, slide shows and virtual classrooms.


The North Carolina Scholastic Media Association has announced West Henderson High School journalist Elise Trexler as the 2020 Rachel Rivers-Coffey North Carolina High School Journalist of the Year.

Trexler is the editor-in-chief of the West Henderson (Hendersonville) school newspaper, Wingspan. Judges noted her editorial leadership, skillful storytelling and community media links.

Alternates for Journalist of the Year are Emily Schmidt of J.H. Rose High School in Greenville, Lucy Smithwick of East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte and Emmy Trivette of First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills.

Schmidt is the co-editor-in-chief of her school’s newspaper, Rampant Lines; Smithwick is the co-editor-in-chief of her school newspaper, The Eagle; and Trivette is the editor-in-chief of her school newspaper, Nighthawk News Magazine.

Since 2001, the North Carolina Press Foundation (NCPF) has funded the annual scholarship award in memory of Rachel Rivers-Coffey, former N.C. Press Association president.

NCPF will award a $3,000 scholarship to Trexler. The three alternates will each receive $1,000.

The foundation will also award the winners’ journalism programs. The Journalist of the Year’s program will receive $500. The three alternates’ programs will each receive $250.

Trexler will now represent the state in the National High School Journalist of the Year scholarship competition. Winners will be announced April 18 at the National High School Journalism Convention in Nashville.

The Rivers-Coffey state scholarships and awards will be presented June 16 at UNC-Chapel Hill during the N.C. Scholastic Media Institute, a summer journalism workshop open to students and teachers across the state.

The full press release can be found here.