For more than 60 years, Ohio had a handful of scholastic press associations, each one originating at a university and each one offering conferences, contests and workshops. But that model wasn’t going to be as useful as it might be to help advisers and their students as they focus on today’s media.
In February 2006, an ad hoc committee with members from Journalism Association of Ohio Schools, Northeast Ohio Scholastic Press Association and Great Lakes Interscholastic Press Association began meeting to set up the Ohio Scholastic Media Association, a statewide group that could use the strengths of each of those original groups but could also provide a unified voice for the state’s student journalists and their teachers, a real plus for funding, support and legislative action.
With a new set of bylaws by fall 2006 and a membership map that divides the state into five regions, the committee called for proposals and named Kent State its headquarters for the state and Region 1. Since then, a few sites have changed but as of Spring 2018, they are Bowling Green State University for Region 4; and Otterbein University for Region 5 and sites pending for Regions 2 and 3. Each region will have a fall/winter conference, and everyone will be invited to be part of a state contest and convention each spring.