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Ohio Scholastic Media Association

Ohio Scholastic Media Association

Ohio Scholastic Media Association

Top 100 for Ohio

In honor of JEA’s 100th anniversary, each state was asked to submit its top 100 journalism accomplishments.   Check ours out below.


Ohio Scholastic press/media associations

  1. The original student press associations in Ohio started about the same time in the ‘20s and ‘30s at three of the state universities: Kent State University had Northeast Ohio Scholastic Press Association (NOSPA) in northeastern Ohio; Bowling Green State University had Northwest Scholastic Press Association (NOSPA), which later became Great Lakes Interscholastic Press Association (GLIPA), which included northwestern Ohio, eastern Indiana and southern Michigan; and The Ohio State University had Journalism Association of Ohio Schools (JAOS).  
  2. Kent State had workshops and “clinics” for newsroom professionals and college students in 1937. Coursework already was in place for future high school journalism teachers. 
  3. In 1938, a local high school journalism teacher asked about forming an organization for high school journalism advisers. That spring, in conjunction with a clinic on campus for small Ohio newspapers, Northeast Ohio Scholastic Press Clinic began. More than 800 teachers and middle school and high school students attended. A few years later it became the Northeast Ohio Scholastic Press Association.
  4. NOSPA sponsored workshops and held on-site contests for about 15 years but then, for lack of a director for the association, clinics stopped. When Dr. Joe Harper was hired as a new director of the journalism school in 1981, he restarted NOSPA, including its annual workshops and contests.
  5. Prof. Barb Hipsman was in charge of NOSPA from 1987 to 1995, when Candace Bowen came to oversee the School’s connection with high schools. She directed the association from 1995 to 2007, when the statewide association began (see below).
  6. Accessible materials don’t agree about when Journalism Association of Ohio Schools started at The Ohio State University. A program from a JAOS convention Nov. 15, 1980, promotes that as the association’s 50th anniversary and includes this information: “In recognition of a need for a university-based association of high school journalists and their sponsors, JAOS was founded in 1930 by the Journalism School at The Ohio State University, assisted by publication advisers throughout the state.”
  7. However, Vol. XLVII, Number 68, 2 December 1927 of The Ohio State’s student newspaper “The Lantern” invited those attending the Journalism Association of Ohio Schools conference to “visit our modern plant and offices in the Journalism Building just north of University Hall.” The Ashtabula (OH) High School 1927 Dart Yearbook reported a teacher there “attended the November convention of the Journalism Association of Ohio Schools,” and “The High School Teacher” book reported, “The Journalism Association of Ohio Schools meeting will be held in April 1927.”
  8. These last tidbits of information are thanks to these three: former executive director, Carol Ann (Hall) Hackley, who held that position from 1974-1980 and from 1982 – 1985. Sarah Ortman was interim director from 1980 – 1982 and, when Hackley left permanently, adviser Dean Hume and Tracie Mauriello took over. Ortman became executive director from 1985 – 1994. Dave Weisenburger, a longtime JAOS and GLIPA board member, also shared information.
  9. When The Ohio State University decided not to get re-accredited in journalism and would not have anyone to direct JAOS, Candace Bowen took over as executive director even though she was at Kent State. She oversaw the fall JAOS workshops at OSU from 2001 to 2005 when the event moved to Otterbein University until the pandemic in 2020.
  10. Bowling Green’s GLIPA has less archival information available. Based on a 2007 celebration of 55 years, the group appears to have started in 1952 and offered a fall workshop with “​​hands-on experience, constructive competitions, and was known as NOSPA, Northwest Ohio Scholastic Press Association, until the board decided two NOSPAs (Northeast and Northwest) was confusing and became GLIPA.
  11. BGSU administrative assistant Linda Glomski coordinated GLIPA for many years until her retirement in Fall 2008
  12. In 1997, when the Ohio Department of Education proposed a change in teacher licensure, representatives of these groups, along with someone from each of the then four accredited journalism schools —OSU, KSU, BGSU and OU — agreed there needed to be a way to speak as one voice for high school journalism in the state. At that time, the impetus for concern was a plan in the works at the ODE that would mean education majors would not need to take a single journalism course to be licensed to teach the subject. Together, representatives from these universities and scholastic media groups hammered out simple bylaws, and the Ohio Scholastic Media Association began. They were partially successful with demanding more journalism requirements. Wayne and Georgia Dunn and John and Candace Bowen were able to help write the new requirements for the ODE, including a need to have an advising class, a media/news writing class and a law and ethics class – or an advising class strong in law & ethics. 
  13. By then, JAOS was a bit of an orphan with its (unpaid) director headquartered two hours north. No one was replacing the coordinator of GLIPA. It seemed like a good time to start a statewide organization. OSMA seemed a good name and idea, but its bylaws as they originally were set up for essentially a lobbying group were no longer appropriate.
  14. Thus OSMA became something its founders didn’t intend – simply because they couldn’t foresee the changes high school journalism faced in the early 2000s. The advisers of the group suggest OSMA become the statewide umbrella organization for student media, divided into five geographical areas with conferences at each of those and a state convention as well. Having one headquarters and one executive director would allow parts of the state with no organization in the past to bolster their activities and support. It would also prevent duplication of efforts and activities, thus maximizing limited resources.
  15. In Spring 2008, the new version of OSMA held its first state convention at Kent State University. Region 1 (northeast) has an annual fall workshop at Kent State; Region 2 (southeast) had one fall convention at tiny Muskingum University; Region 3 (southwest) just had its very first regional workshop at University of Cincinnati in 2023; Region 4 (northwest) has had fall workshops most years at Bowling Green State University; Region 5 (central) held workshops at Otterbein University until the pandemic and now has hosted the last two years at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
  16. Kent State was the first home for OSMA with Candace Bowen as executive director. When she retired in 2023, the university was unable to hire a replacement for her. Kent State offered to give the OSMA Board $15,000 to pay to get work done that the executive director had done and supply one student worker for support in exchange for being a sponsor and continuing to have workshops and the state convention on campus.
  17. In July of 2023, OSMA officially became a 501c3 nonprofit and handles its own finances.  Kent State University still sponsors OSMA but the role of the executive director has now been divided between the president and vice president.  A convention coordinator was also hired to organize conventions.  


Leaders in Ohio Scholastic Press/Media Organizations

  1. Carol Ann Hall, executive director, Journalism Association of Ohio Schools (JAOS), 1974 – 1980 and from 1982 – 1985 at The Ohio State University 
  2. Linda Glomski, coordinator of Great Lakes Interscholastic Press Association (GLIPA), (1980s – 2008 ), at Bowling Green State University
  3. Sarah Ortman – executive director, JAOS (1985 – 1994), OSMA Board (2008 – 2018)
  4. Barb Hipsman – executive director, Northeast Ohio Scholastic Press Association, (NOSPA) Kent State University (1987 – 1995) 
  5. Candace Perkins Bowen – executive director NOSPA (1995 – 2007), executive director of JAOS (2001 – 2007), executive director of OSMA (2007 – 2023), and JEA president (1993 – 97)
  6.  Mark Goodman – First Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism, Kent State University, former executive director Student Press Law Center
  7. Peter Bobkowski – Second Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism, Kent State University
  8. Rick Senften – Canton Repository Special Projects Manager who ran workshops for student journalists and their advisers
  9. Wayne Dunn – First OSMA president
  10. John Bowen –  OSMA and JAOS and GLIPA boards, JEA Scholastic Press Rights Commission chair 
  11. Notable members of JAOS, NOSPA, GLIPA or OSMA board (past and present): Dean Hume, Kelly Taylor (founded student board), Cheralyn Jardine, Amanda Leahy, Morgan (Martin) Bricker, Lorraine Gauvin, Angela Parks (JAOS & GLIPA), Georgia Dunn (JAOS Treasurer/OSMA board) Jim McGonnell (past OSMA president), Kate Klonowski (past OSMA president), Angela Spano, Beth Stacy, Kelsey Jackson, Josh Davis, Amy Tolbert, Samantha Gerwe-Perkins, Jenna Bates, Sheena Zadai (all OSMA board members), Julianne McClain (JEA State Director, OSMA current president and contest coordinator), Maggie Cogar (OSMA board, new OSMA convention coordinator) and Amy Sorrell (OSMA board, JEA Certification Committee chair),David Weisenberger, active on boards of JAOS and GLIPA, Angela Parks (JAOS Board)
  12. Ohio teacher of the year 2024 Mark Lowrie, broadcast journalism teacher at Gahanna Lincoln High School


Ohio’s National High School Journalism Conventions

  1. Cleveland, 1985
  2. Columbus, 1992

Notable Keynoters at OSMA’s annual state convention

  1. Mary Beth Tinker, plaintiff in the Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District Supreme Court case and tireless supporter of student speech (twice)
  2. Cathy Kuhlmeier, plaintiff in Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier Supreme Court case and now a speaker and activist to promote student free expression
  3. Connie Schultz, Kent State alumna and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
  4. Chuck Ayers, Crankshaft cartoonist who drew for students during NOSPA conference in 2005
  5. Tim Harrower, a nationally known designer, author and speaker 
  6. Jack Kennedy, former JEA president and noted speaker
  7. Logan Aimone, former NSPA director and noted speaker
  8. Mizell Stewart, III, E.W. Scripps Co. chief content officer
  9. Mandy Jenkins, Kent State alumna, digital media visionary, Storyful news editor, and more
  10. Rachel Dissell, Kent State alumna and award-winning Cleveland journalist
  11. Joshua Hatch, senior editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education


Notable Scholastic Accomplishments 

  1. Lakota East Spark – sold staff manual in the JEA bookstore
  2. Creation of OSMA in 2007
  3. Creation of the OSMA Student Board
  4. Knight-endowed Center for Scholastic Journalism at Kent State with the Knight Chair (2007)
  5. OSMA’s input in credentials Integrated Language Arts teachers need to be able to teach journalism. (See #12)  
  6. Two-week ASNE High School Journalism Workshops fully funded and hosted for 35 teachers each summer at Kent State (2002-2015)
  7. Dow Jones Diversity Workshops at Kent State (2002, 2003, 2018, 2019)
  8. Stark County Advisers Meetings hosted with Rick Sentfen and the Canton Repository
  9. Canton Rep. Summer Workshops held at GlenOak High School
  10. Rick Senften, The Canton Repository, adjunct faculty, Kent State University. Developed and ran the highly successful Repository “Youth Pages” in Stark County for nearly 20 years. 


Notable Journalists from Ohio

  1. Richard Outcault (creator of the Yellow Kid Cartoon born in Lancaster Ohio)
  2. James Thurber – (Cartoonist born in Columbus, Ohio)
  3. John S. Knight – Newspaper publisher in Akron, Ohio.  Founder of the Knight newspaper chain that eventually became the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain.
  4. John (aka “Derf”) Backderf is an award-winning cartoonist and graphic novelist from Richfield, Ohio. He wrote and illustrated the award-winning graphic novel entitled “My Friend Dahmer” and also penned the award-winning book entitled “Four Dead in Ohio,” which is a recreation of the days leading up to the Kent State Shootings in 1970. 
  5. Terry Pluto, sports Columnist for and The Plain Dealer.
  6. Brian Windhorst – ESPN sports writer.  Formerly of The Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal and a Kent State graduate
  7. Phil Donahue who began his show in Dayton, Ohio in 1967
  8. Paula Zahn – Raised in Canton, Ohio she has been an anchor on the ABC News, CNN News, Fox News and CBS News
  9. Gloria Steinem – Founder of Ms Magazine born in Toledo, Ohio

  10. PJ O’Rourke – American Political Strategist and Journalist born in Toledo, Ohio
  11. Leon Bibb – First African American primetime news anchor in Ohio.  Still can be seen on WKYC.
  12. Allie LaForce – born in Vermillion, Ohio.  Currently reports on the NBA for TNT.
  13. Dick Goddard – Raised in Green, Ohio.  Currently holds the  Guinness World Record for longest career as a weather forecaster. Retired from Fox 8 in Cleveland, Ohio.
  14. Connie Schultz – Raised in NE Ohio, graduated from Kent State in journalism, reporter/columnist who also won a Pulitzer in Commentary. Currently a columnist on Substack. 
  15. Kevin Necessary, Lakota High School and Kent State University, editorial cartoonist, at the Chillicothe Gazette and Cincinnati Enquirer (among others); WCPO (in Cincinnati) Edward R. Morrow Indepth winner for Comics Journalism; Necessary presented to Ed Board at The New York Times; First Freedom Forum Editorial Art contest winner.
  16. Deanna Pan, Lakota East and Ohio State University graduate; Mother Jones and The Boston Globe; Pulitzer Prize finalist in feature writing as a free-lance writer, 2019.
  17. Melissa Harris, Lakota East, Northwestern, Johns-Hopkins graduate; Orlando Sentinel; Baltimore Sun; Chicago Tribune; Pulitzer Prize finalist, Business reporting, 2008.
  18. Ken Gordon, R. B. Hayes High School and Ohio University grad; Sports Editor, Lima News; Sports Reporter, columnist Mansfield News Journal, Sports reporter and feature writer, Columbus Dispatch (Cincinnati Bengals football beat; Ohio State football beat); author of two books.


History of Ohio Journalism

  1. The Knight Foundation was founded in 1950 in Akron, Ohio by James L. and John S. Knight (Publishers of the Akron Beacon Journal).  Originally started out as the Knight Memorial Education Fund (1940-1950) the fund gave out small grants for education, cultural and a few journalism-related causes.  Today the Knight Foundation is located in Miami, Florida and has an endowment of $2.4 billion funding four program areas of Journalism, Communities, the Arts and Learning and Impact.
  2. Founding dates of major Ohio newspapers: The Canton Repository is founded in 1815, The Toledo Blade is founded in 1835, The Cincinnati Enquirer is founded in 184, The Plain Dealer is founded in 1842, The Columbus Dispatch is founded in 1871, The Akron Beacon Journal is founded in 1897, The Dayton Daily News is founded in 1898
  3. …and hundreds  of local community and regional publications


Ohio Joy Award Winners (National winners indicated with *)

  1. *1988   Naomi Annendale, Lakewood High School (John Bowen, adviser) .Also first high school intern at the SPLC.
  2. *1989   Chad Kistner, Upper Arlington High School, Columbus, Ohio (Sarah Ortman, adviser)
  3. 1994  Jenny Griveas, Lakewood High School (John Bowen, adviser)
  4. 1999  Jana Zabkova, Lakewood High School (John Bowen, adviser)
  5. 2004  Jennifer Miller, Lakota West High School
  6. 2005  Matthew Faig, Ohio
  7. 2006 Hannah Miller of Badger High School (Kinsman, Ohio)
  8. 2007 Elisabeth Brown, Ohio
  9. 2008 Sarah Massey, Ohio
  10. 2009 ​​David JM Esber, North Canton Hoover High School, North Canton (Rachelle Ogilvie, adviser)
  11. 2012 ​​Leah Cramer, Findlay High School, Findlay (Jim McGonnell, adviser)
  12. 2014 Alexa A. Chryssovergis, Lakota East High School, Liberty Township (Dean Hume, adviser)
  13. 2015 Ivana Giang, Lakota East High School, Liberty Township (Dean Hume, adviser)
  14. 2016 Madeline Weikel, Lakota East High School, Liberty Township (Dean Hume, adviser)
  15.  2017 — Emma Stiefel, Lakota East High School (Dean Hume, adviser)
  16.  2018 — Julieanne Ford, Lakota East High School (Dean Hume, adviser)
  17.  2019 — Jacob Fulton, Olentangy Orange High School (Kari Phillips and Brian Nicola, advisers)
  18.  2020 — Anna Mullins, Lakota East High School (Dean Hume, Adviser)
  19.  2021 — Sama Ben Amer, Dublin Scioto High School (Amanda Leahy, Adviser) 
  20.  2022 — Callia Peterson, Upper Arlington High School (Robin Mollica, Adviser)
  21.  2023 — James Underwood, Upper Arlington High School (Robin Mollica, Adviser)


Pacemaker Winners (newspapers/newsmagazines unless indicated)

  1. The Spark of Lakota High School is 9th in NSPA’s top 100 list for its centennial in 2022.
  2. The Bay High School school yearbook and the John Adams Journal of John Adams High School also make the Top 100 Pacemaker winners list.
  3. 1990s winners
    1. 1993 Arlingtonian of Upper Arlington High School (4 Pacemakers)Arlingtonian
    2. 1994 Arlingtonian of Upper Arlington High School 
    3. 1996 Spark of Lakota East High School (16 Pacemakers) and the Arlingtonian of Upper Arlington High School  
    4. 1997 Arlingtonian of Upper Arlington High School and Spark, Lakota High School
    5. 1999 Blue & Gold of  Findlay High School (5 Pacemakers) and Spark of Lakota East High School
  4. 2000s winners
    1.  2000 The Voice of Lakota West High School, Lakewood Times of Lakewood High School (5  Pacemakers)
    2. 2001 (Yearbook) Make fun of Bay, Bay Village High School, Lakewood Times of Lakewood High School. 
    3. 2002 Lakewood Times of Lakewood High School, (Online) The Lakewood of Lakewood High School
    4. 2003 Spark of Lakota East High School; (Yearbook) Viking of Hoover High School (2 Pacemakers), Little Things of Bay, Bay Village High School
    5. 2004  (Yearbook) So Anyway of Bay, Bay Village High School, Spark of Lakota West High School
    6. 2005 Spark of Lakota East High School, Hometown Heros of Hoover High School
    7. 2006 The Shakerite of Shaker Heights High School; Plan B (Yearbook), Bay Village High School, 2A Today (Broadcast) of Findlay High School
    8. 2007 Spark of Lakota East High School,  Hi-Lite, Brush High School, Viking, Hoover High School 
    9. 2008 Blue & Gold of Findlay, The Chronicle of Mason High School
    10. 2009 Spark of Lakota East High School, 2A Today (Broadcast) of Findlay High School.
  5. 2010s winners
    1. 2010 Spark of Lakota East High School, Blue & Gold of Findlay High School
    2. 2011 Blue & Gold of Findlay High School
    3. 2012 The Chronicle of Mason High School, Spark of Lakota East High School
    4. 2013 Spark of Lakota East High School, Blue & Gold of Findlay High School 
    5. 2015 Spark of Lakota East High School 
    6. 2016 Spark of Lakota East High School
    7. 2017 Spark of Lakota East High School
    8. 2018 Spark of Lakota East High School, The Leaf, Sycamore High School, Steele News Live (Broadcast) of Marion L. Steele High School
    9. 2019 Spark of Lakota East High School 
  6. 2020s winners
    1. 2021 Spark of Lakota East High School
    2. 2022 Lincoln Live (Broadcast) of Gahanna Lincoln High School 
    3. 2023 Spark of Lakota East High School
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