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Released May 6, 2004


LONG BEACH, Miss. - More than 100 high school journalists are expected to converge on The University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Park campus Friday when Southern Miss Gulf Coast hosts the Southern Mississippi Scholastic Journalism Association (SMSJA) conference.

High school students from Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama will attend sessions in the Advanced Education Building Friday morning from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Topics will include feature writing, editorial and column writing, finding news stories, advertising in today's market, designing the best product - news and ads, photography, graphics, sports writing, and editing.

The conference is being held in conjunction with the Biloxi "Sun-Herald" newspaper, which is providing presenters from its staff. "We could not have organized this conference without the tremendous help of the 'Sun-Herald,'" said Dr. David R. Davies, associate professor of journalism in the Southern Miss School of Mass Communication and Journalism and a co-organizer of the conference.

The day will conclude at noon with an awards banquet to recognize the best in high school journalism for the three-state area.

"The purpose of the conference is to help high school journalists produce better newspapers," said Maggie Williams, publications manager of the Southern Miss "Student Printz." "This is an important part of our service mission to journalism in our region. Getting students involved in high school newspapers is the first step in recruiting the reporters and editors of tomorrow."

SMSJA holds conferences in both the spring and fall semesters. In addition, the association offers individualized journalism workshops to area high schools at their request.

SMSJA was organized in 1993 to offer an annual journalism conference and contest to high school students in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. The organization serves as both a public service organization and a recruiting tool for the School of Mass Communication and Journalism. For more information, contact Davies at (601) 266-6237.


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May 14, 2004 10:46 AM