Illinois JEA

Reasons to Join IJEA

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Why Join the Illinois Journalism Education Association?

We can think of lots of good reasons to join IJEA, but let’s stick to an even dozen. For just $25 per year, your IJEA membership allows you to do the following:

  1. Be part of an organization that led the charge for an Illinois student media bill, signed into law in July 2016, that significantly strengthened protections for student journalists and their advisers. We advocate for you!
  2. Enter your students’ work in our annual Yearbook Contest.
  3. Enter your students’ work in our annual Newspaper & Digital News Media Contest.
  4. Nominate your top senior for Illinois Journalist of the Year and our $300 prize.
  5. Nominate your MVPs for our All-State Journalism Team.
  6. Apply for or nominate others for our annual top scholastic media educator award.
  7. Nominate administrators and friends of scholastic journalism for recognition.
  8. Receive email updates on the latest news in Illinois and national scholastic journalism.
  9. Receive mentorship from our experienced advisers.
  10. Support our fall conference at Illinois State University — each year our conference energizes students and advisers with expert breakout sessions, hands-on learning opportunities and an inspiring keynote address.
  11. Support our state tournament partnership with IHSA — since the 2005-06 school year we’ve worked with IHSA to put on a statewide journalism tournament that begins with sectionals and culminates in a state final that crowns individual and team champions.
  12. Enjoy the backing and fellowship of a statewide organization devoted to scholastic journalism — you’re not alone out there! With IJEA, you have likeminded women and men around the state ready to assist you when you need help and eager to celebrate with you when your students produce great work.


2023-24 Membership (with Lifetime Option)

Online and PDF membership forms are located below. You may use either form to join IJEA for the 2023-24 school year. Membership takes effect on July 1, 2023, and ends on June 30, 2024.

Both forms contain an option for lifetime membership. The forms also allow you to join national JEA. If you join both organizations using either form, we will receive $5 back from national JEA — an easy way to help us financially!

If you choose the PDF option, fill out the form and mail it to IJEA treasurer Jenn Galloy. (Complete instructions, including mailing address, are on the form.)


Membership and IJEA Contests

IJEA membership is required for participation in our contests, including Illinois Journalist of the Year and the All-State Journalism Team.

Please note that since the 2021-22 school year our contest fees for both the IJEA Yearbook Contest and IJEA Newspaper & Digital News Contest are $20 for each competition. (Contest fees were previously $10.) In addition, contest fees are no longer waived for the first contest that advisers enter.


IJEA’s Partnership with IHSA

Our partnership with IHSA in the annual staging of the IHSA journalism tournament is an excellent example of how IJEA works on behalf of Illinois journalism students and advisers.

IJEA leaders were instrumental in creating the tournament, which launched in April 2006. Since then, IJEA members have continued to be closely involved in the competition. From 2006 to 2018, then-IJEA executive director Dr. Sally Renaud managed the state final at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston. IJEA members continue to manage or co-manage sectional sites.

Over the years, the IHSA tournament has become a fixture of Illinois high school journalism. For the story of how IJEA worked with IHSA to create the tournament, click here. For other information relevant to membership in IJEA, see the links below.


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Reasons to Join IJEA