Missouri Interscholastic Press Association

Past J Challenge prompts

We have stored the past Journalism Challenge prompts here for our members. We hope these serve as inspirations for your future course assignments, or you can use them as prompts for your own staff challenges or skills assessments.

Here are the directions for the 2018-2019 school year:

2018-19 CHALLENGE #1

2018-19 CHALLENGE #2

  • Broadcast Story Challenge: Students may enter in teams of two, three, or four people. Staffs may enter two entries from two different teams. Students will create a 1:15 to 2:15 TRT story with soundbites, B-roll, reporter voiceover and/or stand up over the topic. Any use of graphics is encouraged, but not required. Tag out line may include your broadcast’s show name or station identifier.
  • Editorial Challenge:  Online or print newspaper/newsmagazine publications will submit one staff editorial on the topic provided. Staff editorials are editorials representative of the publication staff, not of one staff member.

2018-19 CHALLENGE #3

  • Newspaper/Newsmagazine Challenge: Students may enter in teams of two, three, or four people. Staffs may enter two entries from two different teams. Students will create a final layout (one or two pages) that includes at least: one article, one headline, one photo, one caption, and one infographic over the topic. Page dimensions should fit what the school uses for its publication. Any additional photos, graphic, advertisements, etc. are encouraged, but not required.
    • TOPIC: After a MSHSAA vote in Spring 2018, Missouri became the 9th state to add Girls Wrestling. This is just one of the many examples of the gender stereotypes from your parent’s and grandparent’s high school days being redefined. Gone are the days of only boys in “shop class” and girls in “Home Economics.” How have gender roles changed in your school over the decades? Tell the story from your school’s perspective.  
  • Yearbook Challenge: Students may enter in teams of two, three, or four people. Staffs may enter two entries from two different teams. Students will create a two-page spread that includes at least one article, one headline, three photos and three captions over the topic provided. Page dimensions should fit what your school uses for its publication. Any additional photos, captions, graphics, etc. are encouraged, but not required.
    • TOPIC: Social Media’s impact upon your school. Maybe you have some students who are brand ambassadors or social media influencers. Perhaps your school’s spirit squad promotes theme nights this way. From the ups to the downs, Social Media is changing the culture of your school and community. Tell the story. 
  • Editorial Challenge:  Online or print newspaper/newsmagazine publications will submit one staff editorial on the topic provided. Staff editorials are editorials representative of the publication staff, not of one staff member.
    • TOPIC: Missouri is one of the few states in our nation without a law banning texting and driving. Currently, it only applies to drivers under 21. Is this acceptable? Is this enough? Remember this is the second round of the Editorial Challenge because last time the judge declared “no winner” in this area. You can see why in this link: http://mipajournalism.com/2845/broadcast/challenge-2-proves-challenging-to-judge/

Here are the Journalism Challenges for 2017-2018:

2017-2018 Journalism Challenge #1.

  • Broadcast (radio, podcast, or video) Public Service Announcement “For every action there is a reaction, or consequence. Your PSA must include the reaction(s)/consequence(s) of an action. What is the action? That’s up to your team.​” 
  • Feature (not broadcast) Story: “The American Dream” 

2017-2018 Journalism Challenge #2:

  • Editorial Challenge:  Online or print newspaper/newsmagazine publications will submit one staff editorial on the topic provided. Staff editorials are editorials representative of the publication staff, not of one staff member.
    • TOPIC/THEME: “The Boy Scouts Will Accept Girls As Members”
  • Broadcast Story Challenge: Students may enter in teams of two, three, or four people. Staffs may enter two entries from two different teams. Students will create a 1:15 to 2:15 TRT story with soundbites, B-roll, reporter voiceover and/or stand up over the topic. Any use of graphics is encouraged, but not required. Tag out line may include your broadcast’s show name or station identifier.
    • TOPIC/THEME: “More and more people are coming forward to say that there are plenty of jobs available in the USA, but not enough skilled workers to fill the positions. A 2015 study by the Deloitte consulting firm estimates that nearly 3.5 million factory jobs will open before 2025, as baby boomers retire. Two million of those jobs won’t be filled because of the skills gap. What steps are being taken in your school/community to help fill the gap? What program(s) are being offered to help students become ‘career-ready’ upon completion of their education? Tell the story of one (or more) such program(s) that are helping solve this problem.”

2017-2018 Journalism Challenge #3:

  • Newspaper/Newsmagazine Challenge —  Students may enter in teams of two, three, or four people. Staffs may enter two entries from two different teams. Students will create a final layout (one or two pages) that includes at least: one article, one headline, one photo, one caption, and one infographic over the topic. Page dimensions should fit what the school uses for its publication. Any additional photos, graphic, advertisements, etc. are encouraged, but not required.
    • TOPIC: “Education is Life Itself” (there are many paths possible with this topic that is open to whatever you think of. Examples may include: a teacher who has been at it for over 40 years, a family of teachers, perhaps a student/alumni who studied medicine and now saves lives, CPR being taught in schools to help save lives…the ways you can go about that “theme” are endless!) :
  • Yearbook Challenge — Students may enter in teams of two, three, or four people. Staffs may enter two entries from two different teams. Students will create a two-page spread that includes at least one article, one headline, three photos and three captions over the topic provided. Page dimensions should fit what your school uses for its publication. Any additional photos, captions, graphics, etc. are encouraged, but not required.
    • TOPIC: “Giving”

Here are the Journalism Challenges for 2016-2017:

MIPA Journalism Challenge #1.

  • Broadcast Story Challenge: Students may enter in teams of two, three, or four people. Staffs may enter two entries from two different teams. Students will create a 1:15 to 2:15 TRT story with soundbites, B-roll, reporter voiceover and/or stand up over the topic. Any use of graphics is encouraged, but not required. Tag out line may include your broadcast’s show name or station identifier.
    • “The High Price of Health”
      (There are many avenues to take with this story theme when one thinks of big money and health care alone!)
  • Editorial Challenge: Online or print newspaper/newsmagazine publications will submit one staff editorial on the topic provided.

MIPA Journalism Challenge #2.

 

  • Newspaper/Newsmagazine Challenge: Students may enter in teams of two, three, or four people. Staffs may enter two entries from two different teams. Students will create a final layout (one or two pages) that includes at least: one article, one headline, one photo, one caption, and one infographic over the topic. Page dimensions should fit what the school uses for its publication. Any additional photos, graphic, advertisements, etc. are encouraged, but not required. Students should export/save the file as a PDF document of no more than 25 MB in size.
    • Topic: Project Based Learning has grown in popularity nationwide. Localize the story by covering how your school utilizes Project Based Learning.

MIPA Journalism Challenge #3.

  • Broadcast or Radio Public Service Announcement Challenge: Students may enter in teams of two, three, or four people. Staffs may enter two entries from two different teams. Students will create a :30 TRT PSA. Students will produce a PSA that fits the theme/topic provided. For television: Any use of graphics is encouraged, but not required.
  • Feature (not broadcast) Story Challenge: Students may enter as an individual or in in teams of two people. Yearbook, Newspaper, and/or Online Staffs may enter one entry from one team per publication (NOT one per school). Students will write a feature story that fits the topic/theme given.
    • Theme: Use this as a guiding theme: “A Promise Kept”

 

The Student News Site of Missouri Interscholastic Press Association
Past J Challenge prompts