Broadcasters convention to be held in Peoria

The Illinois News Broadcasters Association (INBA) will be holding their Spring 2014 Convention April 11 through 13 in Peoria.

The weekend will be full of events including student journalist interviews and five different scholarship awards for up to $1000. Also, winners will be announced for the Students in Illinois News Broadcasters Association awards for outstanding journalism and the Associated Press Excellence in broadcasting awards for media professionals.

There will be educational sessions, state finance updates from Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, updates on current issues with reporters in Illinois and student journalists will have the opportunity to have their work critiqued by professionals.

“This is a place where radio and TV journalists go to learn,” INBA Board of Directors member Laura Trendle-Polus said.

“We move this convention around, it’s held every fall and every spring in different cities around the state, so we kind of try to tie in whatever happens in that city.”

Caterpillar is a large business in Peoria, and a session will be held on reporting for businesses where visitors will be able to take a look at venues such as the Caterpillar Visitors Center, the Peoria Riverfront Museum and Packard Plaza. However, Trendle-Polus and INBA President Susan Stephens both agree that the tour given on the Illinois River is the most anticipated event.

“A three hour tour on a boat; what could go wrong,” Stephens said. “Seriously, it’s going to be great to spend some time on the water while interviewing experts for stories that can be turned around for air on Monday.”

Members are usually in a hotel listening to a speaker and having the event on a barge creates a completely different atmosphere, Trendle-Polus said.

INBA is one of the largest broadcast news associations in the nation. One of its missions is to support journalists by helping to educate them, make connections and establish friendships. Trendle-Polus said INBA also keeps an eye on state legislatures that may affect broadcasters so they can take action.

“Journalists usually aren’t supposed to be activists and a lot of us have to figure out if you’re an activist on behalf of journalism, then it’s okay,” Trendle-Polus said.

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