Video compiled and edited by André Rowe, Jr. 

The North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute is a staple of NCSMA’s history. It started in 1936 when editors of The Daily Tar Heel, UNC’s student-run newspaper, invited high school newspaper editors to the first North Carolina Scholastic Press Institute. In 1941, NCSMA was formed and became part of UNC’s journalism program — and with it came the summer Institute.

Since then, students and teachers have been invited each year to enroll in the summer Institute on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Instructors travel from across the state and nation to offer their expertise in newspaper, yearbook, online magazine and broadcast journalism.

Each Institute is hosted around a theme decided on by the NCSMA student officers, who are from across North Carolina and assist in organizing the Institute. In 2016, the Institute is dedicated to the 75th anniversary.

The Institute has always been designed to teach innovative and effective ways of communicating through media, but it also offers something a little different for participants each year based on the theme. Like in 2006, when the student officers decided that, in keeping with the ’60s-era theme of “fighting for your right to write,” students would make tie-dye shirts on the sidewalk in front of Carroll Hall. Or like in the 1970s, when student officers and then-director Richard Cole included a long-held NCSPI dance, as well as bowling, pinball, pool and more at the Carolina Union.

Today, the schedule includes 20 hours of instruction, plus time for a pizza party and awards presentations to celebrate the work done by North Carolina media students and advisers each school year. Participants enroll in one of the following divisions: advising, newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine, online, photojournalism, design or TV news.

The Institute’s official newspaper, The Rush, and newscast, NCSMI News, are also produced during the Institute. Students who participate in TV news produce the Institute’s official newscast. (A look back on the Institute’s newscasts is above.)

To learn more about the summer Institute, head here: