March 31, 2023

Deadline extension: Early bird prices for Spring Convention tickets now vanish April 4

The Illinois Capitol / Photo courtesy of UIS

Journalists don’t often get deadline extensions. But here’s one for you. We’re extending the deadline to purchase early bird-priced tickets to the 2023 INBA Spring Convention in Springfield by three days. That means you now have until 11:59 p.m. on April 3 to purchase tickets. Prices go up April 4.

The convention is set for April 28-30 at the Wyndham City Centre in downtown Springfield.

Buzz Bomb Brewing, 406 E. Adams St., just a five-minute walk from the Wyndham at 700 E. Adams, will be the site of the traditional Friday night Opening Reception. INBA has booked the upper floor of the popular downtown brewery. If you’re rolling into town Friday, please join us!

Meanwhile, the schedule for the event’s educational sessions is almost set. Journalists, professors and other experts will teach on emerging and important topics in journalism, including the use of artificial intelligence, education in Illinois, reporter safety in the field and fostering an inclusive newsroom.

The keynote event will occur Saturday night, when INBA’s H. Wayne Wilson has a conversation with former U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos about her career in Congress (and previously as a journalist). The Saturday night dinner also highlights the accomplishments of college broadcasters, with the annual presentation of scholarships and the SINBA Awards.

Ticket options include an all-inclusive pass that provides three meals, educational sessions and the keynote address. Partial day tickets are also available. We also have a very limited number of free day passes available for active journalists working in Springfield or Decatur. Contact INBA board member Jason Piscia at for more information.

The Wyndham is offering special hotel room rates for convention attendees — $104 a night plus taxes.

We’re still looking for convention sponsors. If you’d like to purchase an ad in the convention program to promote a business or your station, get details here.

More Convention News.

Here is the schedule (as of now) for our weekend in Springfield. More details to come!


Noon: INBA Board Meeting, Innovate Springfield, 15 S. Old State Capitol Plaza

7-9 p.m.: Opening Reception. Join us for drinks and conversation at Buzz Bomb Brewing Co., 406 E. Adams St., in downtown Springfield just three blocks from the hotel.


All events at Wyndham City Centre, 700 E. Adams St.

9:15 a.m.: Opening remarks

9:30 to 10:45 a.m.: Knowing your First Amendment rights and exercising them safely. Learn best practices for maintaining situational awareness in field reporting with a representative from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and another speaker TBA.

11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.: The State of Education. Teachers’ Lounge podcast host Peter Medlin from WNIJ will moderate a panel discussing hot topics in education policy in Illinois. Panelists include Samantha Smylie with Chalkbeat, and Dr. Cara Gutzmer and Dr. Paul Bruno from the University of Illinois.

12:15 to 1:45 p.m.: Lunch (choice of turkey and ham club or grilled portabella) and business meeting.

2 to 3:15 p.m. GPT-3/AI and News. Don’t fear the robots! One of the developers behind the YESEO app will walk through how it can help newsrooms better apply SEO best practices. The app was developed as part of the Reynolds Journalism Institute fellowship program with the ability to analyze published stories as well as unpublished stories. It features GPT-3 generated data for use in your workflows. According to the Institute, “This Slack app seeks to tackle the search problem head on of what journalists can impact, starting with the headline, focusing on the keywords in a story and uses the GPT-3 language models to generate suggestions that you can reformat to your own publications’ style.” In addition, Dr. Margaret Ng from the U of I will join the conversation to talk about the ethics of AI technology.

3:15 p.m.: Student critique session. Students, bring your reel and portfolio work to be looked at by a professional for feedback.

3:30 to 4 p.m.: Illinois Public Radio breakout meeting

4-4:30 p.m.: INBA Foundation breakout meeting

6 p.m.: Cocktail reception

6:30 p.m.: Dinner (chicken bruschetta and buffet)

7 p.m.: An evening with former U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos

8 p.m.: Student scholarship presentations and SINBA awards


9:30 a.m.: Breakfast (horseshoe buffet)

10 to 11 a.m.: Creating an inclusive newsroom. National Association of Black Journalists – Chicago Chapter President Brandon Pope and KWQC’s Redrick Terry talk about incorporating best practices in newsrooms across Illinois where every team member is empowered to do their jobs in a respectful and safe environment.

11:15 to 11:45 a.m.: Capitol News Illinois broadcast expansion update with Jeff Rogers of CNI

Noon: Final resolution and farewell.

Jennifer Fuller

INBA is not only a great networking tool, it also provides advocacy and support for journalists in an ever-changing world.

Aaron Eades

As a student, it's often difficult to picture what working in the real world will be like. For me, the INBA bridged that gap by giving me the chance to talk to professionals who used to be in the same shoes I'm in now.

Ryan Denham

I recently attended my first INBA conference—and it won’t be my last. The combination of professional and student journalists learning together is electric. Everyone learns from each other and walks away with new friends (and LinkedIn connections). I know I did.

Andrew Tanielian

INBA taught me how to network in a meaningful way. The scholarship process taught me how to endure a hard job interview and thrive.

Alexis McAdams

INBA played a huge part in preparing me for my broadcasting career. The INBA conventions connect students with on-air talent and news directors who give feedback on now to improve your work. Through relationships I made at those conventions, I was able to obtain my first on air reporting job.

Bob Roberts

INBA is as much about friendship and as it is about achieving common goals. It provides two things individual newsrooms cannot: in-service training, and the ability to speak out on issues affecting the profession. But most of all, it brings newspeople together.

Michelle Eccles McLaughlin

INBA is an organization that really caters to continuing education for professionals. It offers a relatively inexpensive way to learn new things, reinforce best practices and network.

Mike Miletich

Joining the INBA was one of my best life decisions. I met some of the best broadcast journalists while I was still a college student. Plus, I ended up getting a job through the connections I made!

Molly Jirasek

One of my top goals in my career was to get to Chicago. Thanks to INBA I met Margaret Larkin. She remembered our great conversations about Chicago and first alerted me to a job opening in the city I might be interested in. Lo and behold, I got that job! INBA helped me reach my dream.

Nora Baldner

The support INBA gives to student journalists is vitally important as we all discover how technology is changing news dissemination, INBA monitors and actively encourages truth, transparency and accountability from students and their universities.

Brian O'Keefe

One of the greatest benefits for me has been getting to see and know other parts of the state. I’m not from Illinois and traveling to spring and fall conventions over the years has transformed dots on a map to memories of places that enhance my story telling process.

Jeff Bossert

When I was working in radio for the first time, I had no idea whether I could truly handle the demands. But INBA made me curious and want to improve. Even now, when I’ve maybe worked a lot of hours or planned some stories that didn’t come together for one reason or another, what I learn from an INBA conference gets me re-invigorated about the business.

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