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'21 Jumpstart by Balfour was the first journalism festival of its kind, bringing some of the best and brightest minds in scholastic journalism right to your virtual classroom, whether that's your kitchen table or bedroom floor! Each session has been recorded and is available for instant replay. Be sure to grab our study guide here and follow along. Thank you to all our presenters for your valuable insight and expertise! Questions? Contact us at training@balfour.com.

Wrap the Present | Stephen Williams

The yearbook is a gift that you give to your community. Make it special. In this session, Stephen teaches us to look at yearbook from a different angle. Learn how to use your cover and theme to give your student body just the right amount of intrigue.


Quick Photoshop Tips | Mark Murray

From straightening a photo to fixing brightness, contrast and color balance, here are some quick tips to improve your photos in Adobe Photoshop.


Journalism + Gen Z | Jeni Daley + Gadi Schwartz

Can we just say it? Journalism is having a moment. Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic, we're seeing journalism in the spotlight like never before. How does this affect the next generation of journalism professionals? Join us for an honest discussion about Journalism + Gen Z. We're honored to be joined by Gadi Schwartz, NBC correspondent and co-host of NBC's Stay Tuned twice daily newscast you can follow on Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok.


The 6 Ps | Emma Shea and Kinley Rex

Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Get a head start on your 2021 publication with the tips and tricks we've learned, and skip the trials and tribulations of starting a new year. Click here to download the resources shown in Emma and Kinley's presentation. 


Writing is Essential. | Bobby Hawthorne

In this surreal moment of social distancing, shelter-in-place and flattening-the-curve, you must ask yourself, “Am I essential? Do I provide an essential service?” To cover this pandemic and the hundreds of ways it has affected every aspect of our lives, we need teams of reporters, writers and editors, working together, to find a way to tell the stories about all that was lost and, maybe even, all that was gained.

Strategies to Stay Connected | Paul Chylinski

Learn ways to keep your staff involved and connected in these social distancing, remote learning times.

Before & After Design | Kristi Rathbun

The "reveal" is always the best part of any remodeling or makeover show, but the bulk of each episode is all about the work. From the demolition, through the surprise challenges to the final product, design is a process. We'll take a look at a few spreads from their initial designs through the painstaking edits to the finished product.

Up Your Game | C. Bruce Watterson

2021 is the year for you and your staff to UP your GAME! Follow along as Bruce walks through some eye-popping designs, pointing out the subtle, yet thoughtful approach that sets these designs in a whole class of their own.

Visual Sparks | Gary Lundgren

A look at creative designs from the professional world with a discussion on how they inspire student yearbook and newspaper designs.

From Stage 1 to Spread Done | Samantha Jo Berry

A blank page is terrifying. What do we cover? Where does it go? What's the big story? Learn tips for helping staffers tackle a spread from Stage 1 with brainstorming strategies, a helpful handout and some tips for how to approach content in a meaningful way. Click here for Samantha's content planner.


Read Easy. Write Hard. | Kristi Rathbun

Alternative copy formats make reading easy for your audience, but they still require research and reporting. We’ll take a look at examples from both pros and peers that will inspire both you and your readers. You'll leave with a plan for implementing alternative story formats in your media right away.


Book Looks | Gary Lundgren

What's trending for 2021 yearbooks by the associate director of the National Scholastic Press Association. Hear what judges are looking for, what trends are sticking around and which ones to avoid as you start planning for 2021.



Eye-Opening Designs | C. Bruce Watterson

Cut through the noise. Stop listening to  "we've never done it that way" and, in the process, start encouraging everyone on staff to help develop a refined graphic strategy, clever copy writing and content inspiring style. Join us for a look at examples of national winners. 


Organizing Photos with Adobe Bridge | Mark Murray

Learn some techniques to help organize and prioritize all those photos using Adobe Bridge, a product that is included with all of Adobe’s other applications.

Cover Class | Stephen Williams

Your yearbook cover serves a purpose. You can make a GREAT one by following the law. Let’s talk about what to include on the cover and how to upgrade your brainstorming processes for success.

Build a Happy, Thriving Program | Samantha Jo Berry

Building a strong media program starts with culture and ends with culture. Help your students take leadership of the program and watch it thrive! 

"The Awful Grace of God" | Bobby Hawthorne

I want to tell you the story behind the best story I ever wrote. How I found it. How I cultivated my source. How I broke every rule I was ever taught in journalism school to capture the emotional power of a story I can’t read without crying.

Life in the Newsroom | Mike Damante

Want to pursue a career in journalism? See what it is like working for an actual newspaper, and learn about other jobs in the field, and what is needed to do those. Go behind the scenes with a former employee of Hearst Media.