Back to Top

INBA Conventions

Upcoming Conventions

The Spring 2019 Convention will be in Normal, April 12-14, 2019 at the Uptown Marriott.  Featured presenter will be Boyd Huppert.

The Fall 2019 Convention will be in Champaign/Urbana.

The Spring 2020 Convention will be in Rockford.

Convention inquiries can be directed to Vice President Nora Baldner at  The convention planning committee includes Rick Koshko of WCMY, Rachel Lippman of KWMU, and all of the INBA's members.

Past Conventions

The Fall 2018 Convention in Springfield looked at the midterm elections, with a session on money in politics from Kent Redfield of UI-Springfield. We also got a view of the future of high-speed rail in the state, and the state's ongoing bicentennial celebration. Our keynote speaker was John O'Connor of the Associated Press, who discussed the importance of Freedom of Information Act requests in his statehouse reporting.

We were in East Peoria for our Spring 2018 Convention. We learned how to turn data into stories with Ryan Denham of WGLT-FM, learned about how to better report on immigration issues, got a quick tutorial on fact-checking, and prepared for the midterm elections with Brian Mackey of WUIS-FM and Charlie Wheeler of the University of Illinois-Springfield. Our keynote speaker was Dan Shelley, Executive Director of RTNDA. We also presented awards for outstanding reporting from the Associated Press and SINBA. We awarded INBA scholarships to Devin Brooks of WIU, Justin Taylor Vessel of SIU, Ashlynn Worley of Quincy University, and Julie Martin of ISU.

The Fall 2017 Convention in Quincy offered an emphasis on workshops, with three Google News sessions in the morning and three from IRE in the afternoon.  The keynote was a hometown girl, Cheri Preston, now doing morning drive on ABC Radio News. And the convention concluded with a visit to the Islamic Center of Quincy, where members of the mosque answered questions about their faith and their experience with journalism and politics. $2500 was raised in the Scholarship Auction.  Quincy TV station KHQA hosted the opening reception.

The Spring 2017 Convention featured NPR's Sarah McCammon, telling tales from the presidential campaign trail.  She was the keynote speaker during the weekend of April 21-23 at Eastland Suites in Urbana. Scholarships were awarded to four students:  Collin Dorsey of SIU, Carleigh Gray of ISU and Emily Manley and Redrick Terry of WIU.  Associated Press and SINBA Awards were presented for outstanding work.  Sessions covered Fake News, the Politics of Protests, Social Media Faux Pas and Sports as News.  

The Fall 2016 Convention marked a departure from the traditional weekend-long format, and a partnership with the Illinois Broadcasters' Association. 
The Convention opened Friday night, October 14, with Anna Werner, national correspondent for CBS News, and former INBA Board Member.  She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and worked as a reporter at WEEK-TV in Peoria early in her career. Also that night, more than $1500 was raised at the Scholarship Auction.
Sessions on Saturday, October 15 included Covering Police-involved Shootings, Using Facebook Live, Making an Internship Valuable and Covering Politics in the Current Climate.  The Illinoisan of  the Year Award was given posthumously to Judge Abner Mikva.

Spring 2016: Springfield

More than 100 attendees gathered in April for sessions using the expertise of state officials and some lawmakers.  Students toured WICS-TV and a panel of News Directors gave advice on getting and keeping jobs. The keynote speaker was veteran journalist Ray Suarez.

Fall 2015: Rock Island

The continuation of INBA's 60th Anniversary year took place in the Quad Cities, where a song was composed for the organization, and Illinoisan of the Year was awarded to retiring Illinois Auditor General Bill Holland.

Spring 2015: Normal

INBA celebrated 60 years of Ethics, Education and Excellence in Journalism.  117 attendees, 19 panelists and 1 keynote speaker participated.

Fall 2014: Marion

The sports-themed convention was held October 3-5, 2014, at The Diamond Club at Rent One Park in Marion, where the Southern Illinois Miners play. 

Spring 2014:  Peoria

Peoria hosted INBA April 11-13 at the Mark Twain Hotel, as well as several other locations, including the Peoria Riverfront Museum and the Packard Plaza.  Highlights included a Business Reporting Session at the Caterpillar Visitors Center and a  Barge Trip on the Illinois River. The Keynote Address was given by Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, and the Associated Press and SINBA Awards were presented.

Fall 2013:  DeKalb

This convention was held at Northern Illinois University's Holmes Student Center September 20 through 22, 2013.

If you missed this convention, listen to the audio of our keynote speaker address and sessions by clicking here.