For many, waking up at 4 a.m. to go to the airport is a drag. However, for a few newspaper and yearbook staffers, waking up at 4 a.m. to head to the airport was something they’d been looking forward to for nearly three months. That is mostly because of their destination: Washington D.C.
The week before Thanksgiving, 11 senior newspaper and yearbook staffers attended the National High School Journalism Convention in Washington D.C. The convention took place Nov. 21-24 in the Washington Marriott Wardman Park. This convention center was the perfect place to host thousands of diverse students from all across the nation and even a few from Canada, England and China.
During the four-day convention, these 11 journalism seniors had the chance to get to know and share ideas with more than 6,000 high school journalists and various speakers and presenters. The keynote speaker was journalist and moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press” Chuck Todd. This year’s theme was “Now More Than Ever, Journalism Matters.” This theme was chosen because in today’s current climate, the press has an important role to play. Delivering factual, passion-filled stories is the goal of all journalists. The convention planners chose this theme in order to highlight this.
Most of their time at the convention was spent attending sessions to improve their journalistic skills. These sessions covered a variety of topics and were taught by industry professionals. Some of the girls’ favorite sessions were “Sex, drugs and controversy,” “Design so good it will make your eyes bleed” and “360 degrees of editing.”
Each session took a different, in depth look at a specific aspect of journalism. “I loved meeting people from different states, it was a great opportunity to learn more skills that I can use for yearbook,” senior Chloe Degan said.
When they weren’t attending sessions or collaborating with other students, these yearbook and newspaper girls were preparing for and competing in the National Student Media Contests and critiques for previously submitted photos and designs. Each student who attended the convention was entered in a contest. Five of the Marian attendees earned Honorable Mentions and two earned an Excellent in their contests.