Student journalists learn, compete in Orlando


Adriana Chavira

Student journalists relive their childhood at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

Marcelina Vergara

At the happiest place on earth, media magic enchanted student journalists as they learned more about their craft at a four-day national journalism convention.

A group of 11 student journalists accompanied by advisers Adriana Chavira and Mark Middlebrook flew to Orlando, FL. on Nov. 11 for the Journalism Education Association and National Scholastic Press Association Fall National High School Journalism Convention held at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort.

On Nov. 12, the event kicked off with an opening ceremony followed by a keynote address by Sports Illustrated reporter Andy Staples who discussed his experiences as a newspaper than online reporter and encouraged young journalists to follow their dreams.

“Reporting is the most important skill you can have… Learn how to do it while you’re young,” Staples said.

The next day, the schedule was jam-packed with hourly workshops varying from writing tips to lectures to photography tricks and finally, the write-offs.

National Public Radio’s TV critic Eric Deggans delivered a keynote speech on

Nov. 13, where he addressed race stereotypes and its influence in news reporting. The day ended with a dance where students were able to let loose after a hard day of work.

“Deggans’ speech was very informative on the issues about race… especially the people of color and it was educational for people who were unaware of the issue,” senior Jacqueline Tatulyan said.

On Saturday, student journalists once again spent half of the day with hourly workshops where they learned ways to improve their skills, ranging from writing, broadcasting and even the unspoken rules of journalism.

“I learned how to enhance my journalism skills and especially to add diversity in our stories,” senior Anne Lima said.

After the convention, the group headed to the “happiest place on earth,” Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, where they celebrated their hard work and spent time reliving their childhood.

The following day, they attended the awards ceremony where Opinion Editor Aileen Kangavary and New Media Editor Yousef Fatehpour won honorable mentions for their categories in editorial and review writing, respectively.

“The write offs were very difficult and I was surprised I won… I’m proud of what we had accomplished in Orlando,” Kangavary said.