From LA to the windy city, advanced journalism students gain skills at NHSJC

Parampreet Aulakh

Thirteen students from The Pearl Post and Pearl Net News (PNN) attended the national high school journalism convention in Chicago from Nov. 1-4.

On the first day of the convention, students were able to attend a wide variety of interactive workshops that were tailored toward leadership skills, writing abilities, photojournalism, page designs and understanding sports media from recognizable journalists.

“I learned that sports writing isn’t just about stats and score, it’s about people,” Staff Writer Casey Wanatick said. “In my news writing workshop on Friday, I learned how to find and gather good news stories.”

At night, the opening ceremony took place with keynote speaker and photojournalist, Pete Souza, the head photographer for the Obama administration. He gave his perspective and insight on many defining moments in Obama’s presidency. He talked extensively about how he had the confidence and support from the president to be taking pictures during most situations.

On Friday, students attended a multitude of break-out sessions where they could go in and learn about a specific aspect of journalism from an experienced speaker. Later that day, students competed in write-offs for a number of varied categories. At night, students were treated to watching “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” as part of movie night at the convention.

“I think I could now write a better lead and understand how there are different types of leads that you can use,” Staff Writer Harlow Frank said. “ I also learned how to write politically in today’s political climate.”

On Saturday, more break-out sessions were held that were able to teach students new activities or strategies that they could implement into their publication. In the afternoon, the National Scholastic Press Association awards ceremony took place with many schools across the country walking away with awards.

Finally, on Sunday the awards ceremony for the write-offs took place and although no one from The Pearl Post was able to receive an award, Margo Hernandez of PNN received superior in Literary Magazine: Poetry.

“I was able to learn new sports writing techniques and how to improve on my editing skills,” Sports Editor Alondra Nuno said. “I also learned some new photography skills which was pretty cool.”