Students virtually attend national journalism convention

Branden Gerson


Six students including myself from Daniel Pearl Magnet High School Student Media (DPMHS) attended the online National High School Journalism Convention (NHSJC) from Nov. 19-21, organized by the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) and the Journalism Education Association ( JEA). 

This was my first time attending a National High School Journal Convention, which made me eager to experience what it was like. However, I have attended copious other conventions both online and in-person prior to the NHSJC, therefore I was intrigued by how it would compare. 

Thursday morning, my first session was called “Discover, develop, deliver: Improve your coverage” where Logan Aimone, the journalism chair at University of Chicago Laboratory High School, discussed how to make national stories more relevant to the community surrounding your high school. I found this session incredibly helpful; I discovered that sometimes even the biggest and most timely national issues need a local angle to become more relevant to the students at our school.

I logged out of the convention feeling like a more credible student journalist.

— Branden Gerson

Thursday night, I attended an online movie showing for a meaningful documentary called “Raise Your Voice.” It followed the journeys of the student journalists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, following the Parkland school shooting on Feb. 14, 2018. They then connected their story to the history of youth free speech during social movements. It was despairing, yet the rise of teens taking action filled me with hope. 

Friday morning, I attended a session called “No games? No problem: Sports reporting during pandemics and other slow times” by Jeff Browne, the executive director of Quill and Scroll Honor Society. At that session, I learned that there is no limit to the amount of sports coverage we can do at our school despite the lack of current sporting events in action at our high school level.

Later that day, I attended a live session from the keynote speaker Wesley Lowery, who is a correspondent for the show “60 Minutes.” In that keynote session, I listened to his inspirational story about his rise in the field of journalism and I learned many ways to further my career and elevate my journalism skills while still in school. 

Overall, the sessions I attended on both Thursday and Friday were all enriching and the variety of topics kept me engaged throughout the convention. I logged out of the convention feeling like a more credible student journalist.

Saturday afternoon, there was the NSPA online award show. There, The Pearl Post received 8th place in Best of Show for small schools websites. Editors Valery Barrea and Valeria Luquin also brought home fourth place for Best Digital Story of the Year with their photo slideshow.

Additionally for the National Student Media Contests, Print Editor-in-Chief Itzel Luna received Excellent in News writing. Social Media editor Delilah Brumer earned Excellent in editorial writing and Digital Media Editor and Valery Barrera acquired an honorable mention in videography. 

“It felt really good to win my first journalism award… I was really proud and it made me excited to compete and possibly win more awards in the future,” said sophomore Delilah Brumer, a first-time attendee convention.