Students attend journalism convention in San Diego

Junior Karla Medrano (left) and senior Enrie Amezcua (right) won Superior in Commercial/PSA. They also received an award and a medal. Photo by Jake Dobbs.


After many months of excitement and anticipation, 18 journalism students and two teachers from Daniel Pearl Magnet High School attended a national high school journalism convention in San Diego and brought back many awards. Students from seven other Los Angeles Unified School District high schools also attended the convention.

The four-day, three-night event that started on April 10 was hosted by the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association and was held in the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. The convention attracted nearly 4,000 total students and advisers from all over the nation. Keynote speakers and featured presenters attended as well.

Student-journalists had the chance to attend seminars and workshops taught by experienced and veteran journalists to learn more about the many facets of journalism, which include categories from writing, broadcasting, photojournalism, design and web.

Most convention attendees went to the keynote sessions together and the thousands of journalists watched as Emmy Award winning Features Reporter for CBS 8 Larry Himmel cracked jokes and told great stories.

On top of all this, 13 DPMHS students were among the more than 1,000 students who competed in write-offs, such as news writing, feature writing, cartooning and photography. Out of the 13, six of the students placed in their categories.

Natalie Moore won an Honorable Mention in news writing; Zach Adler won an Honorable Mention in review writing; Chris Bower won an Excellent in editorial writing; Ana Perez won an Excellent in photo portrait; Karla Medrano and Enrie Amezcua won a Superior in Commercial/PSA. Also, The Pearl Post placed 4th in Best of Show for the online website of small school.

Students and advisers were also able to visit the convention trade show exhibits on Thursday and Friday. Students walked around to see the many local and national colleges promoting their journalism programs, as well as talk to representatives. They also saw vendors and companies, like Jostens Yearbooks and Microsoft, advertising their products and having hands-on activities.

Even though students were busy with seminars and preparing for write-offs, there was time for relaxation as well. Delicious food trucks were available for lunchtime on Friday and Saturday. The student dance on Friday evening was a great time to socialize with other journalism students from other parts of the country and to simply unwind after the write-offs. In addition to the dance, five students and an adviser watched the San Diego Padres play the Detroit Tigers at Petco Park on Saturday evening. The group also went out to dinner at places like The Old Spaghetti Factory,  as well as some quaint local restaurants.

On their final night and morning in San Diego, the journalists attended the convention’s awards ceremony where they presented awards to the national winners of the different write-offs, Pacemakers and Best of Show awards.

All of those who attended not only had some fun but learned many things as well that they will apply to the paper in the coming years.