Perspectives: Publications Members Attend National Convention in L.A.

April 15, 2022

Members of the yearbook, newsroom and sports media staffs attended the Spring JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention, held in L.A. from Apr. 7 – 10. At the convention, attendees learned at over 100 sessions covering topics from design to photography to improving coverage. Two of this year’s attendees shared their experiences. 

Barnaby Atwood: Learned a Lot in LA

How did you feel before you went to L.A.?

“I wasn’t really sure because I’ve been to a convention before, but I hadn’t been to California since I was like 10, and I just didn’t really know what to expect.”

 

How did you feel after the flight when you got to L.A.?

“It reminded me a lot of Mexico because it was very humid. There were a lot of plants and greenery everywhere, and a lot of homeless people. In general, it reminded me a lot of going to Mexico as a kid.”

 

During the convention, what session was the most interesting to you?

“I don’t think there’s just one, but we went to a lot of photography sessions. I never really thought of sports journalism. I’ve taken pictures for sports, but I never really thought of it as being interesting, but seeing the people talking about it, it was interesting to see it from a different angle and how to get better shots and just to be very close in, and to not be afraid to get water on your camera. I never really thought about taking sports from a different angle like how you would with covering other things.”

 

What was the most fun part about being in L.A.? 

“I would say when we walked to Target. It was just a walk down the street, but we got to see a lot of things — like I’ve never seen so many people in one place, and it was very active, even though it was kinda late. I think it was about 10:00 [when we were there]. It was also interesting walking through the city seeing all the architecture and buildings.

 

What was the most fun part of going to the convention?

“The sessions were pretty interesting. Overall it was a good experience.”

 

How was your experience talking to new people?

“We would usually talk to people while we were in the elevator to our hotel room or when we waited for the elevator to go down. It was interesting to talk to people from different states. For example, I also talked to someone from California in a gift shop. A lot of people were very talkative, and I don’t know if that’s just how people are in California, but people would just talk to you while you were just standing there. I don’t think that really happens that much here.”

 

Would you go to L.A. again?

“I think I would go for a convention again, but I would also go back just to see things in L.A. because we were just confined to places around the hotel.”

 

Would you go to another out-of-state convention?

“Yeah, I would. It seems interesting enough, and if you’re still a student they’ll have something to help the cost since it is pretty expensive.”

Laryssa Diaz: Focused on Sports Journalism

How did you feel before you went to L.A.?

“Well before I went I was kinda nervous because I’ve only been on a plane once, but other than that I was excited to go for the experience and journalism and also for me to learn new things for something I do want to do in my future career.”

 

How did you feel after the flight when you got to L.A.?

“I was excited, seeing a bunch of other schools and seeing what they do. It definitely sparked some new ideas in my head for our publications and pictures and all the other stuff that we can do.”

 

During the convention, what session was the most interesting to you?

“I don’t remember what it was called, but it was one of the sports sessions about where you can and can’t take photos. It gave me some new ideas—like not being in the same spot—and kinda breaking out of my shell and being able to like move around the field, the court, wherever, to get better shots.”

 

What was the most fun part about being in L.A.? 

“Walking around L.A. We didn’t really walk far, just down the street to Target and also to Starbucks. Stuff like that was pretty fun, just being downtown.”

 

What was the most fun part of going to the convention?

“I’d say meeting new people. It was fun getting to know and learn about other people like writers, publishers, just everyone. It was very fun bonding with people over something you have in common and also your differences with other people.”

 

 How was your experience talking to new people?

“We were walking back to our hotel from Target, and there was a group of guys, and they were pretty cool. We just started talking about where we were from—they were from San Francisco—and we also talked about what we did in our newsrooms.” 

 

 Would you go to L.A. again?

“I would definitely go again because I want to learn new things and let others know that you can do this, too.”

 

Would you go to another out-of-state convention?

“Yeah I would, I want to pick up new ideas from everyone. It could be some random place like Missouri and everything could be displayed in a completely different way than it was in L.A.”

 

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