Journalism Conference Inspires Future Professionals

By Kelis Calvin ’19

Students from Ms. Kaczmarek’s and Mr. Levinson’s classes discovered a new side of journalism at the 14th High School Journalism Conference on November 3. High school journalists from all over the city joined together at Baruch College to experience a variety of hour long workshops that would help them in becoming better journalism writers.

The conference began with guest speaker Lauren Duca, writer for Teen Vogue, who took the stand and gave a genuine yet informative speech. She spoke up on topics such as what it’s like being a journalist, her personal experiences with being a woman journalist, especially on social media and what you should do in order to become a successful journalist. Students were then given the opportunity to ask her their own personal questions that she successfully answered.

After Duca’s keynote speech, students then attended their first workshop of choice where they’d learn all about aspects of journalism they may not have learned about in their classes back at school yet. Each class was taught by journalist professionals who come from many different workplaces within the journalism community, including school teachers. Workshop 1 included classes such as How to Break News as a High School Journalist: We did & you can, too! Lighting Ledes, and Interviewing 101.

Elysia Richards-Durham ‘19 said, “I enjoyed How to Break News as a High School Journalist: We did & you can, too the most because it showed how as students we can take action and stand up for what we believe. That we can go above and beyond the 4 walls of a school to find out information to make our story the best that it can be.”
Workshop 2 featured Hound Dog Journalism: Investigate the stories no one else has, So You Want To Be A Film Critic?, and Smart Phone Journalism.

“I enjoyed the smart phone for journalism workshop because it introduced me to a variety of apps that can enhance my ability as a journalist in various aspects, as well as help me in everyday life situations.” Said Mohamed Wzaky ‘19.

Workshop 3 consisted of classes such as Writing About Popular Music, Newswriting 101, and The Devil’s in the Details: Copyediting 101.

Ryan Channer ‘19 said, “I enjoyed the pop music workshop the most because it was not only informative, but empowering, and inspiring. While the other workshops I attended did these as well, this particular one lit a fire in me.”

Once the workshop sessions were over, students gathered back together for lunch where they discussed what they enjoyed about the workshops they attended.
Around 1:30, The Newsies! Award Ceremony began, signaling the near end of the conference. Categories included school news, community news, national/world news, features, entertainment, editorial, sports, and best overall newspaper, etc.

Students were rewarded with either a trophy, medal, or ribbon if they were selected as a winner. Aamna Arshad ‘18, won in the National/World News category for her “Gender-neutral bathrooms” story, Hornets cheered her on as she went up to accept her
award. Students who were given the opportunity to attend this conference made it clear that they’d love to go again.
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“Overall, I really enjoyed this trip because it exposed me to an entirely different perspective of journalism and the different forms of it and if I had the chance to go again, I definitely would.” Said Wzaky ‘19.
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“Trip was great. I would go to another conference because I was learning and having fun at the same time.” Said Reem Hamaida ‘19.

Zehaa Albridi ‘19 said, “The trip was amazing, I’m happy I got to go. Seeing how many students showed up because they were interested in journalism is mind blowing. All these schools coming together learning more about journalism. I would definitely go to another journalism conference not to just leave school for a whole day but because there’s a lot to learn about journalism. It was fun and going with other students in Midwood made the experience even better.”

“The trip was great, I’m so glad I was able to go! I would definitely go to another conference because outside of meeting professionals, networking, and finding more opportunities for work, interning, and volunteering, I also earn a lot and gain wisdom applicable to life generally.” Said Channer ‘19.

The trip itself was without a doubt something unforgettable, students were introduced to new sides of journalism
they’ve never seen before they can now take with them to class and include in their own work.

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