National High School Journalism Convention



The official poster for the National High School Journalism Convention

Karina Castillo, Writer

The Journalism Education Association (JEA) and the National Schools Press Conference (NSPA) are in charge of The National High School Journalism Convention. Held twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, the convention lasts around three to four days, on those days there are around 300 sessions.  

I do yearbook in my school and next year I’m hoping to be an editor, so I wanted to get all the information I can. I was on the staff this year, and I really enjoyed it, and a lot of my staff is here from yearbook and newspaper, so just for the experience,” Shawnee Mission East student Ashley Freund said.  

The purpose of the convention is to provide hope and inspiration for aspiring journalists. They give tips, advice and provide opportunities for journalism students across the country. Each speaker at every session has experience on the topic they are teaching about. 

Students paying attention to the photo storytelling session.

“I took a lot of writing classes, and I took a lot of themes copy classes. So I think just really getting all the little nitty gritty details like, how to write a good theme copy, like, where to put the quotes, where it how to, like, align the spread, like all little things that kind of just are going to help me next year and be able to help other people who are writing too, honestly I think that’s the biggest takeaway I’ve gotten so far,” Freund said. 

The 2023 spring convection was on April 20th – (through) April 22nd and it was held in San Francisco, California. While the 2023 fall convection will be on November 2nd – (through) 5th held in Boston, Massachusetts 

I love teaching, I love sharing my stories and hopefully there a lot more students who want to become a photographer, that has given me an incredible career,” Executive Director at the School Photographers of America David Crandall said.  

The sessions available are related to newspapers, yearbooks, broadcasts and magazines. That includes trends in journalism, Design, Editing, Marketing and Audience Engagement, Law and Ethics, Leadership and Team Building, Multimedia Broadcast, Newsgathering, Online, Photojournalism, Staff Management, and Writing.  

A student taking notes on one of the lectures

“My goal out of this are that I hopefully I can either give resources, tools or inspiration to a photographer in the room, that wants to make their career a photographer,” Crandall said. 

Some reasons to attend this type of convention are to learn new things, make connections with other schools, bonding time with your staff, sightseeing new places, and having a fun experience.  

“I’m one of the four chief editors at my print magazine at Archie Williams High School, and when I went to the last convention that was in St. Louis, I just learned a lot. And I was excited to come back, especially since we’re from around here, it was a lot more casual this time. But yeah, I mostly just came to like, you know, learn some more stuff and just build community,” Archie Williams High School student Grace Sykes said. 

During the convention, there were contests held in person and others were through an online submission. The contests have a great variety they go from photography, broadcast, graphic design, literary magazine, design and writing. The rating for the award goes from superior, excellent, and honorable mention, which is given on Sunday.

Students getting ready to leave for their next session

“The main reason was just to learn about media stuff, because that’s the one thing I want to do out of high school. Like find a good school, that I could talk to, which I did find two good ones and that help,” Senior Liam Marks said.” I think (the convention) helped me lift my spirits up, when I thought I couldn’t get into media broadcasting. Like they were basically saying just go for it, like it doesn’t matter how old you are, just go for it.”   

Even though Mark had higher expectations for the convention, he still had many happy memories. His classmate Gwendolyn Yerger won an Honorable Mention for her on-the-spot Literary Magazine Photography contest. 

“Favorite moment in the convention I think was one of the lectures we were talking about, like social media and how to incorporate that and then we just, like kept asking each other questions like, individually, that was one thing that got me to know everybody else better,” Mark said.