1:00 a.m. I’m still up, hunched over a piece of paper with a blue-and-orange booklet at my side. The paper is covered in random words and scratch-outs, and the writing on it changes abruptly from pencil to blue pen about halfway through. The scene would be familiar, almost exactly the same as every other night I’ve stayed up into the wee hours doing homework, except for a few small details.
2009 Fall JEA/NSPA
The morning after. It’s the repercussion that every high school journalist regrets from a hard night’s celebration of the convention’s last night. Saturday boasts the tensest moment of the convention – the awards ceremony that provides Story of the Year and Best of Show awards to staffs, a celebration for some and a devastation to others – and the night that offers a reflection on all the sleep lost last week.
People watching is just the best. Especially when it’s more than 6,000 people brought together from so many different places, all for one purpose: journalism.
And let’s face it, journalists are the weirdos of the working world. All of their work must be at the same time unique, well-researched, and conforming to certain standards of that intimidating monster: Associated Press Style.
On Friday, we finally got to the whole point of the convention: the booths. Oh yeah, and we went to some sessions too.
Sessions are kind of halfway between a mini-college experience and low-stakes gambling. You never quite know what you’ll get when you walk in the door, no matter what the description in the JEA/NSPA booklet says.
After the week of rain at the convention, I came home today to what, you ask? More rain, of course.
Looking back, I learned a lot this week. I wish that I still had years left on the yearbook staff, but sadly I have only one more semester.
The last session I attended at convention left me hopeful for the future of yearbook.
Four officials with national scholastic journalism organizations — Linda Putney of JEA, Logan Aimone of NSPA, Edmund Sullivan of CSPA and Vanessa Shelton of Quill and Scroll — agreed that because of its functions as a history book and a reference book, the yearbook should remain viable well into the future. Of course, the big job at hand is to figure out how to help schools increase sales. By the way, Walsworth has ideas for that all over our website!
The JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention was Nov. 12-15 in Washington D.C., and Walsworth was there.
If you were at the convention, we want you to join in! Come upload your own images from D.C. right here.
Realizing that the last day of a wonderful trip is here is hard to acknowledge. Waking up this morning and realizing that I only have one more day with new and old friends was hard to wrap my mind around.
The convention officially concluded with the last session and an awards ceremony this afternoon, but I left Lincoln 5’s conference room with a huge grin.
Most of the Harbinger staff was attending a session on adding musical elements and research into online publications and multi-media, and I tagged along. The local National Public Radio station’s Laura Soto-Barra, a senior librarian in charge of fact-checking and researching stories, and Robert Goldstein, a music librarian whose job was to perfectly match music to the latest story, led the class.
Everyone goes out on the weekends (don’t act like you don’t). D.C. is no different. The only difference is some of the people you’re with and what you guys end up doing.
Each year the convention hotel holds its famous dance. The dances are on Friday and Saturday and are pretty fun….if that’s what you’re into.