Journalists helping journalists

Justin Law

High School Media Day brings high school journalists to USI for lessons, awards.

 jhjFuture journalism students from local high schools visited USI to hear from professors and local journalists on how to develop and improve their school’s yearbook or newspaper on Friday.


“We’re trying to be supportive of the programs offered by the high schools in the area,” said Gael Cooper, professor of public relations and director of Scripps Howard Center for Media Studies. “We try to give them a little bit more than they may be able to offer.”

The aspiring journalists packed Carter Hall for the 19th annual High School Media Day. They went to three different sessions from 9 to 11:50 a.m. with an awards luncheon at noon.


Some of the topics covered in sessions included “Choosing Content,” “Writing Newspaper Leads” and “Media Ethics.”

“Through this I think it will make everyone’s jobs easier,” said Hillary Chang, editor-in-chief of the Mirror at F.J. Reitz High School.

Chang said she received new ideas on how to make the paper better, and they became more aware of things like story ideas.

Speakers at the sessions ranged from professors at USI to students to staff of the Courier & Press, providing the high school students with an array of presenters with different experiences in the industry.

“I think it is important to hear from working journalists as well as professionals,” said Susan Korb, advisor of the Lancer at Castle High School. “They hear different perspectives. It usually energizes them to go back and find stories and write more interesting stories.”

High School Media Day is put on every year by several sponsors which include the Scripps Howard Center for Media Studies, USI, the College of Liberal Arts, the Courier & Press and Young Readers Services.

High school students who take part in their school’s journalism program have the opportunity to go multiple times throughout their four years in school.

“I’ve definitely gotten a lot more perspectives than I thought I would get,” Melody Hart said.

Hart is the graphics editor for the Mirror. She said she developed some new ideas for layout and finding sources during the presentations.

To end the day, students were presented with lunch, followed by an awards ceremony. Awards such as best overall newspaper, best picture and best feature were awarded.

Winners were chosen by various judges related to the content submitted.

For example, newspaper content was judged by The Shield staff and advisor.

The Mirror won best overall newspaper and the yearbook from Castle High School won best overall yearbook.