Journalism students take ‘Superior’ at national convention

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Jude Binkley staff writer

As participants of the National High School Journalism Convention, four students from the journalism program travelled to Anaheim, California, to listen to speakers, attend breakout sessions and participate in various national competitions. The event had over 3,400 attendees from 440 schools across the US., Canada and China.

The students from Beverly competed in various categories of national write-offs. Juniors Catherine Gagulashvili and Ava Seccuro and freshman Emma Newman competed together to create an online news package. Their topic was the Future Farmers of America and they were given eight hours to research, create and publish their package which included a 1,500 word article, an interactive map with video interviews, a timeline, an infographic and a picture.

Their work was judged and they were awarded a “Superior” rating, an award that was given to just 7 percent of the 1,201 participants in the write-off competitions.

“It was very interesting, because we did work a lot on this project and we did think that we had done well,” Gagulashvili said. “We walked up and we got our medals. Not to be cliche, but [it was] kind of like an emotional roller coaster.”

In addition to this, freshman cub writer Warren Jacobson received an “Excellent” award in the First Year Picture category (pictured above). Jacobson’s work is also being published in the upcoming yearbook.

There were other activities outside of the competition. Students also attended breakout sessions and listened to speakers. Of these was the keynote speaker and award-winning journalist Sonia Nazzario. Students also had the chance to participate in workshops and speak to others from across the country who share a passion in journalism.

“I really enjoy going to these sessions and learning as much as you can, because you just get to experience so many different sides of journalism. It isn’t just all about sitting in front of a desk and working on your deadline,” Gagulashvili said. “You get to experience other people’s stories and their experiences with journalism, too.”

This convention also provided rookies in the journalism program a taste of what they will experience in the advanced programs offered at Beverly. Journalism adviser and member of the convention committee Gaby Doyle has seen these cub writer’s journatic abilities develop throughout their year in Intro to Journalism.

“Warren’s photograph, right when I saw it, was beautiful. We gave it to the yearbook, and they published it,” Doyle said. “I’m very impressed with the multimedia team, the amount of content they put together between 10 .m. and 6 p.m. And not only that, they gathered it, but [that] they curated it and wrote it and had it finalized and ready for the web was very impressive.”

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