Highlights, Watchtower students attend National High School Journalism Convention


Dani Klemes, web editor-in-chief
Photos by:
Gaby Herbst, adviser
Robert Katz, web editor-in-chief
Arman Zadeh, print sports editor

Ten students from both Highlights and Watchtower attended the National High School Journalism Convention in Boston, Mass., Nov. 14-17. The biannual convention, hosted by the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) and the Journalism Education Association (JEA), allowed attendees to go to breakout sessions led by advisers, students and professional journalists from all over the nation.
“This year was very fun, they had some really inspirational female keynote speakers. It was also extra exciting for me because I got to meet Mary Beth Tinker, a woman who made history and impacted the future of student journalism,” journalism adviser Gaby Herbst said.
As well as hosting informational workshops, the convention allowed over 2,000 students to participate in on-the-spot write-off contests. Herbst believes that the experience and exposure she and her students received were invaluable.
“It’s really exciting to be with other competitive publications. I think for us, it’s not so important that we win but that we’re competing and getting our name out there,” Herbst said. “I always learn something new and it’s fun to see adviser friends who are not from California.”
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Students who attended the convention were constantly on the go, spending the majority of their time at the Hynes Convention Center.
“From the minute we arrived to Boston, everything was very fast paced. There was a great balance between the workload and the fun,” Watchtower section editor Charly Azoulay said.
Azoulay, who placed Excellent in the Yearbook: Copy & Captions competition, claimed being among other journalists was both intimidating and rewarding.
“It felt refreshing [to be among other journalists] because at school, there aren’t many students who are interested in this field. I really enjoyed meeting people with the same interests as me,” Azoulay said. “It was a bit intimidating to compete against such talented journalists but [after placing], it felt rewarding, and going on the trip felt even more worth it.”

In addition to participating in activities hosted by the convention, students were able to attend a Celtics versus Trailblazers game, wander the North End and stroll through Cambridge.

“It was an experience I couldn’t get anywhere else,” Highlights sports editor Arman Zadeh said. “We got to explore the city of Boston and we learned plenty of new strategies to make our paper better. We came back more motivated than ever.”