The National High School Journalism Convention surprises San Domenico journalists.


student journalist

The journalism program students at the National High School Journalism Convention

Maja Cykowska, news section editor

At the end of April, members of the San Domenico newspaper, The Panther Press, took part in the NSPA National High School Journalism Convention. This year, the conference took place at Hilton Hotel Union Square in San Francisco.

The Convention is a twice-yearly gathering of high school journalists and advisers from the entire country. It is a perfect opportunity for aspiring journalists as well as their advisors to advance their knowledge by listening to experienced guest speakers, attending hundreds of various instructional sessions and learning new concepts beyond the material presented in class.

“I thought that journalism in high school was such a small thing before, but during the convention, I realized that it’s a very powerful subject,” Bella Riella ’23, a San Domenico journalism student said. “There were so many people and everyone had a purpose; everyone was really motivated.”

The size of the convention definitely stood out to many of the participants. As the nation’s largest high school conference, NSPA convention gathered thousands of talented journalists from different programs and parts of the country and enabled them to share their passion for journalism and widen their knowledge about the topic.

“I wasn’t expecting so many schools to come and fly out to San Francisco,” Isaac Archer ‘23, a San Domenico journalism student said. “These people traveled super far to go to this conference and a lot of them came from the Midwest or the East Coast.”

Many students appreciated the fact that besides participating in the sessions about concepts they use every day writing for their school newspapers, they were able to advance their knowledge in fields not covered by their school journalism programs. Those fields include podcasts, photography and graphic design.

“I definitely learned a lot about new ideas, like podcasts or graphic design,  that usually we don’t really do here at school,” Riella said.

Among hundreds of options and a variety of sessions available for young students, there are some that were highlighted by San Domenico journalists. Review, podcast, creative writing sessions were some of the most appreciated by The Panther Press reporters. They were also impressed by sessions led by professional journalists who shared with them numerous true-life advice and suggestions.

“I appreciated the review session,” Archer said. “It taught me a lot that I didn’t know about writing to your audience and how the review is read by the audience.”

After a great experience this year, our journalism class is planning to participate in the NSPA convention next year. The Panther Press advisor and the journalism class teacher, Rebecca Elegant, said that getting to explore the convention for the first time  was extremely helpful for all of our students; however, now that she knows the format of the conference, she’s planning to encourage her students to be even more active and involved participants.

“Next year, I would like to have students sign up for some of the competitions,” Elegant said. “That way they will actually get to write or create something, and then share it. But this was our first year and we were all exploring.”

Students who like to write, want to keep their community informed and would like to use their voice in an impactful way, should definitely join The Panther Press. It’s a perfect opportunity to find out about the stories of others and bring awareness to important and relevant issues. Next year we’re planning to expand the program and extend the activity of our newsroom. We encourage every interested student to work with us on creating the San Domenico newspaper.