Student journalists attend MIPA’s Journalism Day


Photo courtesy of Ryan Leatherman

WHS journalism students pose for a photo after the awards ceremony at Missouri Interscholastic Press Association’s 50th Annual Journalism Day on March 25 at the University of Missouri - Columbia. “I think [winning awards] just shows how hardworking we all are and that we’re actually in class doing stuff every day,” junior and Blue Jay Journal staff member Megan Duncan said. “...It’s just really rewarding, and it’s so nice when we can win, and everybody’s just happy about it.” The yearbook, newspaper and broadcast programs won a total of 35 awards.

Twenty-five journalism students from the yearbook, newspaper and broadcast programs attended and competed at the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association’s 50th Annual Journalism Day on March 25 at the University of Missouri – Columbia. Students spent the day attending sessions about various aspects of journalism with peers from all over Missouri.

“It was really great just to bond more with students outside of my own publication,” senior and yearbook editor-in-chief Jolie Newman said, “…and to be surrounded with hundreds of journalism students who are just like me.”

As the students attended sessions with their fellow journalists, they gathered new information and ideas from speakers to bring back to their own publications.

“I am very narrow-minded when I try to do my TV stuff,” junior and Blue Jay Journal staff member Megan Duncan said, “and I think [attending J-Day] helps me broaden what I think about journalism and what things I could put into it to affect people.”

The event also included contests that critiqued the students’ submitted work, which ranged from broadcast commercials to yearbook layouts. Judges then gave out awards for the students’ work, 35 of which went to WHS journalism programs. Six of these achievements were All-Missouri, the highest possible award, including one for Newman’s yearbook theme and overall concept.

“I believe I spent over 300 hours on eDesign (yearbook editing software),” Newman said, “so to win an All-Missouri for my theme and overall concept…was extremely gratifying.”

The publications’ awards positively impacted other student journalists as well, including Duncan, who contributed to several of the Blue Jay Journal’s 15 awards.

“[Our awards have] made everybody in class a little bit happier and see that there actually is a reason for us to do all of these things,” Duncan said. “It’s actually affected people, and it’s actually good work, too.”

Along with optimistic classroom attitudes and a renewed sense of purpose, MIPA’s awards also gave students the opportunity to reflect on their past work and accomplishments.

“I don’t take enough time to actually reflect on the work that we do and acknowledge how far we’ve come,” Newman said, “so it was really, really great to get that recognition from MIPA.”