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The Current

Digital media students show off at convention

Every Bruin that competed grouped up for a photo. Photo by Zack DeCicco.

The weekend before spring break was exciting for select yearbook, journalism, and literary magazine students because they attended the National High School Journalism Convention. The entire trip was chock full of informative learning experiences and tense competitions that led to valuable lessons and a genuinely great time. 

Yearbook, journalism and lit mag advisor Mike DeCicco made this trip happen for the eager students. This year, the convention took place in downtown Los Angeles. 

“It’s kind of a fun reward for the top students to be able to take them on a really fun team-building experience where they will be able to learn and mingle with people of their own abilities and interests. I think it was the most worthwhile thing I have done all year,” said DeCicco. 

Senior Madalyn Werntz agreed. She took in the trip to the greatest extent. 

“My overall experience at the convention was very fun,” Werntz said. “I had a great time talking to a whole bunch of different people and learning new things in the amazing clinics that were provided. I would hope to go again, if I wasn’t a senior.”

The convention pulled in people from 48 states. The students in attendance had common interests and enjoyed learning from each other. Senior Sara Tate attended with an open mind. 

“It was great to get to know everyone on a more personal level and to get to know people from all around the country,” said Tate. “I got to see what everyone else was working on, and I got to learn how we can make our publications better.”

Junior Madeline Mattson agreed. 

“I think it was really fun and it was definitely refreshing to hear people’s different perspectives on how they design and such outside of our district,” said Mattson.

During the convention, students competed in various competitions. Almost all of our Bruins competed. Our Bruins exemplified excellent performance in each contest, and some even placed. 

Junior Maya Bussinger received an honorary mention for her work in sportswriting. 

“It made me feel pretty proud to achieve honorary mention, considering there were about 40 other competitors in the room,” she said. “It was cool to represent my school in a positive way.” 

Mattson achieved second place in the Lit Mag illustration category. 

“I was happy,” she said. “It was nice to win something for the school.”

The trip was a wild weekend of fun for the students. However it was also incredibly educational. The students in attendance went to sessions on how to improve their general journalism abilities. 

“I was expecting it to be chaos, but it was this wonderful kind of chaos because there were so many wonderful kids there and everyone was doing what they were supposed to be doing with fun and enthusiasm,” said DeCicco. 

“I feel like my favorite session was typography,” said Tate. “They taught us how different handwriting can help bring some of your different projects to life.” 

Design was a common theme among student’s interests. 

“I really liked the color sessions on the last day and how they talked about how colors trend and when to use them,” Mattson said. “That was really helpful because I am going to be doing yearbook next year.” 

The takeaways from the event as a whole will undoubtedly benefit the success of the school publications. 

“I learned a lot about program building and how to foster a sense of community,” DeCicco said. “Being a student-run class it is really important that you have a strong sense of team, community and family so that the kids are all working together and pitching in for a common goal. I learned a lot about how to develop that and how important it really is to the end product.”

Given the history of COVID-19 these media students were thankful to gain this experience. The seniors were grateful to have one last opportunity and the underclassmen are excited for the years to come. 

“I was glad to be there with everybody, it was an all-round great experience,” said Tate. 

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Digital media students show off at convention