By Jonathan Chong ’19 and Jack Safir ’19
A group of 13 members of the Spectrum staff, 32 members of the Chronicle staff and one member of the VOX staff attended the JEA/NSPA journalism convention in Orlando, Fla. The trip was the school’s first ever joint middle and upper school journalism trip. 46 students in total, all from grades eight to 12, came together to participate in the trip. The trip was run by Spectrum Adviser Steve Chae and Chronicle Adviser Melissa Wantz, along with Introduction to Publications teacher Michael Chavez and the Head of External Relations Ed Hu. The students arrived at Orlando early on the morning of Nov. 12 and returned to Los Angeles four days later on Nov. 15. During the trip, the students took many journalism classes, listened to a keynote speaker and visited amusement parks.
The classes at the convention took place earlier in the day, usually starting at 9 a.m. and ending at around 2 p.m. The courses offered at the convention ranged from interviewing to website creation to podcasting, and were taught by speakers who came from all over the country.
“The classes that I took taught me a lot about how I can become a better journalist. The speakers were incredible, and I really feel like the Spectrum staff was able to bond as a group. I’m really looking forward to applying what we learnt in Orlando to our upcoming issues,” Spectrum Managing Editor Kendall Dees ’19 said.
On the first day of the trip, students attended a seminar where they had the opportunity to listen to Andy Staples, an award winning sports journalist from Sports Illustrated. Staples gave the students an inside look into the world of journalism. He told the story of how he became a sports writer for Sports Illustrated and gave tips for the young journalists to use to improve their writing.
With the time that the students had in between their classes, they were able to visit the Walt Disney World and Universal Studios amusement parks.
“I really liked how we got the opportunity to go to Universal Studios and Disney World after finishing classes at the convention. I thought it was really fun how after we worked hard throughout the day and went to so many amazing classes, we could kick back, relax and enjoy ourselves at Disneyland and Universal. I had a great time learning, and then had a great time on the rides,” Spectrum Managing Editor Claudia Moysset ’19 said.
In the end, the students came back from the convention with improved skills, a drive to serve their school publication in the best way that they could and even win a few awards. Many students used the trip as an opportunity to become familiar with staff members on the Chronicle.
“I thought the trip allowed me to get to know a lot of the upperclassmen who are on the Chronicle, which will allow of many of us to have a smoother transition into their staff next year. I also had lots of fun hanging out at the amusement parks because they were a nice break from the informational seminars.” Spectrum Photo Editor Kaelyn Bowers ’19 said.