HW journalism students go to Chicago, win Pacemaker

Harvard-Westlake (HW) Spectrum staffers traveled to Chicago, Ill. for the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association/National Scholastic Press Association (JEA/NSPA) Fall National High School Journalism Convention, which took place from Nov. 1 to Nov. 4.

This bi-annual convention occurs during Spring and Fall and is known as the largest gathering of high school aged student journalists in the country. An average of 4,000 student journalists from all over the country are in attendance to learn about what their newspaper, magazine and yearbook publications can do to improve.

This year, Spectrum magazine won three different awards. Last year’s publication initially won a Pacemaker finalist award and eventually went on to win the Pacemaker award itself. The first issue of Spectrum won second place in Best of Show, an honor only bestowed to the best publications.

“The highlight of the trip for me was the awards show. I was so proud to be a part of this magazine. To see how well [Spectrum] did was great,” Katharine Steers ’22 said.

The theme of this year’s convention was ‘City of Big Stories.’ Participating students had the opportunity to learn many things at the convention. Students had a wide variety of classes they could choose to attend.

“The Chicago trip was so educational. I learned so much about journalism. I learned a lot of useful tips and I am excited to use them in the Spectrum,” Steers ‘22 said.

One example of classes that students attended were ‘The press at war.’ This 50 minute class was taught by Jackie Spinner, a foreign correspondent that reported in Baghdad.

“It was a really fun trip. I got closer with many of my fellow student-journalists and enjoyed listening to very inspiring and knowledgable speakers,” said Will Sheehy ‘22.

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