Members of Huntley High School’s Voice and Chieftain staffs attended the National Scholastic Press Association/Journalism Education Association’s annual fall journalism conference in Indianapolis from Thursday, November 10 through Sunday, November 13.
Each day, the students attended four sessions at the conference. Session topics included journalistic writing, photography, social media, videography, website development, yearbook layout/design, and others.
“It is a great place for us to get new ideas to keep improving our publication,” said Courtney Thomas, Editor-in-Chief of The Voice. “I have been to the conferences every year, and I always return to class ready to try something new.”
The trip also allowed students to have some fun; some even joined yearbook adviser Lauren Teeter for a trip to the local art museum. The yearbook and newspaper students also gathered every night with Teeter and Dennis Brown, the Voice’s adviser, to have dinner and discuss what they learned in their sessions earlier that day.
While leaving dinner Saturday night, the students saw a peaceful anti-Trump rally going on on the streets of Indianapolis. Many of the HHS journalists took out their phones and started videotaping the crowd of people who were yelling, “Love Trumps hate.”
Thomas, along with online editor Camille Paddock, centerspread editor Bri Governale, and photographers Evan Pilat began reporting the event. They got interviews, photos, audio recordings, and videos of the rally and, later that night, published an article on huntleyvoice.com, covering the rally; the story written by Governale can be read here and a photo gallery shot by Pilat can be viewed here.
“We cover small events, but I had never had the opportunity to cover something that big,” Paddock said. “It made me realize how much I love being a journalist and why we do what we do in class.”
The students also created a video and a timeline of the event, putting the skills they learned at the conference to use.
“I was very proud of what they accomplished that night,” Brown said. “They saw the news as it happened and they reported it, which is what good journalists do.”