Last weekend, eager high school journalists filled the busy conference rooms for seminars about many aspects of journalism. These sessions gave me and other young journalists a chance to learn about specific areas of interest, including digital media.
Many sessions at JEA this year pertained to convergence within print and online journalism. I attended a session called “Moving Your Publication Online,” which centered on moving traditional print content into an online presence. The session was packed with students and advisers eager to start a digital media experience in their school. Another session called “Web Site Design Using iWeb” demonstrated how to use iWeb to design a simple website to attract readers. This seminar gave me a chance to explore iWeb and its capabilities to mix print and media seamlessly.
The friendly, educational atmosphere at the JEA/NSPA convention in D.C. carried on in an online presence as well. This year’s convention included widespread use of social networking sites. I used Twitter for commenting on my group’s activities, Facebooked the best local restaurants, and saw numerous iPhones and Blackberries being used everywhere. Using social networking became my pastime while in the exciting environment. Meeting new people on these sites was common for me during the four-day conference.
Attending the fall national convention two years in a row gave me a perspective of the direction of high school journalism. Merging video with print and making it accessible in a central location on the web is the future. It’s great to see that JEA/NSPA is teaching skills for the future to students like me.
Learning these convergence skills help us not only as high school journalists, but they will help us all on our career paths for years to come.
Jake Hamilton is a Junior at O’Fallon Township High School in Illinois. He can be found on Twitter @jaker011