Building a National High School Concert Journalism and Photography Network

During the last three years I have worked with student high school concert journalists. Several amazing students have contributed articles, photos, and blog posts. At two national conventions, students have co-presented to enthusiastic  audiences. It seems that high school students enjoy music.

screaming concert fans
These screaming Mayday Parade fans at the 2012 Vans Warped Tour could provide insight for increasing online student journalism participation.

Eventually, we want to connect our national network into a magazine or some other format so that our national strength is represented.  Concert publicists must publicize their event or artist.  A student who represents a single student publication is not as impressive a student who represents thousands of schools and millions of potential viewers. JEA already connects thousands of schools, but we do not have traditional circulation numbers.

Students seem to understand social networks better than educators. JEA appears small. JEA does not seem social. We are not perceived as a network. Outsiders cannot see our listserv. We do not have live web links for our national conventions.  How do we create an online presence when our work exists in real life?

Must our membership scream louder?

For those of you interested in music journalism, what do you want to learn?  Why do you want to be closer to the music?

I have included a link to a recent Vans Warped Tour show.  Even after the show, there is a great deal to see.

Bryan Farley

photographer, father, educator advocate for the visual arts

Bryan Farley has 5 posts and counting. See all posts by Bryan Farley

6 thoughts on “Building a National High School Concert Journalism and Photography Network

  • July 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    As a high school student interested in music journalism, I want to get closer to the music because I want to experience the full power of live musical expression and be able to share it with peers who similarly love and appreciate music, lyrics, melody, and talent. I think that JEA is a great organization that introduces students like me to the field and presents us with an opportunity of experience. An effective way to expand the network, in my opinion, would be to reach out to more high school publication programs, offering contests and opportunities for students to participate in journalism, so that eventually the network can become a prominent source for high schools around the nation. It could become the organization that offers the contest which all of the nation-wide high school publications strive to win. This can be achieved with more interaction with students (such as internships) and teachers from different districts.

  • July 18, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Great response.
    I can’t wait to see some of your photos from Europe. Have you been to any of our national conventions? WE have contests, but it might be a good idea to have a section just for music or concerts.

  • July 18, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    I think a national magazine made up of students for entertainment/journalism is a wonderful idea. Not only would it increase the JEA presence, but it would also allow students to write about subjects that are important to them.

  • July 19, 2012 at 12:19 am


    I would love to see an entertainment magazine that reflected JEA’s size and voice. The entertainment industry markets to teens, but the industry is run by adults my age. You can’t trust me! 🙂

    JEA is really more for educators, so maybe NSPA could sponsor the magazine that has more students. At our national conventions, NSPA and JEA work so closely, I don’t really see the difference. Both organizations also sponsor national contests already.

    Are there any decent high school magazines now?

  • July 23, 2012 at 3:13 am

    Scholastic Journalism is important and entertainment journalism is one more realm that students have the chance to experience while participating in this course or extracurricular activity.

    The possibility of interviewing a musical artist while I was a reporter for my high school and college newspaper was the reason I kept working so hard.

    It did finally pay off.

    I was able to interview Frou/Frou (Imogen Heap), Taking Back Sunday, My Chemical Romance, Luckyboy’s Confusion, Student Rick, Plain White T’s . . . the list goes on. Each interview was thrilling and only made me want to try harder to secure the next great interview.

    The problem today is access. How can a major record label, or even an indie label, take a high school publication seriously and identify them as a credible outlet for their artist?

  • July 23, 2012 at 8:38 am


    Thanks for commenting. One thing we can do is post comments and have these types of conversations in a public space so that publicists see that JEA is a large national organization. When hundreds of teachers attend summer seminars, the teachers can link to our sites. Instead of commenting on random pages, we can support each other.

    Our students can do the same for each other. One high school can partner with another. At national conventions, we meet each other, but we have yet to create a strong network.

    Changing habits and priorities will be difficult, but we could do it. Maybe we just need to tell students that they can shoot concerts during the summer and more people will start.

    How did you get started?

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