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Communications faculty and staff attend national high school journalism conference

Faculty and staff members presented sessions and ran a sponsorship table at an Indianapolis, Indiana, convention that drew nearly 4,000 attendees.

Associate Professor Daniel Haygood (left) speaks with a student during his Nov. 11 instructional session at the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association National High School Journalism Convention.

Five faculty and staff members from the School of Communications participated in the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association National High School Journalism Convention Nov. 10-13 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Approximately 4,000 students and advisers attended the JEA/NSPA convention, billed as the largest gathering of student journalists in the country.

Colin Donohue '05, director of student media and an instructor in the School of Communications, and Tommy Kopetskie, communications manager for the school, ran a sponsorship table Nov. 10-11. They talked to high school students and advisers, highlighting Elon University, the institution’s academic accomplishments, and the on-going communications expansion project.

Tommy Kopetskie (left), communications manager for the School of Communications, interviews with a student film crew, discussing topics relating to college admissions and selecting the right university. Photo courtesy of Colin Donohue

‚ÄčAssociate Professors Naeemah Clark and Daniel Haygood and Assistant Professor Max Negin joined them at the convention, offering hour-long instructional sessions that covered a variety of topics. Below are their descriptions from the program.

Clark highlighted ways to write worthwhile opinion pieces and share one’s perspective.

Say something! Writing effective opinion pieces
One function of media is correlation. Your writing can help readers understand the news from a personal perspective. Session participants will leave knowing how to write op-eds/commentaries that (1) have strong relevance for readers or (2) will show readers perspectives they may not have considered.”

Haygood talked about design principles and branding school media.

7 principles for developing creative advertising
“The ad space is sold. The deadline is looming. Do you have time to do more than place a logo and company address inside a box? Absolutely! We will examine several creative ads and discuss seven design principles to make your advertising attractive and readable.”

Branding your publication or online news site
“How is your newspaper, magazine, yearbook, online news site perceived at your school? Attend this session to learn more about branding your school media.”

Negin highlighted techniques to improve storytelling and what makes a compelling story.

How to be a better storyteller
“This session will explore some ideas about how to improve their storytelling. What makes a compelling story, and where can you go to find good examples to emulate. In addition, what role does playing and learning from mistakes help make you a better storyteller?”

Clark and Negin offered a joint session taking a closer look at interviewing techniques.

Art of the interview
“You have 15 minutes with an important subject, and you want your interview to look and sound great. This session will explore simple techniques you can use to set up an aesthetically pleasing interview. We’ll look at a variety of examples and common mistakes.”

About the National High School Journalism Convention
The convention is an annual gathering of high school journalists and advisers. It features hundreds of practical and professional learning sessions in addition to write-off contests and Pacemaker awards. The educational experiences are geared toward all media types ­– newspaper, online, broadcast, yearbook and magazine ­­– and include topics useful to both students and advisers.

Tommy Kopetskie,
11/14/2016 8:50 AM