FHN Publications Department Goes to J-Day Conference

By Lauren Pike

Yesterday, 35 students from the FHN publications department made the trip to the University of Missouri for the Missouri State Journalism Convention, otherwise

Students from publications pose in front of the famous Mizzou Quad.
Students from publications pose in front of the famous Mizzou Quad. (photo by ashleigh jenkins)


known as J-Day. The day started with a keynote speaker at 8:00 a.m., and  ended with an awards ceremony which lasted until 3:00 p.m.

“I decided to go to J-Day at Mizzou because I wanted to spend time with my fellow pub kids and learn more about journalism,” senior Fionna Cruz said.

Leading off the conference, keynote speaker Stephanie Padgett began with a talk to students about the importance of journalism in relation to social media. Padgett related her own experience with social media to students and encouraged them to appropriately integrate social media into their publications.

“I thought it was really interesting,” senior Sophie Gordon said. “I didn’t expect her to talk about the importance of social media. It was entertaining, but also eye-opening.”

After the keynote, students then attended break-out sessions around the Mizzou campus to learn more about different aspects of journalism. Sessions including, “What’s it like to be in College,” “10 Journalism Jobs You Never Dreamed of,” and “J-school Students on Programs and Areas of Interest.”

“I really enjoyed ‘J-school Students on Programs and Areas of Interest’ because I felt like a lot of my questions on college were answered and gave me a better idea of what to expect working on a college publication,” Gordon said.

At the end of the convention, an awards ceremony was held in Jesse Hall. During the awards ceremony, awards are broken up into different categories depending on the style of publication as well as individual and overall awards. FHN publications took home over 60 awards including several “Show Me” awards, including for overall yearbook theme, an All-Missouri award for overall newspaper, and other awards for individuals and overall publications. FHNtoday.com received a Superior for overall online news site.

“I really enjoyed the keynote speaker, but nothing beats going up on stage and getting the top newspaper award in the state,” Gordon said.

While the day was successful for the publications department in terms of awards, the staff left the conference with new knowledge that they hope will help them to better their publications and better serve their audience.

“We got to learn lessons from experts from all over the area with a lot of experience in high school publications,”
junior Daniel Bodden said. “It was really helpful and I’m excited to see how we can apply what we learned to our publications.”