Journalism Students Conquer Convention


Deanna Hand

Alexis Rodriguez, Natalie Taylor, Hailey Grizzaffi, Tim Kihneman, and Jessiyah Sanders pose for a photo at the JEA Convention.

On the Thursday before Thanksgiving break, a select number of journalism students attended the JEA National Scholastic Journalism Convention. Journalism students from all across the country gathered in Downtown Dallas at the Hyatt Regency for the convention’s sessions specialized for them.

Each attendee got to pick their own schedule. They received a booklet with all of the options, but the final decision was up to them.

“The convention was amazing,” junior Jalen Garrett said. “[It] inspired me to be a journalist because now I can feel more confident on getting opportunities for journalism jobs.”

The convention also included a college fair for students to walk through and talk to prospective colleges about their journalism and communication programs.

“I gained a lot of knowledge from the college fair,” junior Jessiyah Sanders said. “A woman from The University of North Texas gave me her business card to contact her if I had any questions about their sports journalism classes.”

On Thursday night, the students got to listen to the keynote speaker, Erin Trieb, tell the journey of her journalism career. She is a photojournalist that covers war zones and areas of conflict, primarily the Middle East.

“The keynote speaker was very inspirational,” senior Hailey Grizzaffi said. “Her use of photojournalism to tell the stories of people from all over the world was beautiful and extremely motivational. It was definitely a great way to kick off the convention.”

Many of the student attendees agreed that the convention was very informative and fun as a whole. They could go to specialized sessions based around their own interests, and take their new ideas back to the classroom at school.

“We got to have our independence while learning about different ways to improve our journalistic talents,” Grizzaffi said. “I really appreciate the opportunity and all of the knowledge I gained.”