Lincoln Pius X Catholic High School

Journalists learn from professionals: Three students attend JEA national journalism convention in D.C.

Meredith Gamet, Rachel Napier, and I went on the journey of a lifetime to visit Washington D.C. The three of us were attending the National High School Journalism Convention in Washington D.C. the weekend prior to Thanksgiving.

We arrived at Eppley Airport by four o’clock in the morning with teachers Nolan DeWispelare and Jake Moore. From there we waited to board our plane.

Arriving in D.C., we visited the Newseum which is set to close at the end of the year. We visited exhibits of the Pulitzer Prizes and a 9/11 exhibit showing each front page from the day of the terrorist attack.

The exhibit I enjoyed the most was a film about the LGBTQ+ movement and the discrimination people have faced, and how journalism can change the course of the movement by sharing people’s stories. Gamet and Napier enjoyed the exhibit featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning photography.

Going from the Newseum, we attended the Keynote speech that kicked off JEA. We met with other students before heading back to the hotel.

So, we got a good amount of sleep so we could be prepared for the next day

However, being on time has never been our forte. So, the alarm set at seven passed by and after twenty minutes, we stumbled out of bed and got ready to leave.

We gathered in the convention room and began exploring, looking at possible colleges and seeing opportunities that journalists could pursue.

The day then was spent at sessions learning about Pulitzer Prize winning photographers and how to write about political journalism. After, we met with Moore, and headed out to sightsee.

Gamet was dying to see the National Geographic Museum, so we trekked through D.C to find the museum that features exhibits on Jane Goodall as well as an exhibit called “Women” which showcased the strength of women around the world. I found this exhibit fascinating since it featured so many amazing photographs all done by women. The empowerment of the exhibit gave me a boost of self worth.

Unfortunately, we spent all our time awing over the museum and missed the hours to visit the Library of Congress, which meant my “National Treasure” dreams were shattered.

We continued the next day with going to more sessions, which covered topics such as gaining press freedom in private schools, learning about how to advance the layouts of the newspaper, and how to be a better editor.

After our sessions wrapped up, the rest of our Saturday and Sunday were left for being tacky tourists. Gamet, Napier, and I each picked a site we wanted to visit. Gamet decided on the United States Botanical Garden which features a variety of plants from all over the world. Napier requested we visit the National Gallery of Art. In the end, that was overall one of our favorite museums from the trip. Lastly, we went to the National Museum of American History since I love “Night at the Museum”.

Unfortunately, none of the exhibits came to life.

For the last few hours we had left before going to the airport, we had Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Contraception.

While our trip was short, it was sweet. We were able to learn from amazing journalists across the nation and be able to see the historical sights of Washington D.C.

From the 'X-change' Student Newspaper

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By: Maddie Ames

Features Editor