Newsteam, yearbook staff attend J-Day


By Roby Tan

Photo Notes/Jotting down notes, sophomore Brooklyn Bassett and freshman Oliver Van Aken list down tips for taking better photos in a photography class. They spend the day at Spring Valley High School learning about how to improve as student journalists. Photo by Roby Tan

Newsteam and yearbook staff members took part in a journalism convention at Spring Valley High School on Saturday, March 30. Seniors Amanda-Joy Lee and Ainsley Davis, juniors Brooklyn Bassett and Roby Tan and freshmen Madison Kitch and Oliver Van Aken attended the convention.

“I carried the team because I’m the only student from yearbook who showed up,” Bassett said. “I took two photography classes, and I feel more inspired to take better photos for the yearbook.”

The program exposed students to different parts of the journalism field with sessions such as photography, reporting, revision, and more. It ran from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and consisted of three sessions with four to five classes each in which a student could choose a class that fits their interests the best.

“When I took the ‘Five Steps of Revision’ class, it helped me spot errors in my writing,” Van Aken said. “I liked the teacher’s method of revision because I thought it made sense, and I figured I could apply the steps with my pieces from now on.”

Being a journalist requires extra time and effort to improve the quality of writing, photography and editing. Attending conferences like this provides the opportunity to learn from different teachers  so journalists can enhance their craft and have their questions clarified.

“I really enjoyed the class where they listed down ways journalism prepares you for careers because I talked to a lot of professors and asked them questions about where journalism would take me,” Lee said. “They were really helpful, and I learned more about my writing and revising skills.”

Yearbook and newsteam students and chaperones pose on the Columbia University campus on March 20 before heading to Rockefeller Center. Photo courtesy of N. Thompson

News and yearbook students also traveled to New York City to attend the Columbia Scholastic Press High School Journalism Convention from March 19 through March 23. Students made their way to the Columbia University campus each morning where industry professionals taught classes in writing, design and photography to students from across the United States.

“I got to experience life on the Columbia campus,” junior Hannah Masluk, yearbook photo editor, said. “It was very cool being able to see life as a university student. I learned different tips and tricks about social media for our yearbook and how to keep our staff on track.”

When not at the conference, the journalists visited the 9/11 Museum, the One World Observatory, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History, toured NBC Studios and sailed on the Staten Island Ferry.

“I had a great time in New York with the yearbook and news staffs,” sophomore Quin Walch, yearbook staffer, said. “My favorite thing on the trip was going to the NBC Studios tour. Because that was pretty cool.

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Roby Aliyah Tan is a junior and a first-year reporter. She believes in the saying, “Trust the process.” It may be overwhelming during the first year but with a pinch of patience and optimism, she believes this year will end on a great note. She has a passion for traveling, has had her share of seeing some of the world’s wonders and wishes to pursue her dream to travel the world and be more exposed to different cultures.