By Katherine Han
Back in April, I attended the JEA conference for three days with some of my friends from school. The JEA (Journalism Education Association) conference is a conference that was held in Seattle that is tailored towards students participating in their school’s journalism club. We stayed in a hotel and each day we would walk to the conference building to attend lectures that we chose for ourselves based on which section of the newspaper we were a part of. They had a wide range of classes that covered many, many different topics. They even had a couple classes for students who were a part of their school’s yearbook committee. There were so many great classes to attend that we all booked ourselves for a full day each day that we were there. I’m one of the publicity directors for my school’s newspaper, so the classes that I attended talked a lot about how to increase the readership of your newspaper. I also attended a class called “Great Editor = Great Leader,” and I learned a ton about how to be a good leader for your section. My friends and I, as a group, attended a critique of our newspaper, and we each attended a “Break With a Pro” session, where a professional journalist discussed with us about what makes good writing for each particular section of the newspaper.
My experience at the JEA conference, although short, was extremely helpful and informational. I learned a lot from just the three short days of classes that I attended. My friends and I all took a ton of notes from each class that we attended and brought them back to share with the rest of the journalism crew. School has been in session for a month now, and our first newspaper issue is just about to come out. With the new ideas that my friends and I brought back from the conference, we were able to further improve on the content and quality of our newspaper. We started adding more pictures, polls, and we even started using secondary headlines, as suggested from our newspaper critique sessions. I encourage all students who are a part of their school’s journalism to attend the next JEA conference. It was a great experience for me and I was truly able to learn a lot and bring a lot of new ideas back from it.