By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)—Energy, passion, optimism and purpose—the key ingredients of a rewarding journalism career were on display at High School Press Day at IU Southeast.
The annual event brought more than 400 high school students from over 16 different schools together with professional journalists, IU and IU Southeast faculty and staff, and special guests for a day of workshops designed to sharpen students’ journalistic skills and fire their creative vision.
The keynote speaker was Angie Fenton, local media all-arounder and editor of Southern Indiana lifestyle magazine Extol.
In brief but powerful keynote remarks, Fenton recounted her journey from the unwitting subject of distorted reporting to a career as a successful editor, writer and television reporter. Seeking out the positive in people, Fenton has helped to train the spotlight on the beneficial contributions of individuals and on constructive trends in the local community.
She challenged students to put themselves in the shoes of those whose stories they tell, to make people feel like they matter, and to use their platforms to give back to the community
Fenton was just one of several media professionals who led workshops and discussions during the morning’s expanded program.
“We really spread out into the local journalism community this year,” said Ron Allman, professor of journalism & media. “And these professionals have been very gracious to give of their time.”
Allman and colleagues Adam Maksl, assistant professor of journalism & media, and Jane Dailey, visiting professor of public relations, continue to keep the event current, so that students are exposed to the most recent trends in the field, and gain a true insider’s view of what the future may hold. This year’s event featured two sessions, enabling students to benefit from a range of expertise.
Among this year’s innovative and challenging workshops:
A newspaper editors’ roundtable led by Teresa White, director of the High School Journalism Institute at IU Bloomington
Angie Fenton on truth-telling
Deborah Yetter of the Louisville Courier Journal on digital journalism
Tyler Stewart of the News and Tribune on the power of photojournalism
Luanne Mattson of the Clark-Floyd Counties Convention & Tourism Bureau on careers in public relations
Kate Howard of Louisville Public Media’s Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting on the impact of investigative reporting
Rachel Terlep of IU Southeast on social media storytelling and engagement
As a very special contribution, Chancellor Ray Wallace led a workshop in photography, sharing images from his recent trip to Cuba to document life on the island nation, and exploring the real human stories behind the images.
In addition to the workshops, student journalists were recognized for their accomplishments of the past year as dozens of individual and team awards were bestowed for every aspect of high school media editorial and production.
The award for Newspaper of the Year in two divisions was awarded to Floyd Central High School and Paoli High School. Yearbook of the Year honors in three divisions went to Du Pont Manual High School, Paoli High School and Clarksville High School.
Two students were awarded scholarships to attend IU Southeast. Shelby Pennington of Floyd Central High School and Selena Wolf of Clarksville High School received $500 each, an award that was doubled by Chancellor Wallace to $1,000, to support their work in photojournalism.
“This event is a good way for students to get out and see the real world,” said Holly MacArthur of Fern Creek High School in Louisville, Ky., whose program boasts a TV studio, FCC-licensed radio station in addition to print journalism courses.
For Allman, it was also a chance to showcase the Journalism & Media program at IU Southeast.
“We’re growing,” Allman said. “Students can come here, see how great the campus is, how great the faculty, administration an staff are, and learn about our national award-winning program.”
Homepage photo: Angie Fenton, editor of Extol, delivers keynote address to assembled students at High School Press Day.