FNN Reporters Sharpen Skills at the JEA Convention

By Collegiate FNN Reporters: Edited by Sy`Quan Clark.

APRIL 19, 2016: In November, 2015, Friendship Collegiate students took a fabulous trip to the Journalism Education Association in Orlando Florida, to improve their skills in journalism. Four grateful students were picked to go to Florida, accompanied by Ms. Flonora Merritt and Mr. Clarence Cross. Read about their exciting trip and adventures below.  

Hey, my name is Tyjai Robinson and on November 14, 2015 I went on a journey to Orlando, Florida for the Journalism Education Association (JEA) Convention. This convention helps young journalists by showing them the steps they should take to perfect and improve on their writing and interviewing skills. Read below to find out the new things I’ve learned and discovered.

    I now have a new outlook on how to edit photos, record podcasts, and set up websites. I also learned how to get stories for high school media and how to connect my stories with real life situations on social media.

    When we first landed on Thursday, we all went to Disney World and visited the Epcot Park. One of the rides we got on was Test Track which was a rollercoaster that had intensified speed. We also captured a lot of photos to keep the memories of this trip to Florida and to show how much fun we were having.  

    The next day we headed out to collect our badges and get our handbooks at the JEA convention. When we arrived, I noticed there were a lot of students to interact with. I took a total of six workshops. My first workshop was about how being a great editor can make you a great leader. I learned that all leaders should help people find their direction. When you take charge, more people tend to listen to you. As a leader you should be in front all the time. A leader must dress like a leader. A great leader leans on others to help them to achieve their outcome or goal.

    I also enjoyed my fourth class which was about starting a news website from scratch. In this class they told us that you can use Snapchat and Facebook. They also told us that as a journalist you should go where your audience is. Instagram is also a good way to reach your audience because you can send your friends photos of different activities.  You record different stories to diversify your coverage which means you have to make sure it appeals to people of all races.

    On this trip to Florida, I’ve learned that journalism is a very diverse scene and that these classes can teach you how to appeal to different audiences and how to use different apps and websites to benefit our program. I want to say thanks to Ms. Merritt and Ms. Kaufman for allowing me to go on this trip.
- Tyjai Robinson, junior, Friendship Collegiate Academy.

My first time at the JEA convention was very good. This was an wonderful experience and a chance for me to learn how to get over my fear of heights, take better photos, become a leader, and make our presence known on social media. When we got to Orlando, Florida we checked into our hotel and went straight towards Disney World. While at Disney World we only visited one park, Epcot. It was so fun. We rode three rides: Test Track, Mission Space and Journey Into Imagination. I was so afraid of the roller coasters. Everyone went on a rollercoaster called Test Track and I didn't want to be left by myself so I faced my fears and got on the ride with Mr. Cross and people I never met before. I was screaming and holding tight to the handle bar. After we left that ride, we went to Mission Space which prepared us for space. The last ride was Journey Into Imagination which was a ride that teaches us how technology started. This ride was amazing. It felt like we really were in space.We felt  like we were in an actual spaceship.    
    When we got back to our hotel, we started watching movies until everyone fell asleep. The next morning we woke up at 6:30 am, got dressed, ate breakfast, and left to go to the JEA/NSPA Convention. This convention helps student journalists and photographers learn how to make their products better. It also teaches us how to make our broadcast and photos better. I went to two workshops on Friday but I only liked one which was called “A Good Editor = Effective Leader” which taught me how to become a great leader. I really liked this workshop because the teacher was really engaging and hilarious. When everyone was done we went to lunch, then went to the swimming pool, and then the arcade.

    After I went to my first workshop I went to the exhibition hall. While I was in the exhibition hall I went around to 

different college booths and asked questions about the requirements to get into their schools. I also signed up for different summer programs. We also signed up for a drawing tablet for our club and we WON!  On Saturday, we went back to the convention and I went to four workshops because one was cancelled. I really liked two: “Oh,Snap” and “How To Promote Our Social Media” which taught me how to take better photos and how to get people to follow our stories. I now will be able to take these skills far in life, especially in school. I really think this was a wonderful experience for me because I learned a lot.

-  Simone Wimbush, 11th grade, Friendship Collegiate Academy.

On November 12, 2015, I was invited to go to Orlando, Florida to get experience in journalism at the Journalism Education Association Convention. I learned to take better photos, and to be a better reporter. I went to six different workshops, but I really liked only two of them. The “Great Editor = Effective Leader” was the first one. I liked this one because I’m a good editor, but I want to be a better leader to my classmates. I took a lot out of that class and it will help me in the future when I'm in FNN to better manage my time, understand classmate’s feelings, and interact with my classmates in a positive way. The second workshop was “Take Your Newscast To The Next Level”. I really liked this one. It taught me how to properly cover stories, how to utilize the medium, and how to use different formats to organize the group. I feel like this trip has made me a better reporter and has helped me get organized. I was also selected to join in a podcast. After, the podcast directors and I talked about the how our podcast went. We also went to Epcot Center. My classmates and I went on lots of rides and I had my first cup of coffee in Florida. Thank you, Ms Merritt for taking me to the JEA convention.  

- Sy`Quan Clark, junior, Friendship Collegiate Academy.  

This trip to Orlando was great. It started with bag checks on Thursday morning and then we boarded the flight. When we touched down it was so sunny. At first, I didn't see any palm trees and I thought that there are only certain places in Florida that people take pictures of palm trees. But after I got my bag from baggage claim, I saw a lot of palm trees in front of the airport. 

    We then walked down to our taxi van which took us to our hotel and we caught a shuttle to Disney World. We only went into the Epcot Disney Park which is supposed to be futuristic. The park featured a monorail, test car track, and a building that looked like a big golf ball that lights up with different colors. Inside the golf ball was an amusement ride that took you back in time from an historical and biblical background, including the birth of Jesus and old century churches, as well as, shots of Julius Caesar. From there we went back to our hotel, went to dinner, and later went to the fitness center. 

    On Friday, I attended three workshops in the morning which were: "From Another Perspective" which featured communication in a newsroom; "Video Journalism From Your Device" and "The Art of Photo Editing". I also got a lot of pens and candy from the convention. I had a great time. Afterwards, we came back to the hotel for lunch and then went swimming. Later, I stayed in my room while everyone else went to an arcade. 

    On Saturday, I attended another three workshops: "News vs. Feature Photography", "Video Journalists: Let's Rock The Boat!" and "What Makes A Good Photo?". All six workshops were great, but the one that made me think the most was "What Makes a Good Photo?".  It made me learn about and wonder if I was taking pictures from three different aspects, and most importantly ask myself, “Are my pictures in focus or do I take them because they look good?”     My favorite workshop from the convention was "From Another Perspective", because not only was it the first workshop I went to, it was also fun. We did activities like drawing after receiving visual clues, and then writing what we like and dislike about our newsroom on a sheet of paper, balling it up, having a snowball fight and opening other people's papers to see if they had similar likes and dislikes. And then we discussed it. I would say this convention was fun.   
    Once everyone finished, we met up near the shuttle buses and had lunch. Later, I bought some goggles and went swimming. I had to wipe my eyes constantly because they were burning from trying to see and swim underwater.

    On Sunday, we made preparations to go home. Our taxi came and picked us up and took us to the airport. We boarded the 11:52 flight back to D.C. From there I went home.

    The convention was a great experience. I learned a lot of new photography tips, and I enjoyed myself—whether it was in the hotel, where I drank Starbucks every morning, got in the hot tub and the pool, or at the hotel where the convention was held inside Disney World. At the end of the day it was a great trip to Orlando and Disney World, and it opened my eyes to the beautiful tropical south of the United States. Can’t wait to go back!
- Isaiah Lipscombe, tenth grade, Friendship Collegiate Academy.