From Nov. 6 to Nov. 9, members of the Prep News staff traveled to Washington D.C. for a national journalism convention. I sat down with Jack Franke to discuss how the trip went, and more importantly, to learn what he got out of the experience.
Why did you as well as other members of the newspaper travel to Washington D.C. last week?
A portion of the Prep News and Quarry Yearbook staff traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the NSPA (National Scholastic Press Association) convention. Schools from all over the country were present, and I believe there were roughly 6,000-6,500 student journalists.
What Rockhurst students went on this trip?
The Prep News staff that went to D.C. included Zach Klamann, Peter Dierks, Jack Allison, Henry Haake, Sam Keefe, Eli Pittman, Ciaran Molloy and myself. Connor McCarson represented the Quarry.
What journalism-specific events did you get to attend?
Journalistic workshops and informational sessions were held from 8 AM to 2 PM each day. Sessions varied in content, but all were designed to educate high school journalists on the subject of publication–be it online or in print. There were also keynote speakers that included Bob Woodward (one of two journalists that broke the Watergate Scandal) and Jay Harris of ESPN.
How were the other publications at the convention? What was your favorite newspaper/online/magazine?
Some of the publications that we saw were incredible. It was a national event, so the very best newspapers, websites, magazines and yearbooks were represented. I think I can speak for the entire Prep News staff when I say that the experience was humbling. My favorite all around program in terms of design would have to be the HiLite from Caramel Indiana High School. Some of the stuff they do is truly incredible.
What other events did the group attend?
We did plenty of sightseeing, including a tour of the monuments (led by the infamous Mr. Hrdlicka himself). We also visited the Newseum (the museum of news), which was incredibly interesting to journalism nerds like ourselves.
What changes will you implement in the school’s publication after looking at other newspapers from around the country?
I think the most obvious takeaway for us is that we need to improve our design. Our photo presence is relatively weak, and our visual presence as a whole could use some work. That being said, we do some really good work here at the Prep News. Our writing is really strong, and our staff consists of some great guys. There’s always room for improvement, and we’re going to keep getting better.