ImPRESSive day for journalism students


Photo courtesy of the author

Students of the journalism class at Wilsonville High School pose after attending three workshops. These lessons the students learned will carry into future editions of The Paw Print.

Mary Kimball and Aly Johnston

On Wednesday, October 25, part of the Journalism class traveled to Eugene to attend Press Day. This is an event that The University of Oregon puts on for yearbook and journalism students from high schools all over Oregon. The day started at 7:00 in the morning to get a head start on the traffic. Six students and one teacher hit the road as the sun rose. When the group arrived, they headed to the Erb Memorial building, or the EMU, to get their schedules and to listen to the keynote speaker.

The first keynote speaker told his story about all the challenges of working in the journalism business. He is an undocumented immigrant who has decides to share his story with the masses. Jose Antonio Vargas was born in the Philippines, and moved to the US in sixth grade. He didn’t know that he was undocumented until he pursued a drivers license, and the DMV worker told him that his green card was fake. Instead of living in fear, Vargas wanted to speak out and talk about his citizenship status. He is a nationally acclaimed journalist who has won a Pulitzer, and has published in many world famous prints.

At Press Day, the students can pick three workshops to attend. These range anywhere from advertising and design to being able to get to the heart of a story. Each workshop had wither a journalism professor from the University of Oregon or an experienced journalism teacher. The students who attended these workshops learned a lot about design skills. They plan on completely redesigning the newspaper for volume 2 issue 2. A workshop they also attended was called Humans of your School. It taught students how to remake Humans of New York, the work of Brandon Stanton. The idea is to bring his ability to tell the stories of people in New York to your school. They plan on having The Human of Wilsonville High School as a weekly online edition of The Paw Print.

The keynote speaker that wrapped up the event was Meghan A.T.B. Reese, a producer, writer, and photographer. Reese has been published in nationally acclaimed sources like National Geographic, Travel Channel, History Channel, A&E, and many others. She talked to students and teachers about how being a journalist is not for those who lack endurance. The field can twist and turn in ways that you wouldn’t imagine, but sticking to it and making sure you do what you love are the most important things. Reese ended the event on a positive note, encouraging aspiring journalists to remain excited for the future.

The journalism students went home with notebooks full notes on how to improve in everything they do.  They have major plans for a complete redesign of the newspaper, new features on their TV shows, and new stories on the online edition.