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41st Journalism Scholars Day Attacts Students from Across the State

Journalism Scholars Day, a 41-year tradition at WKU, attracted more than 385 Kentucky high school journalism students from 15 schools across the state to campus on Nov. 15. The four-hour conference included breakout sessions, a scholarship writing contest and the Mark of Excellence yearbook awards ceremony in Mass Media & Technology Hall and Gary Ransdell Hall.

More than 20 student media advisers from across Kentucky brought their staffs to attend sessions taught by WKU faculty and students as well as other journalism professionals.

The conference goal was to encourage excellence in high school media classes. It also provided high school students with the opportunity to increase their knowledge and skills. Staffers and their advisers attended 21 breakout sessions with topics ranging from design, photography and feature writing to the future of radio.

For one Kentucky high school student, however, the conference was more than just a learning opportunity.

Jamie Creasy, a senior from Franklin-Simpson High School, won the on-site writing competition. She earned a $500 scholarship to attend WKU in fall 2014.

The writing contest was facilitated by retired faculty member Bob Adams. The contest required students to write a news story, self-edit and submit it in under an hour, just like a real newsroom.

Journalism Scholars Day attendees came from Ballard High School, Bowling Green High School, Central Hardin High School, Daviess County High School, Elizabethtown High School, Fern Creek Traditional High School, Fleming County High School, Franklin-Simpson High School, Jeffersontown High School, John Hardin High School, LaRue County High School, North Hardin High School, Pleasure Ridge Park High School, Russell County High School and Warren East High School.

Several schools participated in the Mark of Excellence Yearbook Contest competition awards ceremony. Ten schools entered their yearbooks in the contest. Best overall winner was Franklin-Simpson. (Awards list: 2013 Mark of Excellence yearbook award winners.)

Journalism Scholars Day, coordinated by Charlotte Turtle, was co-sponsored by the School of Journalism & Broadcasting, the Kentucky High School Media Institute, WKU, WKU’s chapter of Society of Professional Journalists, the College Heights Herald and Talisman.

Originally called High School Press Day, the conference was renamed Journalism Scholars Day in the late 1980s. Having a day devoted to high school journalism is a WKU tradition that dates back to the 1970s. Loup Langton is the director of WKU’s School of Journalism & Broadcasting. Jo-Anne Ryan is the assistant director.

A component of the 21st Century Media Program of Distinction at WKU, the Kentucky High School Media Institute is funded by Kentucky’s Council on Post-Secondary Education Regional Excellence Trust Fund. The Institute’s primary goal is to support and supplement scholastic journalism endeavors in Kentucky.

Contact: Charlotte Turtle, (270) 745-3055.

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