Scroll staff attend virtual National High School Journalism Convention



The main lobby of the NHSJC website has an introduction video and hyperlinks to different sections of the convention. Students were able to add sessions to their schedule and attend them from there.

In years before, high school journalists have traveled to the National High School Journalism Convention (NHSJC), but this year the convention came to them. With pre-recorded workshops and live chats, student journalists were able to attend this national convention from home.

Despite the virtual convention, students had many workshops to choose from, including how to write reviews, profiles, compose the best interview questions and improve leadership skills. WSHS attendees concluded they had an overall positive experience.

“I thought it was very useful actually. I was expecting to get some out of it but I liked the choices of the classes that I made because I feel like I actually took away some things that I can use going forward,” Graham Ross (12) said.

CJ Santo (10), a first year reporter at the Scroll, was able to apply what he learned almost immediately. The workshop helped him write a quick lede and plan out the structure of his review with facts and opinions.

“To do a lede for that [movie review],” Santo said. “You want the lede to be really quick…if you’re looking at what movie you want to go see and you pull up somebody’s review, you usually just read the first sentences to see if it’s good.”

The convention also had  fun sessions to attend, like “Resume to Red Carpet.” The session was focused on interviewing celebrities, and writing about movie screenings and award ceremonies. 

“When you think about Hollywood, and the glitz and the glamour, or at least I thought going in that you need to have connections in the industry…and it’s just amazing how you can work your way into that field without any prior connections,” Ross said.

Being part of a publication also tests your leadership, teamwork, and confidence. Workshops such as “Edit less, Coach more” aimed to build up these skills in student journalists. 

“This whole online leadership position thing, I was not really sure if I was cut out for it, in the beginning, because I have been in journalism for three years… managing it all online was sort of daunting to me,” Maadhu Krishnan (12) said. “Going to this session made me realize that it’s really important to have outreach online and it taught me some ways that I can make sure to hold writer’s accountable.”

The convention’s virtual setting definitely impacted presenters and attendees. Attendees were able to pause and think about the sessions or take notes, but the virtual platform also took a toll on the availability of interaction between presenters and students.

“In person, there would be a lot more room to be a bit more interactive, just getting to know everyone else who was in attendance would be helpful, but I like the way that they adapted to being online,” Krishnan said.

Usually, the Scroll staff is able to go on a field trip to the convention. They are able to meet new people, attend more sessions and bond as staff members.

“If we had been able to go for three days, then we would have been able to really get a lot more information and maybe we would have had some chances in there to grow closer as a publication,” Ross said.

While the convention did not allow for much interaction, students were still able to take away helpful information and learn about many topics from the safety of their homes.