By Reiko Inoue
Most high schoolers have not met professional journalists or seen the inside of a college classroom. But on Friday, February 9, students of Arcadia High School’s Digital Communications Internship program (DCI) got to do just that at USC’s High School Journalism Day. This was the third time DCI attended the biannual event. 10 interns joined peers from the Los Angeles area for a day packed with workshops in the Annenberg School of Journalism and Communication of USC.
The day began with a welcome by Jaime Carias, Annenberg’s Civic Engagement Coordinator, along with School of Journalism Interim Director and Associate Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Gordon Stables. Next, keynote speaker Jennifer Medina, a National Correspondent for the New York Times, spoke to the aspiring journalists of how she went from writing about local issues for her high school newspaper to working for major publications. She recounted the challenges she faced along the way and highlighted the purpose of her work, which is to give disadvantaged people a voice. Ms. Medina answered many questions from the curious high schoolers afterward.
For the remainder of the day, students had the opportunity to attend a variety of workshops held within the Annenberg building. Leaders of these workshops ranged from professors, college students, alumni and fellows to an admissions director. High schoolers were able to tour the Annenberg Media Center, learn about cross-platform journalism, sports writing, personal branding, communications and even the college application process.
Nadine Kong, a senior, was excited for this opportunity to attend Journalism Day. The most memorable moment for her was seeing the media center, where she “got to experience the behind the scenes action” involved in the recording of live TV broadcasts. Students had the chance to try their hand at speaking as news anchors, navigating a green screen to report the weather or controlling the broadcast as a producer. Nadine added that a workshop about media literacy “really interested me because [the speaker] brought up topics that were not often discussed … like how advertising is really sexualizing women.”
Junior Lauren Graul also found that, like Nadine, her favorite part of the event “was the section in the media center because we got hands-on experience with the expensive technology Annenberg provided.” Students also got to explore the USC campus, which she mentioned was “really impressive.” Lauren was thankful for USC inviting Arcadia High Schoolers to High School Journalism Day since she certainly “would not have been a part of [such experiences] had it not been for this day.”