Students from all over the country gather in Orlando, Fla. for the National JEA/NSPA Journalism Convention
November 13, 2015
When many think of Disney World, they think of magic. However, no magic is used by the student journalists who are attending the National JEA/NSPA Journalism Convention in Orlando, Florida this year. While their hard work and dedication to journalism may seem as though magic is involved, the students’ passion simply derives from their love of journalism. The first National Journalism Convention was in Madison, Wisconsin in the fall of 1923. Since then, the semi-annual convention has grown in size, with the largest attendance being at the 2014 fall convention in Washington D.C. The convention usually averages about 3,802 attendees; the JEA and NSPA hope that the 2015 fall convention in Orlando will be the largest one yet.
Deriving its name from Orlando hot spots such as the Magic Kingdom, Orlando’s own NBA team, the Orlando Magic and the magical way the students delve into their passion of journalism, the convention’s theme for 2015, Media Magic, has students feeling the excitement of being in the the theme park capital of the world.
“It’s been fun for all of our board members to bond around our favorite Disney memories,” said Kelsey Dunkin, a photographer from Shawnee Mission South High School in Kansas.
Taking place at the Walt Disney World Dolphin hotel, the convention is just a short walk away from both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. However, the student journalists have enough to participate in at the convention center that a trip to an amusement park is not necessary. The convention is jam-packed with four days of guest speakers, competitions, area media tours and the opportunity to meet student journalists from all over the country.
Teresa Mettle from Townsend Harris High School said, “I met my friend, Sarah, through this convention… we’ve been doing everything together and it’s been awesome to have such a great friend by my side.”
The JEA and NSPA pride themselves on their ability to provide student journalists with unique opportunities such as meeting professional journalists, improving student achievement, and teaching students how to adapt to the ever-changing world of journalism. Next year’s spring convention in Los Angeles can only parallel the success of previous conventions.