NorCal Media Day, a gathering of journalism students and journalism teachers from across northern California, took place last Saturday at Palo Alto High School’s Media Arts Center
According to the website for the Journalism Education Association Northern California, NorCal Media Day is a conference with the purpose of bringing together different high school student publications to learn about the different aspects of journalism, such as using multimedia tools or organizing a production cycle.
According to Brian Wilson, the adviser for Madrono, C Magazine and Viking Magazine, the conference was organized into three sections, each of which ran for about an hour. Within each section, there were a variety of different sessions that students and teachers could visit, each lasting about 45 minutes.
The sessions covered a wide range of topics, Paly journalism teacher and adviser for The Campanile Rod Satterthwaite said.
“There’s writing, photography, design, video, radio, podcasts, teaching sessions for advisers, social media sessions, editors’ sessions for how to be a good editor, so really, almost everything you can think of,” Satterthwaite said.
Paly journalists and publications also held sessions during the conference. The Paly Voice gave a presentation on inverted pyramid story structure and lede writing. The staff of Viking Magazine, Paly’s sports publication, held a session on sportswriting tips.
The editors-in-chief of The Campanile, Paly’s newspaper, gave a presentation on running a production cycle.
“It was well-received; we had a lot of people come up afterwards and just ask for advice,” The Campanile editor-in-chief Ehecatl Rivera said. “We had people come up and say, ‘how do I do start story ideas? Or how do we go through doing editorial ideas?’ Or when it comes to selling ads, ‘what tips do you guys have?’”
KPLY Paly Radio also presented at the conference.
“[Our presentation] was the basics of what KPLY was and how we operate as a radio station,” KPLY producer Larry Watanabe said. “I hope that our presentation sparked interest in KPLY.”
NorCal Media Day also featured contests for journalistic writing, such as news, feature or editorial writing. Paly publications entered in these competitions, but results have yet to be announced.
Paly publications also placed well in the Best of the West Award, which recognizes exceptional journalism in northern California.
The Paly Voice and Verde Magazine won second place in “Online News Website” category and the “News Magazine” category, respectively. Viking Magazine won 3rd place in the same “News Magazine” category.
One of the broader impacts of NorCal Media Day is that it allows for journalists from a wide region of California to meet and share expertise, Wilson said.
“I love anything that provides an opportunity for students to come together from different schools and see how in some ways their programs and their publications are very similar, and in some ways they are much different,” Wilson said. “So, having that opportunity just to network and informally get connected with other students who are doing the same thing that you’re doing, but in different places, is really valuable.”
According to Satterthwaite, the event also benefits schools that do not have an extensive journalism program or are in the process of developing one.
“A big component of this is just creating educational opportunities for these schools that don’t have a beginning journalism program,” Satterthwaite said. “This becomes kind of a place for them to go learn about stuff that they would be learning in beginning journalism … it kind of gives them that impetus to learn and grow and get better.”