The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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High school journalists to compete this

More than 150 high school students will be at CSUN on Saturday to compete in the 13th Annual High School Journalism Workshop ‘ Writing/Photo Competitions, an event cosponsored by the Los Angeles Times and the CSUN Department of Journalism.

High school journalism students throughout the San Fernando Valley come to the event every year to compete in different events for prizes and a chance to improve their journalistic skills. The workshop was started with the goal of educating high school students about possible career choices that journalism offers.

Linda S. Bowen, assistant professor for the CSUN Journalism Department, has helped coordinate the event since 2002. Bowen said she sees the event as a great chance to educate high school students.

“It may not be important to average students, but it is important to see the connections if you have an interest in journalism that can transfer to college,” Bowen said.

“In this day and age with the concept of ‘citizen journalism,’ the idea that technology can make anyone a journalist; students don’t realize the power it has,” Bowen said.

Students are invited to listen to a number of guest speakers from the Los Angeles Times during the workshop.

Guest speakers are invited to help show high school students what it takes to be professional journalists. This year’s keynote guest speaker will be Efrain Hernandez Jr., the deputy editor of the California section of the Los Angeles Times.

“For high school journalism students and our own students to network with editors of the Los Angeles Times, it is something that students just marvel at,” Bowen said. “To talk and ask them questions gives them a chance to see that they are real people.”

The workshop starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 1:30 p.m.. The day typically starts with competitions in which any high school student can participate.

Competitions cover different fields of journalism. There are sections for sports, photography and editorials. Each student must adhered to the set guidelines and finish on a deadline.

Toward the end of the day, judges decide who the top performers are. The day includes presentations and a chance for students to learn about the CSUN Journalism Department.

Bowen has worked with Heather Powell, administrative support assistant for the journalism department, organizing the event for about two years. Powell makes certain that every high school is notified and schedules when the event will take place.

Powell said she has witnessed the positive feedback from the high school students who participate.

“The competition has them compete against one another so it’s an accomplishment when they win,” Powell said.

“The feedback from them says that they want to pursue journalism in school or as a career,” Powell said.

CSUN students and journalism professors help make the event possible. Many professors lend time and talent to the event by helping to judge competitions.

Assitant professor Jim Hill has helped judge at the event since 2002. Hill’s passion for journalism is the reason he continues to volunteer each year.

“I think the reason I like it is that I genuinely enjoy journalism,” Hill said. “I think it is a fulfilling career, and to see these young people who are educating themselves for journalism, I get to see the future of journalism. I look for that and I feed on that.”

The goal for the workshop/competition is to educate high school students on how to become involved with journalism after graduation. Through competition, students are able to show what they can do under considerable pressure.

“I think that journalism is an exciting profession. You work with deadlines, and stress,” Hill said. “There is a performance level you have to meet. Competition brings out pressure that can be good. If they win, that looks great. That’s something that can go on a resume.”

Anyone interested in volunteering for the upcoming workshop/competitions or upcoming workshops can contact Powell in the CSUN Journalism Department in MZ 210.

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