Troy, AL - High school newspapers and TV stations are picking up speed. Many students and advisors spent Thursday at Troy University to hone their skills.
“We have a bit of a struggling program at the moment,” said one high school advisor.
But leaders hope Troy University’s J-Day improves high school journalism programs across the state.
“We have adopted our curriculum so our students are on that cutting edge. We bring that same cutting edge technology into our J-Day presentations,” said Dr. Steven Padget, Director of the Hall School of Journalism and Communication.
About 500 students had seventeen workshops to choose from. Whether it was anchoring a mock newscast, realizing the value of social media or learning to be a live field reporter, students were offered an insight into a career in journalism.
“I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s taught me a lot I didn’t know about journalism. Like how to take photos at the right angles and page design,” said Morgan Matthews, Elba High School.
Jefferson Davis High School Senior Brianna Brockenberry said, “I really liked it. I anchored for one. It was neat that they used different stuff than at JD.”
“I think it really exposes the students to what is at Troy, and what they can do with their interest in media and broadcasting. They come back to school very excited about what they’ve learned,” said Sweet Water High School’s journalism advisor Patricia Jones.
Troy University leaders have learned that journalism is evolving. Just in the past five years social media has taken over. While these aspiring journalists may not have a problem grasping Twitter or Facebook, professors say they will need to change their approach.
“If they want to learn how to be journalists they need to learn how to effectively use media. There’s a big difference between blogging or posting random comments on Facebook and effectively using it to practice journalism,” said Assistant Journalism Professor Steve Stewart.
Troy has been holding J-Day for about 37 years.
Leaders hope it serves as a recruitment tool for the university.