Valley High School Students Attend Journalism Day at FCC


Photo by: Leilani Bustos

Emily Hartsell takes home three writing awards from the 2019 High School Journalism Day conference. Emily won first place for editorial writing, second place for news story, and an honorable mention for the feature writing category. This was the first year awards were given based on submitted work from high school students.

Story By: Leilani Bustos, Reporter

Fresno City College hosted its fourth annual High School Journalism Conference on Friday, Oct. 25, exposing high schools from across the valley to firsthand journalistic experience.

The conference kicked off with an orientation and speeches by Dympna Ugwu-Oju, journalism instructor and Carole Goldsmith, president of the college, welcoming the students to the campus and encouraging them to appreciate the crucial role journalists play.

Next, the students dispersed to the first session of workshops:
Photography: Telling a Story with Photos, presented by Diana Baldrica, an adjunct photography instructor and professional photographer at FCC.
Facebook Live, presented by AJ Fox, chief meteorologist at KSEE24.
Journalism 101: Journalism Basics, presented by Kathleen Schock, journalism instructor, and Lisa Burger, news director at KSEE/KGPE.
Multimedia/Multiplatform Reporting, presented by Corin Hoggard, ABC 30.
Researching, Investigating, & Writing News Stories, presented by Carmen George, Fresno Bee reporter.
Creating News Stories for Broadcast and Radio, presented by Vanessa Vasconcelos, ABC 30 reporter and Liz Kern, from KMJ Radio.

Photo by: Leilani Bustos
High school students were given a tour of the CMAC truck during the first session of the conference.

FCC’s Student journalists also provided a tour of the Rampage newsroom, during which the editors and reporters explained the workings of the student-run newspaper and broadcasting.

Students attended two pre-selected workshops. One of their choices was a tour around the CMAC Live Broadcast Truck from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“I have a student in one of my classes this semester who attended the journalism conference when she was in high school,” Kathleen Schock, adjunct instructor of journalism and a coordinator of the conference, said. “She said this is the reason why she decided to study journalism.”

Schock said she believes that the journalism conference is a great opportunity for students to meet the leaders of journalism in the central valley. This is her third year as a presenter.

After the two sessions of workshops, all the participants gathered in OAB 251 for the awards ceremony, hosted by KSEE investigative reporter Erik Rosales.

Emily Hartsell, senior at Sanger High School and editor in chief of Hi-Lights, the school’s newspaper, won numerous awards, including first place for editorial writing, second place for news writing and an honorable mention in feature writing. Most of the awards in writing were won by students from Sanger High.

First and second place for Webcast/Broadcast went to Angelina Hernandez and Lucas Walker of Monache High School respectively. Monache also took home the video journalism awards, first place went to Yasmeen Abdullah and second place went to Andrea Gonzalez.

Although the conference is a day focused on careers as a journalist, some high school students have other interests that are not related to the journalism field.

Photo by: Leilani Bustos
Erik Rosales, investigative reporter at KSEE/KGPE, gives closing remarks and presents awards at the 2019 High School Journalism Day conference. This is the first awards ceremony in J-Day’s four year history.

Sanger High School senior Luis Ramirez is keeping his options open when it comes to his college major choice and is leaning more towards photography and animation rather than journalism. However, he is appreciative of this conference experience.

“It is a good opportunity to get more informed on how news teams work and how other professional stations handle the process,” Ramirez said.

Hartsell said she and her classmates attended the conference to be more involved in journalism. She said she will attend a community college because they offer her options that fit her goals in life and they are less expensive than four-year universities.

“I get to know faces in the [journalism] community,” Hartsell said. “It’s cool seeing different options of where I could go to be a part of a school newspaper.”