Journalism Students Attend FSPA Conference


Christine Bocchino, RHStoday Editor-in-Chief

Last Friday, October 4th, students from all journalism classes attended the Florida Scholastic Press Association District Convention. The 21 journalists each attended three workshops on various aspects of journalism, except for the two staff members that competed in On-the-Spot contests.

Workshops were arranged by subject, with categories ranging from Sports Photography — attended by Matthew Hall (’15) — to Typographing and Caption Writing — where Sarah Ortiz (’15) got some pointers.

“I had no idea how to write a caption and they gave me a formula for it,” said Ortiz. The class sent five “photogs” from each group to take pictures, and the writers were required to create captions for the photos. “You were interacting with everyone, not just sitting there listening to a lecture.”

Hall, a first-year staffer and photographer, attended Social Media and Sports Reporting, as well as a Sports Photography session led by sports columnist Bill Simmons.

“I got a few pointers about sports reporting; it was a good experience,” Hall said.

About that contest?

“We had to use three images and write one caption. I felt that mine was the best,” said Hall. “But I didn’t place.”

Some of our journalism students did place, and in four different categories: Newspaper Features Section, Meng Fei Shen and Claire Chen; Back To School photo collage, Sports Reaction photo, Mitchel Chowning and Sports Event Video Coverage, Bailey Adams. The “Back To School” spread, was a collaborative effort between yearbook editors Lauren Peterson, Gia Coleman Meng Fei Shen and photographer Matthew Hall.

But FSPA wasn’t only about the winning — or about getting out of class.

“FSPA was such a learning experience for me, not just a free day out of school. I plan on using the pointers I got from Bill Simmons  when I take pictures for the yearbook this year,” Hall said. “I can’t wait to go back next year and learn some more pointers on how to better myself as a journalist. Maybe even win some competitions.”