Journey to National Convention: live blogging from Bagpiper Journalists


By Grace Runkel

I am writing our final update for the 2013 Spring National High School Journalism Convention several thousand miles in the air, over some nondescript, very flat state.

The last two days have been packed, as all convention attendees have attended classes, contests, critiques, and various must-see places around the city. My Friday began with a workshop with Twitter’s editorial director Karen Wickre, who told students who to utilize Twitter to maximize their publication’s impact.

Later that day adviser Michelle Balmeo from Monta Vista High School taught a lesson over 40 different websites that allow students to create interactive material for their online publications. I cannot wait to see some of these tools implemented on the Bagpiper Online and hear your feedback about them.

The dreaded contest sessions and critiques took place Friday afternoon, where students competed against others from around the country. Instead of first, second, or third place, work could receive three rankings: honorable mention, excellent, and superior.

After attending more classes Saturday morning, we left the hotel and explored San Francisco’s iconic Chinatown. This ended up being one of my favorite sights to see. It was kind of surreal to feel so immersed in Chinese culture without even leaving the states.

The convention came to a close Saturday afternoon with the nearly three hour long award ceremony. Pacemakers, Best of Show, and Student Journalist if the Year awards were given out followed by the results of Friday’s write-off contests.

We are all proud to announce that co-editor-in-chief Anna Boone received an excellent for her newspaper layout design, and my newsmagazine layout design received a superior.

This trip has been a phenomenal experience and the support we received from everyone as we fundraised and planned our trip amazes me. We are all truly grateful.

Thanks for following along these past couple of days, and see you bright and early at school tomorrow. I’ll be the one struggling to cope with a three-hour time change.

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Twitter’s editorial director Karen Wickre speaks with student journalists about using the popular social media site to promote their publications.

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San Francisco’s famous Chinatown, complete with pagoda rooftops and lanterns hanging in the streets.

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Even the street art in Chinatown embodies the essence of this vibrant culture.

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