Students gather for JEANC Media Day


Nisha Marino

Students pick up publications from other schools for inspiration.

Nisha Marino, Highlander Editor-in-Chief

Dozens of students milled around the Palo Alto High School Media Arts Center, excitedly waiting for the JEANC NorCal Media Day to commence.

The NorCal Media Day is an annual event run by JEANC where sessions throughout the day are led by teachers and students alike to help high schoolers improve their journalism and yearbook skills. This year, the event took place on Oct. 7. Educational sessions were held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., while writing contests were held from 2:15 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The Journalism Education Association of Northern California (JEANC) is a non-profit organization based in Sacramento, California. They host conventions and workshops centered around journalism with the help of both the Journalism Education Association (JEA) and the State Department of Education.

This year’s Media Day included sessions about photography, feature articles, and sports writing tips. Some students were more engaged than others, but overall the event was filled with energy from both the high schoolers and their advisers.

“I’d love to see even more schools here,” said Rod Satterthwaite, the co-adviser of Palo Alto High School’s newspaper. “This event gets better when there are more people.”

In addition to specific journalistic advice, session advisers also provided anecdotes and talked to students about the journalistic experience as a whole.

“Good journalism is socially awkward,” said Satterthwaite to students in his second session. “You may need to sacrifice your dignity.”

Those who attended were also given free food and journalism-related pins, mugs, and notebooks. Many school representatives brought stacks of their newspapers, which others could look at or take home.

During the lunch break, people flipped through the other schools’ papers, ate from a variety of food selections, and mingled with other attendees. In addition, a student band played to entertain the attendees. 

“I think the variety of food and people here is awesome,” said Sannidhi Menon, a junior at Monta Vista High School.

Regardless of preference for one newspaper topic or another, all participants were engaged and enthusiastic about the power of journalism.

“Journalism is important because it keeps the populace informed,” said Menon. “In this democracy, people need to know what’s going on.”