Sidekick students continue to lead in Anaheim

Lauren Ussery

Centerspread Editor

ANAHEIM, Calif. – In fall 2009, The Sidekick took a trip to Washington D.C. for the JEA/NSPA high school journalism convention. The 9 seniors and 2 juniors (editors, at the time) who attended did the paper proud.

Almost a year and a half later, and the staff is at it again. On April 14, 11 members of The Sidekick traveled to Anaheim, Calif. to once again compete with newspaper and yearbook students from schools across the country, and attend sessions designed specifically for high school students and their advisors.

Upon arrival, students from all schools were able to choose which sessions they would dabble in.  For the first time ever, The Sidekick students will have the opportunity to host one of these sessions on Saturday morning. The course, called “Convergence and Online Interactive Publications” will focus on the importance of making newspapers “21-century-friendly”—and will demonstrate how to cover a story through a video, and add interactive elements to the online newspaper website.

Students were also able to hear guest speaker Steve Lopez, a columnist for the L.A. Times, speak Thursday night, and are still anticipating the arrival of Lisa Ling and Laura Ling—two sisters, who have devoted their lives to journalism.

Out of the hundreds of student newspapers submitted, The Sidekick managed to bring home seventh place in the “Best of Show” category for newspapers with 17+ pages in 2009– one of the most prestigious and competitive competitions available at the convention (more results can be found here). The staff, who is submitting the paper into this competition again this year, has high hopes.

“I think that a lot of things have definitely changed since last year, but the paper is still really good,” Opinions Editor Michelle Pitcher said. “I think we’ll do well again in the ‘Best of Show’ category.”

Following in the footsteps of their predecessors, the current leaders of The Sidekick continue to display innovative qualities needed to run a good newspaper. The hope is that with the new skills learned from the NSPA convention, The Sidekick will continue to grow.

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