Students journalists work under pressure

Ka Leo reporters Ashley Lardizabal (left) and Celine Arnobit (right) work collaboratively on an article.

Hawaii high school journalism students experienced firsthand–what it’s like to work under the pressure of a real-world reporting deadline. This was all part of the action at Journalism Day, an annual event for staff members of high school newspapers around the state.

Sacred Hearts Academy sophomore Shelby Mattos and her partner filmed and edited a video for a mock press conference, hosted by local voting organization Common Cause Hawaii.

“I was very nervous (working under pressure),” she said. “I spent 50 minutes going over the footage because I had specific quotes I wanted to put in but took time finding them.”

Similar press conferences were held throughout the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus, where the event took place. Student reporters worked individually or in small groups to produce a video news story or write an article. They had about one hour to submit their assignments.

Sophomore Becca Meyer attended a mock sports press conference. For her, the quick deadline was no big deal.

“I was used to working under pressure, so it felt normal to me,” she said. “It actually made me more excited than nervous because I was doing something I enjoyed (writing a story) versus, like, multiplication.”

The day’s event was broken up into different sessions, which allowed students to learn various aspects of the journalism industry from seasoned professionals. Such aspects included tips on writing different types of articles–from news to opinion pieces. It also included learning the basics of video reporting.

Once the students finished their articles, they headed back into the ballroom to discuss their progress with classmates over lunch. Following that, they uploaded their work to the Hawaii Scholastic Journalism Association website. The day ended with a final breakout session; students had the choice of attending a session on either design and copy editing, photography or online trends.

Students attending the event said they enjoyed the bonding experience they had with their newspaper staff. They also gained new insight into the world of journalism.

“Journalism Day changed how I viewed the way stories are portrayed,” junior Taylor McKenzie said. “Because I had the chance to learn about different social media platforms and unique story perspectives.”