Journalism students attend annual J-Day conference


Marissa Brown

Newspaper and yearbook staff regroup by the Mizzou columns to take their J-Day picture. Students who attended included: (first row) seniors Melissa Parker, Marissa Brown, junior Garret Smith, and senior Thane Henderson; (second row) junior Alexis Smith, freshmen Deanna Garroutte, Autumn Rhea, Jordan Plybon, junior Makayla Mais, sophomore Ryan Sprouse, junior Mykal Albers; (third row) sophomore Ashton Adams, junior Mericia Wilbanks, seniors Raven Caswell, Bridget Clarke, freshman Abby Foster; (back row) sophomores Drew Dawson, Kyra Kleihauer, senior Austin McCall, freshmen Ally Estes and Brenna Smith


   Warsaw journalism students, along with nearly 1,400 other students and advisers from all across Missouri, gathered on the Mizzou campus on April 6 to attend the annual event called Journalism Day (J-Day) where they attended journalism sessions and collected awards for WHS publications.

  The staffs walked away with All-Missouri rating for, superior for The Wildcat newspaper and excellent for Ozark Echoes 2015 yearbook. Sophomore Ashton Adams was the only journalist to win an individual All-Missouri for her newspaper column writing “Think about your future before you post.”

  The conference opened with a panel of Mizzou journalists who discussed diversity among students on campus and the struggles of being a journalist when sensitive subjects arise. These photojournalists discussed their experiences on campus as they photographed student protests.

  After the initial address, students and advisors were then released and were free to attend whatever classes they had signed up for. Some of the classes that were offered discussed subjects such as editorial leadership, Missourian tour, media sales and economics, and yearbook design. The sessions were taught by Mizzou journalism graduate students and faculty.

  “My favorite session was the drones because they actually flew a drone around the room and recorded us,” senior Austin McCall said.

  “I really liked the setup, like how we had our own freedom. And some of the speakers were really funny,” junior Ashton Adams said. “My favorite session was the campus tour.”

  Students also had the opportunity to attend some on-the-spot write-off and shoot-off contests, where students competed with others to win best photo or article.

  Senior yearbook editors Marissa Brown and Melissa Parker competed in the shoot-off contest.

  “We only did one session; photo shoot-off. It was supposed to be an all day thing but it really wasn’t. It was fun but it was hard because they gave you a topic and it was really unexpected,” senior Marissa Brown said.

  Students like junior Mykal Albers and Makayla Mais had already attended the J-Day conference in previous years. The two editors compared this year’s experience to last year’s.

  “I went last year and I think that classes this year were better and had more of a variety,” Albers said.

  “Last year I won more superior awards and I’m still working towards winning an All-Missouri,” Mais said.

  Journalism advisor Amanda Adler has taken students to J-Day for nine years and attended it when she was a staff member for The Wildcat herself.

  “I’ve been taking kids to J-Day since I’ve been teaching here, and before that, my mom was taking kids, so together that’s about 40 years of attending J-Day,” Adler said, “My students always learn something each time we go. They enjoy exploring the campus and we always take a group picture by the columns each year.”