Publications Broaden Their Horizons At Los Angeles Convention

Students travel to California for the 2022 Spring JEA/NSPA National Journalism Convention


LHS Publications

Members of LHS Publications pose together in front of the Hollywood sign during a day of sightseeing.

Sruthi Ramesh

Journalism is a passion that a multitude of students at Liberty strive to perfect. Luckily for those spirited students, LHS Publications had its first-ever opportunity to travel across the country in hopes of honing their journalistic skills and learning from accomplished professionals.

LHS Publications students traveled to Los Angeles, California for the 2022 Spring JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention. Publications advisor Mr. Jonathan Hall, along with his wife and fellow teacher Mrs. Jackie Hall, chaperoned students to the convention. The event was held from April 7-9 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in LA. 

“I was focused on the journalism part of it all and what we were gonna learn. I didn’t realize how much [the students] learned about themselves,” Mr. Hall stated. “I was tired, but it was totally worth it because I could just feel the excitement of everyone and what they learned. They really kind of came together as a group.” 

On the first night of the conference, student journalists from across the country gathered to listen to keynote speaker Hilde Lysiak emphasize the importance of investigating and reporting the cold hard facts. Lysiak, being a prominent young journalist herself at the age of 15, received a standing ovation at the end of her gripping speech.

Throughout the rest of the convention, students were able to attend learning sessions on topics included but not limited to writing, leadership, design, and photography. Senior Ally Schniepp recalls a session she attended on review writing.

“It really showed me that asking questions can get you places in life. I went up and asked a sports-related reviewing question and it got me a free textbook which was really cool.” Schniepp reflected. “[The speaker] also showed me that I can do more than just sports, I could review books, or movies or TV shows. She kind of gave me a clear outlet into doing something not sports-related.”

A select few publications students decided to represent Liberty in the National Journalism Quiz Bowl put on by the convention. Seniors Mollie Banstetter, Sruthi Ramesh and Paige Bostic, along with junior Kay Copeland all united their combined skill sets in current events, AP Style, history, and ethics to place in the Quiz Bowl semi-finals. The group placed seventh out of over 20 schools that participated, despite the on-a-whim decision to participate in the first place. 

“My friends and I took time to go over different topics so everyone could be specialized in a different area. I felt pretty comfortable in my area, but what made me feel the most comfortable was knowing that everyone sort of had each other’s back,” senior Paige Bostic explained. “Even though we didn’t win, we placed in the finals which made me really excited. I was just happy to see all of my friends get a chance to answer and feel good about having participated.” 

Along with being Quiz Bowl semi-finalists, LHS Publications took home a multitude of awards, including but not limited to first place podcasting, 7th place overall yearbook, and awards in sports, review and news writing contests.

The Fall 2022 JEA/NSPA National Journalism Convention will be held from Nov. 10-13 in St. Louis. With the next conference taking place in our home state, LHS Publications plans to get more involved in this next event and take home even more certificates than the spring conference.

Awards Received by LHS Publications at JEA National Convention 

Best of Show 

Podcast – 1st place – Anumitha Vaka, Chloe Stenger & Lydia Hamby

Broadcast News Story – 3rd place – Kaylee Clay & Elizabeth Hamby

Broadcast Feature Story – 6th place – Liz Hayes 

Yearbook (114-228 pages) – 7th place – The Talon 

Editorial Leadership – 9th place – Sruthi Ramesh 


Review Writing – Mollie Banstetter 

Honorable Mention 

Sports Writing – Ally Schniepp 

Newswriting – Elizabeth Hamby 

Photography Portfolio – Sruthi Ramesh