More than 450 high school students from Miami-Dade and Monroe counties participated in workshops, seminars and competitive contests during the 45th South Florida Journalism Day at Florida International University late last month.
The all-day event at FIU’s Modesto Maidique Campus on Oct. 28 was put on by the Florida Scholastic Press Association with the help of the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication.
Keynote speaker Lauren Pastrana from CBS4 News kicked things off with a motivational speech.
Reporter Stephanie Bertini from NBC6 led a presentation titled, “Finding Your Origin Story: Creating a Package That Tells the Story.” She explained how to be efficient and effective in video stories.
Telemundo reporter Nathalia Ortiz taught students how to ask the right questions in an interview.
Neil Reisner, an FIU journalism professor, also spoke about writing an effective news story and how to cover issues outside of the students’ schools. He gave attendees scenarios and noted current events that they could localize for their readership.
Students said they were engaged and interested in the presentations.
“It was a new perspective and learning from professionals was enticing and encouraging,” said Samantha Correa, a student at Coral Gables High School.
At the end of the seminar, students interacted with presenters in a Q&A session.
Student Benjamin Cure asked Ortiz, “Do you think being bilingual gave you an advantage?”
She said, “Absolutely.”
She encouraged students to become fluent in multiple languages if they have the opportunity.
Numerous competitions were held in addition to the talks. Competitions were held in broadcast, literary magazine, newspaper, online media and yearbook categories. Organizers said they hoped the exposure would lead students to succeed in their communications careers in the future.
The winners included Immaculate Conception Catholic School, a middle school in Hialeah, which won first place for its on-the-spot broadcast package.