Mustangs Take Indy


Makenzie Adams, Messenger Reporter & Social Media Manager

Our newspaper staff got the amazing opportunity to go to the National High School Journalism Conference in Indianapolis. We all had a great time and learned so much. We’re all so much closer and know so much more. I feel like we can make our newspaper so much better now, and hopefully get more people to pick it up and read it!


The convention started on Thursday, November 14. There were hundreds, maybe thousands, of other high school students there. The convention kicked off at about 7:30 PM. Josh Kaufman (winner of season 6 of “The Voice”) performed for everyone, and award-winning journalists Kevin Radar and Steve Rhodes gave a great presentation. They shared stories that they worked on together, such as one about a guy who made a drivable UFO. While many of the stories were funny, there was also a sad one about a couple who had lost their son to drugs. Radar and Rhodes were able to educate us on feature writing while also keeping it interesting.


On Friday and Saturday, we were all free to pick our own sessions to attend. We could pick based on a juxtaposition of our interests and roles on the newspaper staff. Since every staffer is different, I never had a session with more than 2 people I already knew. There were sessions of feature writing, sports writing, social media, photography, and so much more. There were so many journalism students there, and most of them were super nice.


On Friday they had food trucks that we could go to for lunch. While they were overpriced, the nachos I had were pretty good, and the other food looked good. Since there were so many people at the convention, the lines were super long. On Saturday we went to the mall for lunch. I got a waffle from The Walking Waffle Company, which I highly recommend if you’re ever in Indianapolis.


Most of the sessions I went to were about feature writing and social media. I hope to be able to do more feature writing in the future, and I look forward to interviewing some students. I also learned a lot about social media and now know more about getting our paper out there for everyone to see. I went to a sports journalism class, so I might also do some sports writing in the future, since our newspaper is mostly filled with the arts.
Overall, the convention was an amazing experience. Indianapolis was also a very beautiful city, and that experience alone was great. I made friends from other places and became closer to the rest of the newspaper staff. One night, a bunch of us gathered into one hotel room and played BeanBoozled and Heads Up! Also, I got to bond with a bunch of people over shopping. At the convention, I made a few friends from Nebraska and a few friends from Illinois. They were super nice, and I hope we’re able to go to the conference next year as well so I can make more new friends and learn more journalism skills.