Nearly 600 middle and high school students attended the 46th annual South Florida Journalism Day, co-sponsored by the Florida Scholastic Press Association (FSPA), the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication at FIU and the FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) on Oct. 27 at MMC.
FIU welcomed FSPA District 6 with the mission of encouraging more effective student media through participation in seminars and hands-on experience, including on-the-spot writing contests. The event was chaired by Dr. Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver, dean emeritus and professor, who inaugurated the annual event in FIU’s first days.
This year’s theme was “One Voice,” addressed in a keynote by three student journalists – Zakari Kostzer, Alexa Zarem and Rebecca Schneid – from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Sr. High School (pictured above). Their presentation emphasized journalistic collaboration and the power of the scholastic press following the shootings at that school.
Students attended workshops focused on a broad range of topics, from learning press law to making short films, including some led by FIU professors and advisers. Dr. Karla Kennedy spoke on “cutting the fat” from journalistic writing and how to report on controversial topics. Professor Neil Reisner taught students how to localize nationwide news for a specific school audience, and adviser Alfred Soto led a seminar on distinguishing fact from opinion.
FIU alumni – Amilynn Soto, Rafael Sangiovanni, Tomas Benach and Veronica Quispe, with moderator Lillian Abreu of the Kopenhaver Center – led a seminar on how their education in journalism translated into their careers in the real world. Each shared their distinct experiences, from marketing to sports broadcasting.
The full-day event was a success, educating and empowering student reporters from Miami-Dade and Monroe counties and giving them new ideas to take back to their campuses to create better student media.