Northwest Horizons

A personal account of SIPA

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The bell for fourth period rang and, instead of going to my honors technical theatre class like I normally do, I made my way to the parking lot so I could get on my way to Columbia, South Carolina to attend SIPA, or the Southern Interscholastic Press Association. Though most students, unless enrolled in journalism or yearbook, have never heard of SIPA, it has contributed greatly to my journalistic abilities, aspirations and connections with the people on staff of the Northwest Horizons.

At SIPA, there are many sessions and seminars offered in which students are able to learn about the importance of journalism in today’s, ever-evolving society as well as hone their already established skills as student journalists. A wide variety of topics is offered, too. Topics such as broadcasting, design and how to find stories are taught and discussed by Certified Journalism Educators (CJE) and people who make a living as journalists or designers.

Though the topics themselves covered in classes are extremely valuable, everything depends on how well the information can be received and relayed through a school’s media outputs such as newspapers, podcasts and yearbooks. Simply sitting in a convention center for 45 minutes isn’t going to make a better paper; the paper becomes better based on the people on the staff of that newspaper putting in the effort based on their knowledge to create a better publication.

Personally, I have concocted several ideas that may be beneficial to the staff and publication of the Northwest Horizons.

Though a weekend trip to a journalism convention may sound like it’s a weekend sitting in classes–much like school–to some, far more goes on than may meet the eye. On Friday night, there was an ice cream social in which kids from different schools all ate ice cream while listening to songs ranging in genre from “Rockstar” by Post Malone to the Fresh Prince of BEl Air theme song. Furthermore, after a banquet on Saturday night, SIPA’s Got Talent is hosted. Acts such a violinists, singers and dancers took to the stage to perform in front of SIPA attendees.

Looking back on SIPA, though I lost almost a whole night’s sleep in total, I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything.

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Northwest Horizons School News
A personal account of SIPA