IMG_1713rAmy Deffenbacher | The Feather Online Archive

The Journalism staff poses in front of the Paly Voice building after their time spent at J-Day.

On an early, dark Saturday morning, The Feather staff loaded up on a charter bus to head to Palo Alto High School for Journalism Day (J-Day) hosted by high school publication, The Paly Voice. Staffers of all ages prepared for a day of learning from some of the nation’s best journalism advisers, Sept. 27.

At 10 a.m. staffers unloaded from the bus and headed into The Paly Voice’s new multi-million dollar media building. Equipped with a schedule of available classes, students spread far and wide to not only learn, but also to document their trip.

The Paly Voice is a student-run high school online publication for Palo Alto High School. The Paly Voice was a winner of The Pacemaker, a national award given by the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA), in 2013. The Paly Voice also earned a high school digital publication Silver Crown from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA). Many believe that The Paly Voice has set the standard for high school journalism over the last decade.

Paul Kandell, The Paly Voice’s head adviser, took a moment to speak with Feather staffers. Kendall believes that J-Day will transfer skills from The Paly Voice to interested students from other publications, and will make a large impact in the journalism community.

“We actually do J-Day regularly,” Kandell said. “We figured because we had a new facility, it should be hosted by us, so it was kind of our turn. I wanted to pass on to the students how grapple with traditional journalism skills and new technology and ideas so that they could make a greater difference in the world.”

I think its incredibly important to encourage young journalist even though its no the glamorous job or where you will make the most money and its not the easiest path forward. It’s amazing to see so many kids interested in it.–Elena Kadvany.

The Feather also collected quotes from Palo Alto students on campus. One student, who chose to stay anonymous, believed that the purpose of the J-Day was to host an event in the new journalism building.

“I think they’re having this J-Day to show off the new facilities and all the benefits they give to the school,” The student said. “They’re trying to increase the reputation of this place while also teaching.”

Multimedia specialist, Callista Fries, ’15, learned during the trip that many schools place a higher focus on sports than on school life in podcasting.

“I learned that not many schools there had a very big podcasting section,” Fries said. “The stuff they did have was very limited and generally sports-oriented, rather than focused on student life.”

Fries also reported that J-Day inspired her to try a new spin on her own multi-media.

“After J-Day, I want to try filming FC Underground like a news show and maybe adding commercials to it,” Fries said. “We could implement some live broadcasting, as well.”

Freshman and first-year publication student, Devin Pitts, shares his impressions of The Paly Voice along with J-Day.

“I learned how to become a better writer and how to bring in the readers and let them know what you are trying to get across,” Pitts said. “Also I learned how to use apps to improve articles. I think J-Day was very effective, it was nice to hear from different publications that compete on our level, it was just really good learn about their techniques and how they became successful.”

Elena Kadvany, keynote speaker at J-Day, is excited to see the growth in young journalists.

“I think its incredibly important to encourage young journalist even though its no the glamorous job or where you will make the most money and its not the easiest path forward,” Kadvany said. “It’s amazing to see so many kids interested in it.”

Rachel West, current Journalism Education Association Northern California (JEANC) president, provided insight to the importance of J-Day.

“J-Day is very important to us; we try to do at least one convention or one J-Day every year,” West said. “We believe that scholastic journalism is important and we think that students are even more important. This event is hugely successful for us. We have over 300 people here from as far down south as Bakersfield, CA, and up north.”

Sara Peterson, Editor-in-chief, Trevor Beal, News Editor and Rees Roggenstien, Opinions Editor, also contributed to this article.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @_chloemueller.

For more news, read the Sept. 26 article, Small town fair hosts campus band.