Journalism Convention Comes To STL

The JEA convention took place in person for the first time in three years.


Madison Battig, Editor-in-Chief

It’s not exactly Disney World, but for this year’s publications classes, it’s all they could ask for. 

The newspaper and yearbook classes recently attended a journalism convention in downtown St. Louis. In year’s past, the classes have been able to attend the convention in cities such as: Kansas City (2010), Minneapolis (2011), San Antonio (2012), Orlando (2015), and Chicago (2018). 

On their last trip in 2018 to Chicago, the group infamously missed the train on the way home.

“What a train wreck that was, pun intended,” teacher Jeff Stoffey said. “There was a ‘hot chocolate marathon’ that the hotel failed to tell us about and the roads were all shutdown so we couldn’t get to the train station on time. We were exactly seven minutes late. Luckily, they were able to get us on a later trip back.”

Then, in 2020, the classes were scheduled to go back to Disney World, but it was canceled due to the pandemic. 

For the first time since 2019, the fall convention was held in person. The 2022 Journalism Education Association (JEA) convention was held at the America’s Center Convention Complex. 

The purpose of the convention is to provide resources and educational opportunities, promote professionalism, encourage and reward student excellence and teacher achievement, and foster an environment that encompasses diversity yet builds unity. 

Junior Cade Duncan said, “It was a very fun experience and I got to meet a lot of new people. I was hoping it wasn’t too formal and it was more laid back and more comfortable but I was really happy that there were people from all across the country there.”

Newspaper adviser Jeff Stoffey said, “It’s always a great experience for the students. They can collaborate with other students from all over the country and hopefully bring back great ideas into our newsrooms.” 

When the students arrived, they were able to speak with colleges and get several free items. They were all in a big room where you could walk through and talk to someone from that school. They were giving out things like bags, pens, and keychains. Students could also take pictures with specific backdrops. 

 There were colleges such as Northwestern, Syracuse, Kansas, Mizzou and Loyola, among others. 

During the convention, the students attended classes that focused on different aspects of journalism, such as: photography, feature writing, design, caption writing, interview techniques, etc. Most of the classes were around an hour long. 

The journalism classes are already planning on attending the convention again in the near future. 

Stoffey said, “We are hoping to go again in the next year or two when the convention is in Philadelphia and/or in Boston. I think it’s a great way for the students to see other parts of the country while also getting some ideas to bring back into the classrooms.”