Meadville Tribune


April 10, 2014

Local high school students help keep future of journalism bright

Significant technological and economic changes have caused some to question the future of journalism, both as a viable business enterprise and as a potential career. But if the proceedings of the eighth annual Northwest Pennsylvania High School Journalism Day are any indication, journalism is alive and well, especially in Crawford County.

Held April 4 at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, the event showcased the talent of high school journalists in the region, and included speakers and panelists who shared their experiences with the students and teachers on hand. Students from as far south as Pittsburgh and as far east as Bucks County entered the competition portion of the program, but it was students from Saegertown Junior-Senior High School who captured more awards than any other school.

Under the leadership of teacher and Panther Press advisor Stacey Hetrick, Saegertown grabbed a total of 11 awards. Students Casey Fetzner, Olivia Burger, Erin Shemy, Dakota Long, Meagan Duda, Rachel Smith, Eric Kisner, Rania Khalife and Jessica Tomiczek each captured at least one award. Meadville Area Senior High School’s Joshua Svetz took second place in the Broadcast News Package category, and Andrew Lalwani from Youngsville High School in nearby Warren County was the big individual winner, taking home a total of $325 in cash prizes and the coveted “Best in Show” award.

The participants also got some valuable advice from Bob Benz, an Edinboro graduate who is among the leading media executives in the country. As vice president/interactive for the E.W. Scripps Company’s newspapers, Benz was one of several newspaper executives who negotiated a partnership with Yahoo! that led to a consortium of 30 newspaper companies representing about 800 news websites. He shared his experiences in leading many large-scale digital transformations, including launching The Rocky Mountain News online in 1995.

The students and teachers also heard from The Meadville Tribune’s own Dan Walk. Walk, another Edinboro graduate, would be the first to admit that his talk wasn’t quite as eloquent as the one delivered by Benz, but it resonated just as deeply among the young students in the audience. He spoke from the heart about growing up in Erie, capping off his education at Edinboro by interning at The Meadville Tribune, nervously taking his first job at The Punxsutawney Spirit, and then returning to Meadville to work at The Tribune, first in sports and currently as the paper’s assistant editor.

The success of High School Journalism Day has actually motivated our department to expand the theme of the event by launching a new summer camp for high school students. The “Media Boot Camp,” scheduled for June 22 to 24, will bring students to campus to work with department faculty in our media studios and computer labs. It will be a more intensive and in-depth experience than Journalism Day, providing the opportunity for students to develop skills in digital editing, newswriting, studio production and other areas. We expect that many of our High School Journalism Day alumni will participate in the summer camp, but we are reaching out to others as well.

 Interested students should email me at for more information. If the recent performance of our Crawford County high school journalism students is any indication, this summer’s Media Boot Camp will likely be another great learning experience. It should also help to ensure that journalism remains an exciting and dynamic industry led by young professionals who possess the skills necessary for making that happen.

A former journalist and college public relations director, Tony Peyronel is chairperson of the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

Learn more

To learn more about Edinboro University of Pennsylvania’s “Media Boot Camp” for high school students, which is scheduled for June 22 to 24, email Department of Communication and Media Studies Chairperson Tony Peyronel at

Text Only
Business Marquee
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide