Approximately 300 students from 20 different schools flocked to TROY on Thursday for the Hall School of Journalism and Communication’s annual J-Day event.
Through a series of workshops taught by industry professionals, including TROY alumni and current professors, local high school students interested in journalism are educated about the options they have when choosing a career path in the field. Students were given the choice to focus on multimedia journalism (storytelling, photography and design), broadcast journalism (storytelling, TV production and videography) or yearbook (theme, design and photography).
The event began bright and early at 8 a.m. with a breakfast spread and welcome at Claudia Crosby Theatre followed by the awards presentation for the Student Media Competition. After the awards presentation concluded, students broke out into their respective workshops.
Following last year’s virtual event, TROY journalism professor Dr. Robbyn Taylor said they were very happy to have students back on campus to be able to give them the full experience of what J-Day and TROY have to offer.
“There’s nothing like having students here and being able to engage with them,” Taylor said. “It’s been a great day, and the students have been engaged in their workshops taught by people with international journalism backgrounds, people with 17 years of experience in television and current experience in television, so for them to be able to go to our TV studio and see where we work in student media is invaluable.”
Taylor, a two-time graduate of the Hall School, has been a professor at TROY since 2013. She specializes in mobile journalism and multimedia journalism techniques, works with the department’s broadcast, advertising and public relations students and is the student publications adviser for Troy’s student newspaper, The Tropolitan, and the school’s yearbook, The Palladium. On Thursday, her workshop covered storytelling and how to localize national events.
In addition to workshops, students who chose the broadcast track received hands-on learning with Aaron Taylor, TV Production Coordinator for TrojanVision, TROY’S in-house broadcast and digital network. Volunteers were able to run the teleprompter, cameras, audio and graphics as well as appear on camera as a weather reporter and news anchor—a small taste of what they’ll experience as a broadcast journalism student at TROY who chooses to work in the studio.
“A lot of times, especially here in the south, we think nothing big ever happens in our small towns and that it’s hard to do ‘real’ journalism, but you can do those things!” she said. “You can see the things that are going on in the world around you and figure out what it means to the people around you.”
“We are the only college in Alabama that does three live, 30-minute newscasts a day that are entirely student produced. That translates directly into a resume reel that you can show to TV stations and get hired, and our students do get hired,” Aaron Taylor said. “If you come to TROY, you’ll do this every day, as much or as little as you want to. We’ll give you that opportunity.”
Most of the presenters have some tie to TROY with many alumni coming back to share their knowledge. Nick Brooks, a 2019 graduate of the Hall School and news reporter at WTVY News for the last two years, said he likes to give back to the University whenever possible.
“TROY is where my journalism career started, so I owe so much to the school for preparing me for the real world,” he said. “It was an easy decision for me to come back as a TROY alum and show potential students what it’s like to be a journalist.”
J-Day is held annually each fall. Follow the Hall School of Journalism and Communication’s Facebook page for announcements on next year’s event.
The Student Media Competition award winners are as follows:
- Best Anchoring: Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy (BCN-TV)
- Best Reporting: Mary G. Montgomery High School (Viking Daily)
- Best School Coverage: Alma Bryant High School (The Eye Network)
- Best Sports Coverage: Andalusia High School
- Best Videography: Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy (BCN-TV)
- Best News Program: Andalusia High School
- Best Design: Wetumpka High School
- Best School Coverage: Niceville High School
- Best Sports Coverage: Niceville High School
- Best Writing: Niceville High School
- Best Photography: Niceville High School
- Best Overall: Niceville High School
- First Place Best Theme: Smiths Station
- Second Place Best Theme: Pike County High School
- Third Place Best Theme: Ariton School
- First Place Cover: Andalusia High School
- Second Place Cover: Mary G. Montgomery High School
- Third Place Cover: Ariton School
- First Place Photography: Ariton School
- Second Place Photography: Pike County High School
- Third Place Photography: Alma Bryant High School
- First Place Typography: Andalusia High School
- Second Place Typography: Ariton School
- Third Place Typography: Alma Bryant High School
- First Place Best Student Coverage: Ariton School
- Second Place Best Student Coverage: Alma Bryant High School
- Third Place Best Student Coverage: Andalusia High School
- Best Overall Yearbook: Ariton School