Journalists travel to State Fair

Aloera Ostermann, Staff Writer

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Once a year the journalists of Manhattan Highschool are challenged to put together a paper and a newscast in just under nine hours. The  students go to the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson Kansas. Journalism teacher Kristy Nyp takes a group of students to participate in the Kansas Students Press Corpse Competition.

This year eight students attended the fair. They make up two teams, a print team and a video team. This year the video team consisted of sophomore Jarod Wege and senior  Duncan O’Brate as well as junior Gabe Jernigan. The print team consisted of seniors Kaitlin Clark, Ayden Boyles, Javi Mercado, Makenna Wollenberg and Tara Wood.

The students met at the school at 6:30 a.m. for their departure to Hutchinson. When they got there they were given their tasks. The print team had just under nine hours to put together a four-page paper and the video team was to create an exactly-four-minute-long video news package.

The video students were assigned one news story topic and had to choose the other on their own. They had to first come up with questions then video themselves interviewing different people. The students had to come up with clever things to say to transition from one video into the next. Each student asked someone a question giving them all a chance in the spotlight. Once the taping was done, they went to the computer and started fitting the clips together. According to Jernigan that was the most difficult part.

We had audio issues and we also had a time issue,” Jernigan said. “When we got all of our clips together it went over the four-minute time.”

The video team had to somehow get all of the clips to fit together and it had to be exactly four minutes, not a second shorter or longer. They finally managed to push through the adversity and submit their exactly four minute video before the deadline.

The students learned a lot while they were at the fair and were able to take away many key points.

“Now that I have actual experience at a big statewide event I think it’ll be a lot easier because I’ll know what I’m doing for smaller scale events,” Jernigan said.

On the print side of things the students were given a similar task but had to present it in a very different way. Upon their arrival the print team was assigned some content to put into their paper.

We were told to draw a lead story out of a hat,” Clark said, “then we had one assigned agricultural base story, and then two free-choice stories.”

Each member of the team took a story. With two of the stories being up to the students, they chose to write about pig races and the “bring a Veteran to brunch” event. With the stories all assigned the team set out to get interviews. They walked around the fairgrounds making sure to get things done quickly since they were pressed on time.

As soon as Clark got her interviews she headed back to the production building and got to work on her story and the page layout. Her team members brought in information and pictures as they acquired them and some even brought her food because she was too busy working on layout to get it herself.

“I edited all stories, double checked photos, captions, and then since we only had one computer to work off of, for layout, I laid out all four pages,” Clark said.

These duties all fell on her due to her position on the newspaper staff back at Manhattan High school. Clark has the official title of Print editor-in-chief. This means the things she did at the competition she does on a weekly basis for the high school, the only difference being she usually only has to layout one page as opposed to four.

The students all were put under pressure during the event, helping teach them how to better deal with time management. What usually takes an entire night to put together and the better part of the week to prepare the team was able to do in just nine hours. They had to crank out their stories under tight deadlines and very different circumstances than they are used to. They learned how to better work together and many different strategies to help improve the school newspaper overall.

“I think that it was a great experience, even though it is a lot of pressure I enjoyed it and I felt very accomplished,” Clark said. “I’m very proud of the Manhattan high journalists and staff.”


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