AV Journalism wins big at Fall 2022 JEA convention


Wendy Connelly

Upon arriving home, the eight winners hold their official JEA certificates. (Not pictured: Albertine Combs)

Maximilien Kiyoi, Staff Writer

Sponsored by the  Journalism Education Association and National Scholastic Press Association, 18 Amador Valley Journalism (AVJ) students traveled to St. Louis, Missouri to America’s largest convention and gathering of young journalists, advisors, and teachers. Participating in on-site National Student Media Competitions, all eight of Amador’s competing journalists placed.

 The online news package Excellence award went to Albertine Combs, Renna Popli, and Zaynah Shah. The online broadcast package was awarded to Matthew Nader and Audrey Combs, while Excellence in commentary went to Steven Yang. Arlina Yang and Sarah Yan won Honorable Mention for video package editing and sports photography respectively.

“I competed in creating a multimedia package on-site and AVJ has prepared me for that so much because we are so interdisciplinary. I started off in this program as a writer and now I’m Editor-in-Chief of videography. Having that interdisciplinary studies and being able to delve a little bit into everything really helped me in the competition I participated in and it helped me work together with my teammates,” said Renna Popli (‘23)

AVJ has competed in the JEA competitions since 2011 with a history of winning past awards. With Amador’s class modeling professional journalism standards and criteria, students were well prepared for real-world journalism opportunities such as the JEA convention. 

“I was really proud of how our students performed, especially considering the fact that coming off Covid they did not have the leadership of other students that have been going to conferences and winning awards like students in the past have had,” said Wendy Connelly, AVJ advisor

Media critiques allowed students to improve their writing with corrections from industry experts. Pulitzer-prize-winning photojournalists, professors from journalism programs at Universities, and entrepreneurs gave talks and advice to aspiring journalists attending the convention. 

“JEA was a really good learning experience because all the conferences and classes I attended were led by knowledgeable people from all over the country who were super experienced in the field that I want to study and learn more about,” said Popli

Through media and broadcast tours as well as workshop opportunities including digital photoshop, broadcast, online social media, and press freedom; the conference provided real-world experience for student journalists.

“I’m just so proud of them that they were able to win the awards and I hope most of all that they are proud of themselves,” said Stephanie Kamali, AVJ advisor