Journalism takes on a “New Day” at NCSMI

The West Wind staff attends NCSMI 2022, “Journalism’s New Day.” Staff attended trainings and received critiques. The three day camp ended with awards for the program as a whole and individuals.

For the first time since 2019, staff members could attend the North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute (NCSMI) camp in person. The camp took place at UNC-Chapel Hill and allowed students to branch out and hone journalism skills. 

The class tracks, including News, Design, Photojournalism, Broadcast, and The Rush (a real newspaper developed within the three days of camp). Some students also had opportunities to attend boot camps on Leadership, Creativity, and Investigative Journalism.

The camp operates thanks to NCSMA staff as well as student officers and an adviser board. Rising Senior, Katie Madison, served as the VP of Literary Magazine for NCSMA this past year, helping plan and organize the event. She will hold the position in the upcoming 22-23 school year as well. Adviser Anna Saunders will remain the Southeast Representative for the NCSMA Adviser Board. 

The three-day camp ended with two awards ceremonies. One acknowledges staff work submitted from the 21-22 school year, and the other recognizes work done at the camp.

The West Wind Newsmagazine, The West Wind Online, and Zephyrus (the school’s literary magazine) all were entered into statewide competitions. The West Wind News Magazine took home the “All North Carolina” rating for their work the past school year. The online and literary magazine both took home the “Honor” rating. 

The West Wind Newsmagazine placed third in the state for two section awards, for Photography and Graphics respectively. The newsmagazine also received honorable mentions in section awards for Design, Features, and Sports. The West Wind Online received honorable mentions in section awards for Advertising, Photography, and Graphics. 

For individual students, Hannah Underwood and Olivia Mehalick both received honorable mentions for literary magazine submissions. Rising Junior, Aiden McKinney, was recognized for his excellence in the broadcast track and received a scholarship of $625.

“I was so happy,” said McKinney. “When I got back to the dorm room, I started to cry. The realization that I won something that I had just learned hit me.”

The camp was a great way to meet new people from different schools with the same interests and to learn new best practices to help further our journalism tracks. 

“I enjoyed the experience of learning from professionals,” said rising senior Macie Coley. “It was also cool using the big camera. I also enjoyed expanding my horizons.”