West Wind and Trojani Staffs attend NCSMI

Destiny Noblitt, Online Director

June 20th, the West Wind and Trojani staffs packed up our bus to head out to UNC Chapel Hill and dive into the experience that is NCSMI. The North Carolina Scholastic Media Institute gives high school journalism students and advisers from all over the state the opportunity to participate in instructional sessions led by university faculty, writers, designers, photographers, journalism advisers, and journalists.

We got to pack into our dorms, go to conferences, breakout sessions, and special bootcamps to focus on paying attention to details in reporting, writing, broadcast, design, editing, yearbook, and photography—all while enjoying the campus of UNC.

During NCSMI we had ups and downs (downs mostly being the weather), but we got the exciting news that we have not one but two presidents on the NCSMA boards: editor-in-chief, Courtney Weston will take on the role of president for the 2024 student officer board, and adviser, Anna Saunders, holds the title of president on the adviser board. 

At the statewide awards ceremony, the West Wind Staff received an evaluation of All North Carolina and received the Tar Heel award for the Newsmagazine; an evaluation of Distinction for both online news and broadcast respectively; and various section awards. The Trojani yearbook staff received an evaluation of Honor for their book this year.

In the newspaper division, we won second place in Photography, first place in Graphics, second place in Design, first place in Features, third place in Sports, and an honorable mention in Social Media. In the Online News Division we won first place in Editorial, Photography and Sports; third place in Social Media; and an honorable mention in Design. In the Broadcast News division, the staff received an honorable mention in Audio, second place in Editing, and third place in Production. 

We’re so proud to welcome home our Tar Heel—to us, it’s like coming home with a state championship. This year was definitely one for the books and while it may be my last year attending NCSMI, I’m so excited for all of my younger peers to get this experience next year and see where this path leads us.