More than 400 high school students from 22 schools flooded Troy’s campus Tuesday for the Hall School of Journalism and Communication’s (HSJC) annual J-Day.
J-Day allows high schoolers to experience Troy’s journalism department and begin to understand what journalism and communication fields look like.
J-Day also gives students the chance to see the connections they can make at Troy, according to Andrea Hall, a lecturer of journalism.
“We had professionals from Montgomery, Dothan, Birmingham- those professionals graduated from Troy, and they had such a good experience that they came back to help future potential students,” she said.
The event featured speakers from area news organizations (both in print and in broadcast), representatives of the yearbook businesses and faculty in the journalism department.
After awards were given out for the students’ creations in their high school journalism programs, they attended different workshops based on their area of interest.
Students learned about radio and TV production, news-gathering and reporting and graphic design and layout in the five sessions.
Dr. Jeff Spurlock, the director of the HSJC, said J-Day is important because it allows students to “come to college for a day.”
“We give them a day to join us to learn about journalism in all facets, from advertising, to law, to graphic design, to page layout, to reporting, television news anchoring, radio news anchoring — they get a smattering of all this in one lump sum,” he said.
Jaylon Jones, a junior from Jeff Davis High School in Montgomery, said his first J-Day taught him a lot about journalism and about Troy University, giving him a big push toward choosing Troy for college.
“I’m learning a lot of new things,” he said. “I see that the staff here, they’re willing to work with the students.”
Nathaniel Rodriguez, a digital content producer and assignment editor for WDHN in Dothan and a Troy graduate, visited J-Day when he was in high school, and he said Troy prepared him “a ton” for the world of professional journalism.
“It’s taking the principles you can learn from journalism and also showing that they are here in the digital age, where you can do anything,” Rodriguez said.
He said the skills students learn at J-Day can be applied most anywhere.
“Being a good communicator is important in so many different types of fields,” Hall said. “Even if students decide they don’t want to go into journalism, the lessons they learn today they can take with them to other majors if they choose to do something different.”