Industry professionals, students convene at first-ever journalism festival


During the school’s first-ever journalism festival “Through the Looking Glass,” guest speaker and CEO of “The Latest” Jeff Hall encourages students to participate in internships to further their education in journalism. The festival included workshops with industry professionals, as well as keynote speaker Peter Hamby. Credit: Tanisha Gunby/Chronicle

Tanisha Gunby

Students and advisers from schools in the Los Angeles area attended workshops co-led by industry professionals and student volunteers at the school’s first-ever journalism festival, “Through the Looking Glass,” on Feb. 9. Emmy-award winning Peter Hamby, a former CNN reporter and the current host of “Good Luck America” on Snapchat, gave the keynote speech.

Former Co-President of the Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Entertainment Group Janice Min (Tate Sheehy ’24 and Peter Sheehy ’22) interviewed Hamby during the keynote at the culmination of the program. Min and Hamby emphasized avoiding the “outrage culture” in news media and going out in the field to seek true opinions from real people.

“Journalism is always changing and evolving, but the fundamentals are always going to be the same,” Hamby said. “If you know how to write and tell a story, you are going to be successful anywhere and [try to] read anything you can get your hands on.”

The event was organized by Engagement Managing Editor and News Editor Saba Nia ’19 and assisted by members of the Chronicle staff, as well as student volunteers from outside the school. In addition to listening to Hamby’s speech, participants attended sessions with journalists, photographers and media professionals, who shared their experiences and offered opportunities for discussion.

Times Community News reporters Andrew Campa, Andy Nguyen and Lila Seidman joined the Los Angeles Times Editorial Page Editor Nick Goldberg on a panel. During their discussion, the speakers said that persistence is key to gathering information for articles.

During her session, photographic messaging artist Nicole Maloney (Keller ’18, Pierce ’19 and Cleo ’21) encouraged photojournalists to be passionate and maintain eye contact for success.

CEO of “The Latest” Jeff Hall said student internships offer experience and opportunities for future education. In another panel, Riverside City College professor Matt Schoenmann, Long Beach Post reporter Valerie Osier and Real Estate and City Editor of the Hollywood Reporter Peter Kiefer ’95 encouraged participants to look for community papers focused on younger generations or start blogspots to begin their careers.

Attendee Elizabeth Yeo said she gained insight from professionals and was able to share what she had learned by incorporating the knowledge into her school curriculum.

“The best part was really being able to ask the professionals the right questions and get real solid feedback about their experiences and suggestions on what we can do while we are trying to grow into this career field,” Yeo said.