Faces of Meridian Publications competitive journalism team


photo by Gabby Bingaman

Hannah Reichert looks through the packet handed out by adviser Sheila Moore. Reichert will use this information to practice for her sectional competition.

The time to defend the Sectional title is approaching for Meridian’s competitive journalism team. On April 4, the team will head to Carbondale for IHSA Sectional Competition. In the meantime, they will train.

Journalism Sectional Competition consists of 18 competitive categories divided into two blocks. The team will depart Meridian at 5 a.m. for the sleepy three-hour bus ride.

“I think it [Journalism Sectionals] helps the students…learn to think on their feet, meet other kids that are interested in journalism, competition on a bigger plane, and helps the student to discover if this may be a life choice for them,” Cheryl Wise said, mother of Hannah Reichert, who experienced a roller coaster of emotions during last year’s competition.

The journalism team is chosen by advisor Sheila Moore but is based on the skills and professionalism of the student.

“If someone has already been to Sectionals and placed, so they went to state, they pretty much have secured a spot for the following year,” Moore said. “Then I end up with people who have graduated and have to fill those spots. Sometimes I choose those people because they excel in areas of journalism, and so it’s easy for me to say ‘oh you’re really good at this, I want you to take this spot.’ And sometimes I’m just guessing at it.”

The new team will train in each individual section by looking over the judges’ comments from last year and viewing the work of previous State winners. Moore provided this information in specialized training packets she made for each student.

“I hope to place again like I did last year- hopefully first,”  Madison Sapp said, a competitor in Photo Story Telling.

Each category gives the team points, and whichever team has the most points, wins the Sectional overall.  All first, second, third placers from each Sectional across the state will attend the State Competition on April 24, at Heartland Community College in Normal, Ill.

“I’m feeling very positive about our Sectional team. I feel like we have a chance for all 16 team members to advance to state and it’s probably the first time I’ve felt that,” Moore said.

All Day Events: 9:30 – 11 a.m. & 11:30- 1 p.m.

  1. Photo Story Telling: Madison Sapp
  2. Broadcast News: Arwen Baker
  3. Yearbook Theme Development: Courtney Sollman and Claire Palmer
  4. Video News: Karrigan True, Gabby Bingaman, and Amber Miller

Block A: 9:30 – 11 a.m.

  1. News Writing: Laney Jones
  2. Review Writing: Ellie Fitzpatrick
  3. Advertising: Haley Grimes
  4. Newspaper Design: Robert Le Cates
  5. Yearbook Caption Writing: Hallie Gates
  6. Infographics: Breanna Evans
  7. Copy Editing: Hannah Reichert

Block B: 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

  1. Feature Writing: Emery Johnson
  2. Headline Writing: Larou de Jong
  3. Yearbook Copy Writing: Hallie Gates
  4. Yearbook Layout: Double Page Spread: Robert Le Cates
  5. Editorial Cartooning: Haley Grimes
  6. Editorial Writing: Hannah Reichert
  7. Sports Writing: Laney Jones